Famous Nurses Who Made It Big Outside Their Medical Careers

Before becoming famous, celebrities often start off working in regular careers and fields. Although not the most common career track, some celebrities started out as nurses before finding their fame in music, radio, TV and print. Here are a few famous people who you probably didn’t know spent time in nursing before making it big.

#1 Bonnie Hunt

Bonnie Hunt has done quite a bit in her time in Hollywood – from film and TV acting, to writing and directing. In addition to her Hollywood fame though, you can add Oncology Nursing to her resume. Prior to debuting in our list of famous nurses, Bonnie was working with cancer patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Later went on to become famous as the lead in the Bonnie Hunt Show and as the voice of Sally in Pixar’s Cars franchise.

#2 Naomi Judd

One of the “First Ladies of Country Music” – Naomi Judd was an experienced ICU Nurse before her music career took off. In fact, it was thanks to her nursing career that she became such a famous singer. A former patient helped her land the audition that started her singing career.

#3 Kate Gosselin

Some people may consider her “infamous,” but the mother of eight and former star of the reality series “Jon and Kate plus 8” spent her pre-TV career as a labor and delivery nurse bringing babies into the world and helping women get through the amazing experience of childbirth.

#4 Robin Quivers

Before becoming famous as the rational and funny sidekick to shock-jock Howard Stern, Robin Quivers was a U.S. Air Force Captain and a nurse. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Nursing and worked in a shock-trauma facility dealing with intensive care type situations.

#5 Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten enjoying the media attention

Kathryn Joosten enjoying the media attention

Kathryn Joosten was well known for her roles in Desperate Housewives and The West Wing. But Kathryn started her acting career fairly late in life – she was 42 when she got her first acting role. Prior to that, she had a long career as a mental health nurse on the mental health floor at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital.

#6 Sonya Eddy

This one is a case where fiction follows life. Sonya Eddy is well known to soap opera fans as nurse Epiphany Johnson on the long running soap General Hospital. She probably felt very comfortable jumping into the role of a nurse considering she used to be a licensed vocational nurse!

#7 Paul Brandt

Another country star with a nursing background, Paul Brandt spent two years as a pediatric nurse in Calgary at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Even with his music career having taken off, Brandt continues to do a lot of work with terminally ill children and is actively involved in programs and charities that help people in medical need.

#8 Abi Titmuss

Although more famous across the pond, Abi Titmuss was a staff nurse at London’s University College Hospital prior to finding fame as a glamour model.

#9 Walt Whitman

A little obscure for people interested in today’s celebrities, but one of the most famous on this list nonetheless. Walt Whitman is best known as probably the most influential American poet of all time and one of the most iconic writers in US history. But he’s also known to have volunteered his time as a nurse tending to wounded soldiers during the US Civil War.

Did we miss any “big name celebrities” from our list? Comment to let us know who you think should also be up there.



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