They're really trying their best to help a friend get over their illness, but let's face it. They suck at it. It's another character's job to explain this without hurting them and assure them they appreciate the effort.
More dramatic moments might have the "nurse" reveal they have deeper emotional reasons for insisting on taking care of someone.
If the illness is relatively minor, such as a cold, the nurse in this trope may also be a Lethal Chef attempting to invoke Through His Stomach (in which case, they may serve soup, a Hot Drink Cure, or Foul Medicine).
Contrast with Annoying Patient.
- Sailor Moon: Minako Aino tends to the sick Rei and ends up causing all the discomforts and annoyances herself. Considered a major turning point to her Cast Speciation. Though at the end of the show, Minako gets sick and Usagi and Chibi-Usa show up trying to offer their own "help". Oooops.
- Pokémon with literal nursing pokemon (Chansey and its evolution Blissey). It's a case by case situation, with some being efficient and others inept, including an episode with a very clumsy Blissey who was an old friend of Jessie. XY brings us an equivalent episode featuring a clumsy nurse Wigglytuff.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Nagi attempts to help Hayate recover from his sickness; this version also shows her Lethal Chef side.
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki: Ouka gets sick and all hell breaks loose as Kyoka nurses him from a cold to a brain infection to breaking his right arm and leg.
- Kamen no Maid Guy: Fubuki gets sick and Naeka tries nursing her back to health, displaying her Lethal Chef credentials in the process.
- Nenji of Nanaka 6/17 gets two of these in the episode where he catches a cold. Nanaka and Kuriko both vie for the right to take care of him, and both fail miserably.
- Franken Fran is a genius doctor and really just wants to help; the only problem is that while she's almost certain to fix you, 99% of the time you'll really, REALLY wish she hadn't.
- In Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun, Mayu nurses Shungo in an episode but makes things infinitely worse by only stimulating THAT part of the body.
- In BlazBlue: Alter Memory, Noel tried to take care of a wounded Ragna. This trope took place. Oops.
- One arc of City Hunter has Ryo's newest charge as an incredible Klutz who work in a hospital as a nurse... And has a body count. The director of the hospital assigns her to the most unruly patients to try and make them leave.
- Sick Little Ponies (And A Dragon): Whenever Fluttershy gets sick, all her animal friends will care for her using whatever methods their instincts suggest. Unfortunately, being only animals they lack the sapience to realize that what works on a cat/dog/kestrel/bear might not work for a pegasus, especially when all these different techniques are being applied at once.
- The Man With a Plan in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead declares that the woman he hired to look after him is a terrible nurse - but he "knows he gets an erection every time he sees her", which makes up for it.
- In the Italian movie "Le Comiche 2" the two protagonists are initially male nurses who run over a man with their ambulance on the scene of a motorcycle accident. From that moment they mix up the guy they run into, who doesn't need medical attention, and the guy of the accident, insisting on taking the first to the hospital. Unfortunately they are two lunatics that basically knock him out, kidnap him and every time he tries to explain the situation or escape they cause him more physical damage. The tortures continues once they reach the hospital, here they manage to mix him with a female patient causing him to undergo a breast augmentation surgery whose result is shown later in the movie.
- In The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit, the kids decided they want to invent medicine. So they try goofing around in the cold until one of them gets sick. Eventually, one of them does and they try to give him all sorts of medicines...but none work and he just gets worse. Needless to say, the adult who discovers this mess is not amused.
- In Harry Potter, Gilderoy Lockhart insists on trying to heal Harry's broken arm himself rather than take Harry to the hospital wing, because he likes to show off. He ends up accidentally removing all the bones in Harry's arm.
- In the Warrior Cats book Veil of Shadows, after the false Bramblestar banishes both medicine cats from ThunderClan, he appoints Flipclaw as their new medicine cat - despite him not having any experience or knowledge of healing. Flipclaw tries to do his best to care for his Clanmates, but unfortunately he doesn't know enough to be any actual help.
- In an episode of House, several babies in PPTH are struck by a mystery disease. House eventually discovers that an elderly nurse working in the pediatric ward had a cold, which she transmitted to a teddy bear which was then given to a newborn.
- In Desperate Housewives, Mike is in a coma. Susan comes in every day to visit him and help the nurses with his care. She refuses to let the nurses shave him, preferring to do it himself. Cue Mike with bandages all over his face.
- In Parks and Recreation, Ann Perkins is actually a good nurse, but her instinctive urge to take care of injured or helpless people leads her to support her lovable slacker ex-boyfriend Andy for far longer than she should.
- Isobel Crawley of Downton Abbey is actually a very good, professionally-trained nurse... but sometimes she tries to act like a doctor, which she isn't. She does, however, convince the doctor to grow a pair and try a risky procedure on a guy who the doctor was willing to let die without it.
- Charlotte from the World War II Mini Series Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, who volunteers as a nurse on the Eastern Front, but has little medical expertise to match her good intentions. She improves as the years drag on... but her spirit takes quite a few hits.
- Compa from Neptunia isn't very good of a nurse, as she's still in training. She nearly ends up choking Nep-Nep to death trying to bandage her up.
- Despite being a doctor herself, Litchi Faye-Ling more or less fits in a dramatic manner: As a doctor, she's good at healing others... except her romantic interest Lotte Carmine, who became corrupted into Arakune. Attempts to help him involve things that makes other people question her intelligence, reasoning, sanity or being just blinded with love, including partially corrupting herself with the same thing that corrupted Lotte, joining a world-destroying evil group that only looked like they have a clue, but actually ran with very shady and Obviously Evil people, and by the time she did obtain a healing method (and also at least cutting ties with the group), all she got was that Lotte, in his most lucid manner, saying that he didn't want any help at all, it was one big misunderstanding from the start, rendering all her 'good intentions' for nothing. (except to use the cure on herself, presumably)
- One of the shorts of RWBY Chibi had Nora trying to take care of Ren while he lay in bed with a broken leg. Her actions being a homage to Annie Wilkes, Ren gets so frightened that he lies his leg is fine and hobbles away in pain, saying he will run laps around the courtyard in celebration.
- The "Wampa" episode of Star Wars: Galaxy of Creatures has Aree attempting to nurse a Wampa with a cold back to normal. Unfortunately, Aree's attempts are various warming situations, which just makes the snow-dwelling Wampa feel even worse.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: "Nurse Stimpy" has Stimpy bungling his way through an attempt to look after a sick Ren.
- I Am Weasel: Loulabelle, Weasel's assistant, who usually dresses as a nurse. Her debut was in the Season 2 episode "I.R. Mommy".
- DuckTales (1987):
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "A Bird in the Hoof": Fluttershy takes on this role when she makes off with Princess Celestia's sickly pet bird, Philomena, who turns out to be unresponsive to a variety of treatments. Twilight Sparkle gets in on the act, out of fear of what will happen to Fluttershy if Celestia finds out, and Hilarity Ensues. Turns out Philomena's a phoenix, and her "sickness" was from being at the end of her life cycle, just before the "spontaneously combust and rise from the ashes" part.
- Poor Sarah ends up being a victim of one of these, in the form of her bumbling older brother, in the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Is There An Ed in the House?". For example, when she asks for a tissue, Ed responds by forcefully attaching the suctiony end of a vacuum to her nose and yanking on it repeatedly, much to his sick little sister's terror.
- In the short, "What's Up Nurse?" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Looniversity Daze", Plucky pretends to be sick to get out of taking a test, and gets sent to the nurse's office.note To Plucky's horror, Elmyra Duff is the student nurse, who tries to check his reflexes and use a defibrillator on his head. When she tries to operate on him, Plucky admits that he lied and is well enough to take the test, and he and the other patients run away from Elmyra. Unfortunately, by the time Plucky gets back to class, the test is over and the students run over him, injuring him for real. To make matters worse, since Plucky missed the test, Elmyra is now his tutor.