Per Diem Nursing

11 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Nurses

We don’t often think of famous actors, musicians, and reality television stars working in the healthcare industry. However, we’ve gathered an interesting bunch of celebrities who used to be nurses before they found fame. Here’s our list of 11 famous people who you wouldn’t have expected to be a former nurse.  

Tina Turner

Starting off strong, we have Tina Turner. Before her singing career took off, Turner was employed as a nurse’s aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital located in St. Louis, Missouri. Following her high school days, she chose to enter the nursing field (Hunt, 2022). However, her career in music quickly picked up and she had to leave it behind.  

Bonnie Hunt

Best known for her roles in popular movies like Cheaper by the Dozen and Jumanji, Bonnie Hunt also worked as a nurse in her lifetime. In fact, Hunt actually worked as an oncology nurse for five years before starring in several movies and TV shows. However, Hunt expressed that she wouldn’t have become a nurse if it wasn’t for her father who had insisted on it (Hunt, 2022). Nevertheless, we admire her for her years in the nursing industry.  

Naomi Judd

If you’re a country fan, then you’ll be interested to hear that Naomi Judd was a former nurse. Famous for her many country hits, Judd has also had her time working in the healthcare industry. After her brother passed away from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Naomi Judd decided to start her nursing career where she became an ICU nurse before becoming a country musician (Hunt, 2022).  

Julie Walters

Famous for her roles in Harry Potter and Mamma Mia, Julie Walters also began a career in nursing at one point in her life. However, her nursing career was short lived and only lasted about 18 months as a student nurse in training in England (Hunt, 2022). During her time as a nurse, she worked in several different units, such as coronary, casualty, and ophthalmology (Hunt, 2022).   

Adrien Holmes

This actor spent some time in the nursing field too before starting his career in Hollywood. Like his mother, Holmes graduated from a nursing school in Canada and entered the nursing field. He then went on to work in several units such as obstetrics, orthopedics, pediatrics, and the spine unit (Gaines, 2022).  

Jennifer Stone

Most people know this child star from her role as Selena Gomez’s best friend in the popular Disney show, Wizards of Wavery Place. During the pandemic, Stone volunteered her time working as a nurse to help where it was needed. She graduated from nursing school in 2020 and now fully practices as a registered nurse, specifically an ER nurse (Feeney, 2023).  

Mary Todd Lincoln

This former first lady and wife to Abraham Lincoln also took up the profession of nursing. A source mentions that Lincoln volunteered as a nurse during the war. She would go to Union hospitals and make her rounds while cheering up soldiers during a stressful and tense time (NursingCenter, 2014).  

Sonya Eddy

From playing a nurse on television to being one in real life, Sonya Eddy knows the nursing industry well. Best known for her role on the show General Hospital, Eddy is another celebrity that has spent some time in scrubs. She had a successful career as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and an actress before she passed away in 2022 (Bryant, 2022).  

Paul Brandt

Another country music singer that pursued a career in nursing is Paul Brandt. Also following in his parents’ footsteps to enter the healthcare industry, Brandt worked as a pediatric nurse up until 1996 when his music career fully took off. He had a love for the nursing field and would’ve stuck with it if his music career didn’t take the direction it did (Bryant, 2022).  

Luann de Lesseps

If you’ve ever seen or heard of the Real Housewives franchise, then you probably know Luann. Mainly known for her time spent on The Real Housewives of New York City, Luann has actually held many careers. From model to author, this reality television star even worked as a nurse for a brief time. She shared that she wanted to become a nurse because of her love for the elderly (Bryant, 2022).  

Kate Gosselin

Last but not least we have Kate Gosselin, a mother of eight who starred in the TLC reality television show Jon and Kate Plus 8. Before she became a mother, Gosselin worked as a labor and delivery nurse. Although she enjoyed her time as a nurse, she decided to focus on raising her family (Bryant, 2022). After giving birth to two twin girls, she later had sextuplets, leaving her with eight children to care for. 


We hope you were able to learn something new and interesting from this blog about celebrities and their nursing careers. If you or anyone you know is interested in pursuing a career in nursing, read our How to Become a Nurse blog today!