Nurses and doctors spend a lot of hours working together.

This may inevitably lead to the development of romantic feelings between them. 

Many people who are coworkers simply run into relationships together, but is it a good idea? 

Are there any rules to abide by? 

There are a number of things to think about before you start a workplace relationship.

Can a nurse and doctor date? Yes, a nurse can date a doctor. As long as there’s no human resource policy in place there’s typically no laws that would prevent this from happening.

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Can a Nurse Date A Doctor?

a nurse and doctor on a date

The short answer.

When it comes to nurses dating doctors and vice versa, the fact is that there are no rules against it unless there is a specific HR policy in place prohibiting it. 

So before you run headlong into an intimate relationship with a medical co-worker, the first thing to do is to check to see if there’s an HR policy in place.

If it turns out HR doesn’t have a policy about it and there is no restriction, there are also a number of other things to think about. 

It might seem like a good idea and no one wants to stand in the way of love but is it really something you should do? 

Here are some reasons why it might not be such a good idea:

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1. Consider Your Working Schedules

Truthfully, doctors and nurses typically work a ton of shifts over the course of a month and this is not always conducive to a good relationship.

You might start out being tolerant but the work might just get in the way.

This might not be so bad if you’re dating a person who works regular hours but shift work can be too much like two ships passing in the night.

If you have lots of romantic evenings and date nights planned, be prepared to have them ruined often by shift work and emergency call-outs.

The fact is that doctors have to work a lot of crazy hours and put in a lot of time and dedication to get ahead.

If you’re a nurse and you’re dating a doctor, don’t expect that he or she can drop everything and come running to you.

2. Keeping it Secret

Some couples in this situation decide early that they should keep their relationship secret.

It makes sense in one way because you don’t necessarily want everyone else at work talking about you or what you’re doing in your spare time.

The problem is, it can’t be a secret forever.

At some point, the truth will come out and people will find out.

You might think it’s worth it to do this but when everyone else finds out, how prepared will you be to have others gossiping about you and your romantic life?

Something Else to Keep in Mind
You might have the purest of romantic intentions but others might perceive it as you’re just trying to get ahead at work by sleeping with a co-worker.

It might sound cynical but this is often the reality of relationships in the workplace.

3. Your Career

How important is your career to you and how important is your potential partner’s career?

Unfortunately, relationships in the workplace can turn bad and this can hurt careers.

It might be a case of gossip from co-workers hurting your career.

Or it might be a case of the HR department passing you or your partner over for promotion.

Tips on Dating Your Co-Worker

If you’ve thought seriously about it and you still want to pursue a relationship, here are some tips on making it work:

1. Be Careful of Power Dynamics

In general, it’s really not a good idea to date a superior (source).

The problem is the power dynamic shifts when two people begin a romantic relationship and tensions at work due to power structures can make themselves known in a relationship.

2. Keep Romance and Work Separate

One thing you need to remember is if you have shifts together, you’ll have a different relationship with each other than with anyone else in the medical team.

This can be good in the beginning but it’s always best to keep personal and work life as separate as possible.

For example, you might want to kiss and cuddle at work but it’s typically not a good idea.

Even if everyone else is aware of your relationship, it’s simply unprofessional to behave this way in the workplace.

You don’t know how other people will react and you certainly don’t know how well received it will acting this way in front of patients and members of the public.

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3. Work Harder at Your Job

Once everyone else knows you’re dating, they’ll have different expectations of you.

Even if you’re working hard, others might think you’re just coasting along or riding on the coattails of your partner.

To make sure you’re seen as working just as hard as everyone else, you need to work even harder to make an impression.

People are often suspicious by nature and they might think you’re dating a co-worker to improve your career.

By working even harder than everyone else, you make sure you dissuade them from this impression.

4. Talk About Your Work

One of the best things about dating someone in your own field is you both understand exactly what the pressures and expectations are.

Nurses and doctors may often perform different tasks but they’re in the same field and want the same things for their patients.

Being able to connect with someone else on this level can be a great thing.

If you’re dating, make sure you do talk about work.

Yes, you want to keep the romance and the workplace separate but you should also connect with each other about work.

After all, who else will understand the trials and tribulations of working in a hospital or other medical facility?

5. Keep a Fine Balance

Of course, even though you can talk about work, you shouldn’t talk about it all the time.

Don’t let workplace talk dominate your free time together.

It’s all too easy to slip into work talk but this can take over quickly and you might find that you’re not actually spending any quality time together.

To Recap

Should You Date?

If you’ve checked with HR and they’re okay with dating and you know that your co-worker feels the same way, there shouldn’t really be anything standing in your way.

Of course, few things are ever that simple and dating at work can introduce layers of complexity you never thought possible.

You certainly should establish rules for the relationship in light of all of the advice given above.

You might be crazy about this person and he or she might be crazy about you.

It might seem to be the best idea in the world but you should also try to think about other people around you and the possible implications.

The medical area can be highly stressful and full of pressure.

Being able to talk about this with a partner can feel as if it is the best thing in the world.

Just be mindful of the pitfalls too.

The Negatives of Dating a Doctor

  • There is an HR or facility policy against it.
  • A doctor may have a hectic schedule and work crazy hours.
  • Risk of workplace gossip.
  • Risk of being perceived differently at work.
  • It’s going to be hard to separate your home and work life.
  • We didn’t talk about this much because we don’t think this should determine your relationship but it’s worth mentioning that doctors may have a lot of debt in the form of student loans.

The Positives of Dating a Doctor

  • Having someone else who understands what you go through working in healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can a nurse marry a doctor?

    Yes, a nurse can marry a doctor. While there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to workplace relationships, we have seen nurses dating doctors lead to marriage.

  2. Is dating a doctor worth it?

    Ultimately as a nurse, only you can answer that question. But yes, dating a doctor can be worth it if you find the right person who you connect with on a deep emotional level.


As long as human resources have no problem with it, dating between doctors and nurses can offer many rewards, such as being able to share the pressures of work.

But it’s important to establish the ground rules and work hard at the relationship within those rules if you both really want it to work out.

If you have other thoughts, opinions or experiences when it comes to nurses and doctors dating let us know in the comment section below.

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