This paper presents a discussion of the meaning of seeing the big picture in nursing, an expression frequently used among Danish nurses. The expression “seeing the big picture” has to do with managing the situation in its wider context. However, the expression has a rather imprecise meaning that might lead to misunderstandings. The discussion builds on findings from empirical studies of the practice of nurse leaders and clinical nurses. In both studies seeing the big picture was repeatedly used and interpreted to be a desire and a necessity. At first, we assumed seeing the big picture had to do with practical knowledge. Wonder and reasoning, however, brought us to virtues instead. Seeing the big picture, as mentioned by study participants, demonstrates human and professional pride. The study is useful in organisational, clinical and educational settings, in updating policies for nursing, enlarging nurses’ understanding of practice, and training student nurses in understanding nursing practice.1