The Nurse holds a special place in my heart as she was the first Killer that I tried to learn how to play well in Dead by Daylight. She can be very tricky to pick up but comes with some fun mechanics that can be a blast to play with.
So, if you’re looking to expand your stable of Killers or want to start learning a more mechanically complicated one, the Nurse is a starting point that I can’t recommend enough, and you’ve come to the right Dead by Daylight Nurse guide to get started.
Key Info Up Front
- Name: Sally Smithson
- Power: Spencer’s Last Breath
- Movement Speed: 3.85 m/s
- Terror Radius: 32 meters
- Perks: A Nurse’s Calling, Stridor, Thanatophobia
Playing the Nurse focuses on tracking and spotting survivors so they can’t hide for long, allowing you to strike when they least expect it. You have to learn the intricacies of the Nurse’s unique ability and take full advantage of any mistakes that survivors make throughout the match.
The Nurse’s story was introduced when she was added to the game as part of the chapter DLC Chapter 1: The Last Breath. It tells how Sally Smithson moved to a new town to live in a house built by her husband with hopes of raising a happy family there. She easily imagined a long life with smiling children and her loving husband in the house.
But before any of her dreams came to fruition, Sally’s husband was killed on the job while working as a lumberjack. She found herself completely alone in a new town without a source of income or friends to lean on.
So, she accepted a job as a nurse at the nearby Crotus Penn Asylum, working a difficult night shift because of her lack of formal education.
Working at the asylum was hard, and after working there for two decades, it took a toll on her mind as memories of the horrible things she saw there flashed before her eyes whenever she slept.
The memories eventually drove her to insanity, driving her to want to purify those who she saw as being plagued with evils and sicknesses that drove them to act so cruelly to her.
She began concocting a plan that culminated in the morning staff arriving to find fifty dead patients and four staff that had all been slain by Sally overnight.
She allowed herself to be taken as she sat on the floor, rocking back and forth unevenly. She was transported in an ambulance to the hospital, but it crashed in the woods along the way, killing all inside after the Entity took her.
Like all killers, the Nurse comes with three unique perks that define her playstyle. As you level her up and progress through her Blood Web, you can find teachable variations of the three perks that can be unlocked and used for other Killers to make some of the most powerful builds in the game.
The Nurse, in particular, has some of the most commonly used perks in high their builds, so leveling her up is a great option even if her particular playstyle doesn’t speak to you very much.
A Nurse’s Calling
This is one of my favorite Killer perks in the game and helps you strike survivors when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable. It reveals survivors’ auras within 20/24/28 meters of you whenever they heal themselves or are being healed by another survivor.
This perk is focused on making it easier to hear your prey. It increases the volume of the survivors’ breathing by 0/0/25% and their Grunts of Pain by 25/50/50% to help you find them even when you can’t see them.
This perk is a very strong option that severely hinders survivors’ progress. Each survivor injured, hooked, or dying gives a 4/4.5/5% penalty for every survivor’s Repairing, Sabotaging, and Cleansing speeds. This can stack up to 16/18/20%, so it can carry a hefty penalty for survivors to deal with constantly throughout a match.
The Nurse wields a rusty bonesaw taken from her old asylum as her primary weapon, allowing her to carve through the flesh and bone of her victims alike. Her power is called Spencer’s Last Breath, a mystical ability gained by harnessing power from the final breath of the Crotus Penn Asylum’s previous warden Patrick Spencer.
The Nurse’s ability is to blink up to 20 meters forward, including through objects. After using the Blink, there is a brief window where the Nurse can execute a Chain Blink that can reach up to 12 meters.
After the final Blink is done and the Chain Blink window has closed, the Nurse suffers a three-second Fatigue period before she can act. You can also perform Blink attacks to suddenly injure or down a survivor, although it does come with the caveat of putting you into the Fatigue period if you miss.
The Nurse also is afflicted by Lightburn, meaning that she is especially susceptible to the effects of Flashlights and Flash Grenades used by survivors.
Getting the hang of the Nurse’s blinks can be pretty hard to do, but once you do, I think it is one of the most fun Killer traversals in the game.
Chaining together a series of blinks to cut off a survivor or surprise them while they hide is a pure blast, and I’ve never gotten sick of it. You can also improve the Nurse’s blinks to fit your build and playstyle using these add-ons:
|Common||Wooden Horse||Decreases the length of Fatigue from missing a Blink Attack by 0.5 seconds.|
|White Nit Comb||Halves the lunge range of Blink Attacks but doubles the Bloodpoints you get from performing them.|
|Plaid Flannel||Marks the target location of your Blinks.|
|Metal Spoon||Boosts the volume of a survivor’s Grunts of Pain for one minute after they are hit with a Blink Attack.|
|Uncommon||Pocket Watch||Increases the Chain Blink window by 13%.|
|Dull Bracelet||Decreases the range of Blinks by 4 meters but awards double Bloodpoints for Precise Blinks.|
|Dark Cincture||Decreases the recharge time of Power Tokens by 0.4 seconds for each Token.|
|Catatonic Boy’s Treasure||Decreases the additional Fatigue gained from Chain Blinks by one second.|
|Bad Man Keepsake||Survivors hit with a Blink Attack have their auras revealed if they heal within 28 meters of the Nurse for one minute.|
|Rare||Spasmodic Breath||When the Nurse hits a survivor with a Blink Attack, her movement speed increases to 4.6 m/s, but they cannot Blink again for one minute.|
|Heavy Panting||Adds 4 meters to the max range of the Nurse’s Blinks but also increases their charge time by 20%.|
|Fragile Wheeze||Decreases the recharge time of Power Tokens by 0.6 seconds for each Token.|
|Ataxic Respiration||Decreases the Fatigue from Blink by .25 seconds.|
|Anxious Gasp||Forces survivors to scream when you Blink past them, rewarding you with 200 Bloodpoints in the Deviousness category.|
|Very Rare||Kavanagh’s Last Breath||Adds 6 meters to the maximum range of Blink and increases the charge time by 30%.|
|Jenner’s Last Breath||Can be used to Blink back to the previous location after using a Blink.|
|Campbell’s Last Breath||Can be used to perform a half-charged Blink in the direction the Nurse is facing after completing a regular Blink.|
|“Bad Man’s” Last Breath||Every 60 seconds, the Nurse gets the Undetectable status effect for 16 seconds after a successful Blink Attack.|
|Ultra Rare||Torn Bookmark||Increase your maximum Power Tokens by one and makes them recharge 50% faster.|
|Matchbox||Makes the movement speed of the Nurse 4.2 m/s for the entire game but decreases your maximum Power Tokens by one.|
If you want to learn the Nurse, your early hours with her will be focused on learning how to take advantage of her Blink ability to its full potential.
So, I would advise starting with the below builds until you find your playstyle and want to experiment with different ways to play the Killer. These are the builds that I used and have tested to be more than capable of learning Nurse and winning matches.
Nurse Educational Build
This build is all about learning how to play the Nurse. It also is a good build if you don’t have a ton of experience with other Killers, so I focused on not using any teachable perks from other Killers. No matter your progress in the game, you can use this solid build to start learning how to play the Nurse effectively.
Because of the lack of outside perks, this build focuses on using the Nurse’s Blink ability to its absolute highest potential. This build makes sure that you are a lethal hunter using the Blink ability to surprise survivors and deal a decisive blow of damage before they have time to react properly.
While you use this build, you should also take the time to try out the Nurse’s different Add-Ons and see how they impact the Killer and see which you prefer.
I also recommend using these perks:
- A Nurse’s Calling (Nurse): Reveals survivors’ auras within 20/24/28 meters of you whenever they heal themselves or are being healed by another survivor.
- Thanatophobia (Nurse): Each survivor injured, hooked, or dying gives a 4/4.5/5% penalty for every survivor’s Repairing, Sabotaging, and Cleansing speeds.
- Stridor (Nurse): Increases the volume of the survivors’ breathing by 0/0/25% and their Grunts of Pain by 25/50/50%.
- Sloppy Butcher: Increases how frequently injured survivors bleed by 50/75/100%, and the rate their incomplete healing progression degrades by 15/20/25%.
Once you get used to the Nurse a bit, this build can be fun because it mixes things up to catch survivors off guard, especially if they have experience playing against more typical Nurse builds.
This build again emphasizes your Blink ability, so before you pick this one up, make sure you know how to use it effectively.
The Ambush Nurse build is also all about aggression, so you won’t want to waste any time getting set up or trying to gather information about your targets. Instead, strike fast and strike hard to prevent them from getting set up or make a game plan for how to deal with your playstyle.
This will help you end games quicker than the beginner build and is a ton of fun because of how aggressive you’ll be playing. I recommend pairing this build with Add-Ons like Spasmodic Breath and Ataxic Respiration to help you keep the pressure on.
- Barbeque & Chilli (Cannibal): Reveals survivors’ auras for four seconds after hooking a survivor.
- Bamboozle (Clown): Increases the speed you can vault over obstacles by 5/10/15% and blocks that location for survivors for 8/12/16 seconds.
- Spirit Fury (Spirit): Instantly breaks the next pallet you are stunned by after you have broken 4/3/2 pallets yourself.
- Enduring (Hillbilly): Reduces the duration you are stunned by pallets by 40/45/50%.
This build is my absolute favorite Nurse build and has seen me climbing the Killer ranks with general ease. It focuses on increasing the Nurse’s map control capabilities to allow you to take full advantage of her Blink to catch survivors when they make even a single misstep.
To do this, however, you have to have advanced knowledge of both the Nurse’s kit and general map control as a Killer in Dead by Daylight, so you’ll have to invest some time before getting this far.
With this build’s Add-Ons, I tend to run Spasmodic Breath and Kavanagh’s Last Breath or Fragile Wheeze. These help the Nurse’s Blink be even more versatile and reactive so that any mistakes you make or loopholes the survivors throw at you can be countered with a quick, well-placed Blink.
- Hex: Undying (Blight): Reveals the auras of survivors as long as they are within 2/3/4 meters of a Dull Totem. Also takes on the effects of other Hex Totems if they are destroyed by survivors.
- Hex: Ruin (Hag): Makes generators regress 100/150/200% faster whenever a survivor isn’t actively working on them.
- Tinkerer (Hillbilly): Whenever a generator reaches 70% repair, it is revealed with a Loud Noise Notification, and you are given the Undetectable status effect for 12/14/16 seconds.
- Fearmonger: Afflicts survivors with Blindness and Exhausted whenever they try to repair a Generator. This effect stays for 3/4/5 seconds after they stop repairing the generator.
Question: How Good is the Nurse in Dead by Daylight?
Answer: The Nurse is a competent Killer who can wipe out a team of survivors with ease if the player knows how to adapt well enough.
Question: How Hard is the Nurse in Dead by Daylight?
Answer: The Nurse is one of the hardest Killers to learn in Dead by Daylight because of how easily players can misuse or mess up her Blinks. However, if you put the time in and practice her, you are rewarded with one of the most fun and versatile killers in the game.
Question: Is the Nurse Still Disabled in Dead by Daylight?
Answer: No, the Nurse was only temporarily disabled so that the developers could take the time to iron out various technical issues and bugs that the Killer had at the time.
The Nurse was the first Killer in Dead by Daylight to have a Blink ability, and she is still a ton of fun even after many more Killers have been added to the game.
She does not come with much complexity as some newer Killers, but she is still an absolute blast to play and is my go-to Killer whenever I want to have a good time terrorizing some survivors.
Her perks are also extremely useful for nearly every other Killer in the game, so if you are a Killer main, it is more than worth paying some attention to the Nurse.