When You Can’t Carry: Self-Defense for Nurses | USCCA

Take a moment to Google “self-defense for nurses” or “safety for nurses.” A veritable laundry list of articles pops up suggesting nurses wear rape whistles or panic buttons, install GPS tracking apps on their phones, or (my personal favorite) put their keys in their scrubs pockets to use between their fingers as makeshift weapons. (Never do that. It will end with your own fingers severely lacerated and/or broken.)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/when-you-cant-carry-self-defense-for-nurses/

I’ve known some hospitals that sponsor self-defense training for their nurses. It’s more how to protect themselves from rabid patients, though. Those of us on the outside don’t realize how physically demanding- and sometimes dangerous- their jobs can be. Then after 12 hours of wrestling with patients, they have to do the long walk to their car in a dark parking garage.


I really dislike the way hospitals treat firearms and CCW in general. As a registered nurse with a wife that is a registered nurse, this is one of the classic places to find yourself in need of a gun and not be able to carry a gun.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin–2018, I believe, had a nurse murdered in the parking structure for Froedtert.
The really sad thing is how few cameras you’ll see in a parking structure at a hospital, and unbelievably, how few of the hospitals will press criminal charges against patients or visitors for assaulting staff. It’s a regular occurence.
Great article, Kat.

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Many years ago when I was a young peace officer I remember a violent attack on a nurse. A fellow grabbed her in the parking lot, he was a convicted and released rapist. They always are000
He was assaulting her when she pulled a .380 automatic and stuck it in his ribs. It jammed after the first shot and the wound did not stop him. She was badly hurt.
A close friend I went to school with was a psychiatric nurse. Very smart, very dedicated, and very good at what she did. Well paid too eventually took a great job in another state. She had a special holster sewn into her bra and carried a Colt .25 auto every day she went into the ward. A quick head shot was her only hope. She said I love my people but they are not going to kill me.
At Ryker’s Island, NY, several counselors and Psychiatrists and counselors have been killed by inmates. Just my experience. I would recommend at least a good strong combat pen, better a good folding knife. It might look like part of the gear000 or a neck knife
Excellent article.


Yes, the new and improved ‘tactical pen’.

Some carried ball point pens for decades, and it was always a backup weapon even on airplanes in the US, Europe, Africa, Central America, and Asia…

Also, the old US Government pen had a metal ink well, and if on an aircraft, the ink well could be used to ‘safe’ a military firing device.

Best is to get as far away as possible, but when on an aircraft, that simply is not an option.

Always keep ball point pens handy, and the Zebra metal pen is a good one, especially if you do not want to have a tactical pen that actually looks like a defensive weapon.

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An automatic ‘jammed’ into the side of the attacker may cause the firearm to fail. A revolver will fire and usually fire a second time as there is no slide to come out of battery.

A .25 to the head is also a good option.

And metal body ball point pens like the Zebra.