To say it’s been trying times for nurses is an understatement. The pandemic has taken quite a toll on already stretched-thin healthcare workers, so we decided to put together some helpful nurse affirmations that may help you get through your shift and feel more positive about the amazing work that you do every single day.
Prepping for the NCLEX? These affirmations can still be beneficial for your studies!
What are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations are short, powerful statements that are designed to challenge negative or unhelpful thought patterns. By creating positive affirmations about ourselves and our abilities, we can overcome these self-sabotaging and negative thoughts and shift our mindset to one of positivity and confidence.
Before you write affirmations off as woo-woo and without much scientific basis, there is scientific evidence that backs up self-affirmations. Cascio et al. (1) used MRI to measure a significant increase in brain activity in two regions of the brain related to self-related processing and rewards in the affirmed group versus the non-affirmed group. The imaging can be seen in the above image.
What Does a Nurse Affirmation Look Like?
A nurse affirmation can be any positive affirmation that is going to help to create a more positive mindset and confidence in the workplace. A shift from a negative thought such as “I am so overwhelmed by the amount of patients I have to see today” to “I am a capable nurse who can take on the challenges for today” can make a huge difference in how you view the challenge of the day that lies ahead.
Positive Nurse Affirmations
- I will not worry about things that I cannot control
- I am resilient
- I am a better nurse today than I was yesterday
- I am a talented and capable nurse
- I care for my patients with patience, love, and kindness
- I make progress every day, whether I see it or not
- I am not alone and have a robust support network
- This will not break me and I will come out stronger
- I am not afraid to ask for help
- I choose to care for my mind and body while at work today
- I am taking care of myself so that I can take care of others
- I have survived tough times before and will survive this
- I am proud of myself and the work that I do
- I am capable and can take on the challenges for today
- I am grateful for the things that I have
- I am making a difference
- I am destined to be a nurse
- I set healthy boundaries between my work and my private life
- I am fulfilled by helping my patients
- My patients and coworkers enjoy being with me
- I am a great addition to my team
- My colleagues appreciate the work that I do
- I am fulfilling my destiny
- I am thankful for my knowledge and skill
- I am important and I matter
- Set backs are temporary; making an impact is forever.
Affirmations for Nursing Students
For those who are still in nursing school, here are some of our favorite affirmations for nursing students:
- I am an amazing student
- Learning new medical information comes easily to me
- I will make the best nurse
- I am confident
- Every day I am closer to becoming a nurse
- I give my best every day in my nursing studies
- My skills and abilities will make me a great nurse
- I will be a successful nurse
- I am an inspiration to other nursing students
- I have a strong work ethic
- I can overcome new challenges
- I have earned my instructor’s trust
- I am a model student
- I am thankful to be in nursing school
- I handle stress with grace
- I am proud of myself
- I am proud of what I have accomplished so far
- I love myself
- I am helpful to other students
- I will remain calm and grounded during this time of challenge
- I will pass this exam
- I am destined for greatness
- I have a sharp mind
- I love learning how to heal people
- I can master this information
- I am doing important work
- I am making a difference
- I am smart
Benefits of Nurse Affirmations
Feeling positive about yourself and your skills can help to boost confidence in your abilities.
Reduced Negative Thoughts and Feelings
You can reduce negative thoughts and self-talk by transforming them into actionable, positive action.
Positive affirmations can help you to reduce your stress and anxiety by taking the negative thought patterns and letting them go.
Schmeichel and Vohs (2) found participants who continued to affirm their core values to be less likely to lose self-control.
Decreased Isolation and Tech Use
You can increase feelings of love towards others as well as decrease feelings of isolation with affirmations. Additionally, just-in-time affirmations can decrease cell phone usage by as much as a half Xu et al.(3).
Related: How to Set SMART Goals in Nursing
How to Create Your Own Affirmations
In order to really make a positive change in a way that is personal to you, it’s important that you consider the areas that you, yourself, would like to change or improve upon. This can be a great moment of self-reflection as you consider your core values and goals for your life. Here are the steps to brainstorming nurse affirmations, writing your affirmations, and how to put these affirmations to good use:
Step 1. Make a list of negative features that you would like to improve upon
This list can include your actions, thoughts, or reactions that you’ve displayed both inside as well as outside of the workplace. For example:
- I feel overwhelmed at work
- I am sensitive to criticism from coworkers
Step 2. Rephrase these negative features or actions as positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are always written in the present, as you are imagining yourself in the here-and-now embodying this statement. To do this, you can start with the phrase “I am,” “I choose,” or “I have.” Let’s look at how we can turn the two negative statements in step 1 into positive affirmations using the framework provided:
I feel overwhelmed at work can be transformed into “When I am overwhelmed at work, I choose to be present with my patients and improve their situation.
I am sensitive to criticism from coworkers can now become “I am thankful for the feedback from my coworkers and use it to become a better nurse than yesterday.”
Write this new affirmation down to engage your mind and body (as a kinesthetic learning) to increase its ability to stick.
You can write down these affirmations in a journal or a nursing student planner as a way to keep your goals, affirmations, and plans following the same path. For those who are seeking extra sources of income, you can also consider how these nurse side hustles work towards your goals.
Step 3. Repeat your affirmation with feeling and emotion
Start by saying your affirmation aloud for 2 minutes, 3 times a day. Set an alarm to help to remind you to repeat this affirmation so that it sticks. You can also utilize a habit tracking app to keep you on track. Add to this moment by saying your affirmation aloud to the mirror, looking at yourself while embodying this new powerful phrase.
Remember to say this affirmation with emotion and feeling and try to feel it within your body.
Step 4. Remain consistent
Like any new exercise regime, consistency is key to see changes. Try to stay regular in your affirmations by practicing them daily. If you meditate, this can also be a great moment to push your affirmation into your subconscious.
Related: Fun Homemade Nurse Survival Kits
Should I say a nurse affirmation every day?
Nurse affirmations are best practiced at least 2-3 times per day for 2 minutes each. This helps to reinforce the positive change in negative thought patterns.
Can affirmations help with anxiety and depression?
Nurse affirmations are not a substitute for medical treatment for anxiety or depressive disorder but have been shown as helpful for reducing symptoms.
Are nurse affirmations the same as nurse mantras?
They are not the same. Nurse affirmations are positive statements intended to bring about positive action, while mantras are spiritual and religious sounds that are devised to increase the state of awareness.
Nurse workplace burnout, stress, and anxiety are all real problems within the healthcare industry today. By practicing these nurse affirmations, however, you can do what’s in your power to control how you feel and act throughout the day. These affirmations can not only improve your workplace wellbeing but also improve your relationships with others and yourself.
If you’re looking for a place to write down your daily affirmations, look no further than the TPN Nursing Student Planner. It includes affirmation, gratitude, and journaling to help you stay grounded and present.
1. Cascio, C. N., et al. (2016). Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2016, 621–629.
2. Schmeichel, B. J., & Vohs, K. (2009). Self-affirmation and self-construal: Affirming core values counteracts ego depletion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 770–782.
3. Xu, X et al. (2022). TypeOut: Leveraging just-in-time self-affirmation for smartphone overuse reduction. Creative Commons Attribution International. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517476