A nurse is a trained healthcare worker who takes care of sick people. To nurse is to take care of, like if you nurse a baby bird back to health.

To become a nurse, you have to go to college and study subjects like anatomy and nutrition. Some nurses assist doctors and perform tasks like bathing patients, taking blood samples, or giving medication. When you use the word nurse as a verb, it means "care for," and also "breastfeed a baby." The Latin root, nutrire, means "to nourish." To nurse a drink is to drink it slowly, and to nurse an idea is to mull it over.

Definitions of nurse

n one skilled in caring for young children or the sick (usually under the supervision of a physician)

Edith Louisa Cavell
English nurse who remained in Brussels after the German occupation in order to help Allied prisoners escape; was caught and executed by the Germans (1865-1915)
Florence Nightingale
English nurse remembered for her work during the Crimean War (1820-1910)
Margaret Higgins Sanger
United States nurse who campaigned for birth control and planned parenthood; she challenged Gregory Pincus to develop a birth control pill (1883-1966)
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a nurse who raises another woman's child as her own
graduate nurse, trained nurse
someone who has completed the course of study (including hospital practice) at a nurses training school
head nurse
the person in charge of nursing in a medical institution
LPN, licensed practical nurse, practical nurse
a nurse who has enough training to be licensed by a state to provide routine care for the sick
a woman in charge of nursing in a medical institution
accoucheuse, midwife
a woman skilled in aiding the delivery of babies
probationer, student nurse
a nurse in training who is undergoing a trial period
RN, registered nurse
a graduate nurse who has passed examinations for registration
scrub nurse
a nurse who helps a surgeon prepare for surgery
visiting nurse
a nurse who is paid to visit the sick in their homes
a registered nurse who has received special training as a midwife
NP, nurse clinician, nurse practitioner
a registered nurse who has received special training and can perform many of the duties of a physician
Type of:
PCP, caregiver, health care provider, health professional, primary care provider
a person who helps in identifying or preventing or treating illness or disability

n a woman who is the custodian of children

nanny, nursemaid
dry nurse
a nurse who cares for but does not suckle an infant
amah, wet nurse, wet-nurse, wetnurse
a woman hired to suckle a child of someone else
Type of:
someone in charge of other people
adult female, woman
an adult female person (as opposed to a man)

v serve as a nurse; care for sick or handicapped people

Type of:
care, give care
provide care for

v give suck to

“You cannot nurse your baby in public in some places”
breastfeed, give suck, lactate, suck, suckle, wet-nurse
draw into the mouth by creating a practical vacuum in the mouth
feed (infants) with a bottle
Type of:
feed, give
give food to

v try to cure by special care of treatment, of an illness or injury

“He nursed his cold with Chinese herbs”
Type of:
care for, treat
provide treatment for

v treat carefully

“He nursed his injured back by lying in bed several hours every afternoon”
“He nursed the flowers in his garden and fertilized them regularly”
Type of:
do by, handle, treat
interact in a certain way

v maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings)

entertain, harbor, harbour, hold
Type of:
experience, feel
undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind

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