Background: There is acquiescence in the nursing profession that patient demand must be met and patient turnover accomplished within a minimal/rushed timeframe. The growing and complex healthcare needs of an ageing population mean moments of vulnerability and unhurried care provision are now often looked upon with disapproval and discomfort, when such moments should be celebrated for their altruism and humanness. Aim and objective: The aim of this article is to share a critical reflection on compassion and vulnerability in nursing. An exploration of the influence and significance of vulnerability in the nursing profession will shed light on the experiences of a student nurse during clinical placements. Conclusion: By allowing themselves to become vulnerable, contemporary nurses will be better able to establish a work ethic focused on delivering person-centred compassionate care and a high level of patient safety. This enables compassionate care to be offered despite the common emphasis on patient turnover, and suboptimal workplace cultures.