8 Celebrities Who Were Once Nurses

5 Min Read Published May 9, 2022
8 Celebrities Who Were Once Nurses

With the recent suicide of country superstar Naomi Judd, 76, the spotlight has been cast on mental health and the overwhelming need to identify those who are at greatest risk and get them the proper help. After struggling with mental health most of her life and major depressive disorder, Judd tragically took her own life. While most know Judd for her legendary voice and as the mother of famous daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd, Naomi was also a nurse. 

In fact, the reason Naomi stopped singing in 1991 was because of hepatitis C which she contracted while working as a nurse. 

Nurse.Org has compiled a list of some famous faces that once worked at the bedside as nurses. Some are going to shock you!

1. Naomi Judd

Prior to becoming a famous country singer, Naomi worked as an ICU nurse in Nashville, Tennessee. She stopped working as a nurse in 1984 and later was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The ongoing assumption was that she contracted it as a result of contact with an infected needle at some point during her nursing career. 

“I used to be an ICU nurse. And I see you (nurses),” Judd said, during an event at the Morristown Medical Center. “I’m so happy to be here because you’re my people.”

Always a nurse: Naomi Judd studied nursing at the College of Marin

Image: Naomi Judd via Twitter

2. Bonnie Hunt

Known for her roles in Jumanji, Rain Man, and Cheaper By the Dozen, Bonnie Hunt originally went to nursing school because of her father. At his insistence, she put her Hollywood dreams on hold and attended nursing school. "But you're such a good nurse," her father said in a serious tone. "Why don't you go to nursing school?" 

Unsure about continuing through the nursing program, it was until after he suffered a fatal heart attack during school that she realized it was important to see her education through. "I was so angry at God for taking my father from me that I marched up to my mother before the funeral and told her I was going to quit nursing school. I just wanted to stop living,” said Hunt. Hunt worked as an oncology nurse at Northwestern University Hospital for five years upon graduation while also performing in the Second City improv troupe. 

Bonnie Hunt

Image: Bonnie Hunt

If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse, are a nursing student, or are a current nurse who is ready to transition careers - this guide will help guide you to make the best professional decisions.

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3. Kate Gosselin

Reality TV star known for her life on TLC reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8,  a mom of eight children including a set of twins and sextuplets, was a labor and delivery nurse in Pennsylvania including during first pregnancies.  Gosselin worked at Reading Hospital and Medical Center and left the field after her older twins were born. Gosselin still holds an active PA nursing license; however, she has not practiced at the bedside since giving birth. 

Kate Gosselin

Image: Kate Gosselin

4. Adrian Holmes

Small screen star Adrian Holmes is best known for his roles in “Smallville” or on Fox’s "Fringe" and "Human Target" completed his nursing degree in Canada. Upon completion of graduation, he worked on several units at a local hospital including obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, and the spine unit. According to reports, he went to nursing school to appease his mother who was not too happy with his plans to become an actor. 

Adrian Holmes

Image: Adrian Holmes

5. Jennifer Stone

Almost all of the celebrities on this list no longer work as nurses, except for Stone. Stone became interested in nursing to learn more about type 1 diabetes, a disease she suffers from. Known for her roles in kid's films such as Wizards of Waverly Place and Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars, Stone was studying to become a nurse while taking on various acting roles. Stone passed her NCLEX in April 2020 and immediately worked on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stone continues to work as a nurse in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to make sure no one ever experienced again of not being believed, of not being seen, of not being valued for exactly what they’re saying and bringing to the table,” she said after it took over four years for a proper diagnosis and treatment regarding her diabetes.

Jennifer Stone

Image: Jennifer Stone

6. Kim Zolciak-Biermann

Another reality TV star, Zolciak-Biermann, was one of the original cast members of Real Housewives of Atlanta, and her own spin-off series, Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding, earned a nursing degree from the University of Connecticut. Unfortunately, there are conflicting reports as Zolciak-Biermann states she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing; however, records in Connecticut and Georgia indicate that she was an LPN. Either way, Zolciak-Biermann found satisfaction in helping others at the bedside in Atlanta for over five years.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann

Image: Kim Zolciak-Biermann 

7. Robin Quivers

You might be asking yourself who is Robin Quivers? Well, she was the radio personality that went toe to toe with Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show. Before working for the Shock Jock,  she worked as a shock trauma nurse at the Maryland Shock Trauma facility of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System. At 17, Quivers enrolled in a pre-nursing program at Maryland General Hospital and then went on to graduate from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1974. She even served in the United States Air Force as a military nurse

Robin Quivers

Image: Robin Quivers

8. Sonya Eddy

Playing a nurse on the soap opera General Hospital came easy for Eddy since she had the real-life experience to draw inspiration from. A licensed vocational nurse (LVN), Eddy has supported nurses, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Every day I play a nurse on TV,” the actress tweeted. “Over the years, I’ve heard from thousands of real nurses about how hard their job is. Now with COVID, we need more nurses and we need them now. I’m leading a new campaign to provide scholarships to nursing students. You in?” Eddy set up a GoFundMe to help support The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association

Sonya Eddy

Image: Sonya Eddy

Kathleen Gaines
Kathleen Gaines
News and Education Editor

Kathleen Gaines (nee Colduvell) is a nationally published writer turned Pediatric ICU nurse from Philadelphia with over 13 years of ICU experience. She has an extensive ICU background having formerly worked in the CICU and NICU at several major hospitals in the Philadelphia region. After earning her MSN in Education from Loyola University of New Orleans, she currently also teaches for several prominent Universities making sure the next generation is ready for the bedside. As a certified breastfeeding counselor and trauma certified nurse, she is always ready for the next nursing challenge.

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