What’s It Like Dating a Nurse? 5 Things to Expect

For 21 straight years, the profession of being a nurse has been rated the most trusted profession in a recent Gallup Poll. Add to this the fact that nurses make pretty good money, and you have a pretty nice profession. But if you don’t want to go to nursing school but still want to enjoy the spoils of someone in a profession known for being caring and supportive, you could always date a nurse!

But what is it like dating a nurse? Is it enjoyable? Do you have to know medical stuff? Do nurses make great partners? We’re going to get into that today.

While not all nurses are created equally, there are some tendencies and truths that we see more commonly across the spectrum when it comes to dating nurses. While these won’t be true for 100% of nurses, it will be true for a lot of them and is a good starting point.

Young nurse portrait

1. Nurses work long and hard hours.

Whether you’re dating a nurse in the emergency room in a hospital, or dating an elementary school nurse who’s dealing with an outbreak of the flu in a classroom full of eight year olds, every day is a long day. This could be an 8 hour day all the way up to a 16 hour shift or maybe even longer in some rare instances.

While some people have boundless energy, or know that the best thing to clear their head may be a strenuous hike, it’s very possible that someone with such a busy job may want to melt into the couch and watch a movie after work. You’ll have to find this out as you get to know a person, but don’t be upset if they suggest more relaxing dates.

2. Nurses are bound by HIPAA.

Anyone in the medical field is bound by HIPAA, which basically says they can’t talk about the medical history or information of their patients to you. In other words, don’t expect a play by play at the end of the day from your nurse. And even if they were legally allowed to share details (or could anonymously), don’t expect a play by play relayed at the end of the day. Nurses treat so many patients in a day that recounting each of the day’s mile markers could take a whole day in itself to recount.

There’s nothing wrong with asking how their day went or letting them vent if things were tough, but don’t bring on the Spanish Inquisition to get a live action version of Grey’s Anatomy.

3. Nurses’ schedules can change on a dime.

While it can vary based on the type of nurse you date, don’t be surprised if the person you’re dating needs to change plans frequently, often at the last moment. Whether there’s been a large-scale emergency or someone is called in at the last minute to make sure an overnight shift is covered, your date may need to cancel unexpectedly.

It doesn’t mean they’re flaky, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested. But nurses have chosen a career that puts duty first. In this case, it’s just part of the deal.

4. Nurses are caring, driven people.

We’ve mentioned a lot of the cons of dating a nurse, but let’s now look at one of the biggest pros.

As much as we’ve highlighted the busy lives nurses lead and the irritation that may come with dates shifting the topic back to work, there’s more to dating a nurse than just hectic schedules. Nurses have devoted time and education into caring for others, and that says a lot about a person’s core values.

The truth is that the perks to being a nurse are few: the hours can be grueling, patients can be difficult, and carving out a social life can take some maneuvering. Nurses have chosen the medical field because they care about helping their community and offering comfort to those who are injured or ill. You’ll find a wide variety of personality types within the nurses’ dating world, but the common thread is their compassion.

Some are quiet about it: they don’t necessarily wear their heart on their sleeve, and may even have a gruff exterior. No matter the personality, at their core nurses are people who have dedicated their time—and their hearts—to care for their communities, and that’s a trait worth looking for in a mate.

5. Nurses are normal people.

This may or may not go without saying, but we wanted to say it anyways. Your job does not define who you are. Yes, it’s a big part of your life and a big part of what makes you you. However, you are never your job. Even a quick Google search shows a ton of articles about how to ensure you don’t let your job become your identity.

What this means for dating a nurse is don’t make him or her all about their job. Yes, it’s awesome to show interest in their work and even to think it’s neat. But make sure you take time to get to know them as a person outside of the scrubs.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.