Is wanting to help people a cliche answer

  1. Hello,

    I will be applying to nursing school this year, and I know in school interviews and even job interviews, people ask why you want to be a nurse? I guess the biggest and obvious reason is to help people and that's my main reason. But some people tell me that's a cliche answer and everyone will say that. So what other reasons do people give?
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    About esunada

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 165; Likes: 93

    11 Comments

  3. by   purvislets
    Well, I haven't had to answer this question myself, but I would list a specific instance when you knew that nursing was for you. Did you have a great experience with a nurse at sometime? Witness an accident or see someone that was sick and wish you could have helped?
    Everyone says that they want to "help people", so you want to make yourself stick out a little more than that. Go into specifics of why you want to help.
  4. by   MauriceRC
    There are lots of other jobs you could do that would help people. Try thinking about what specifically draws you to medicine. My understanding is that the more specific you can be, the better.

    For example, I also wanted a job where I help people but I originally thought becoming a lawyer was the best way to do that. I got a job working at a non-profit law clinic and I saw that most of the issues our clients had were medical, not legal. I worked in family law so I saw a lot of divorce and custody issues. I remember how frustrating it was to see mothers come in and want custody of their children when the reason they lost the kids in the first place was because they were self medicating their schizophrenia with crack and prostituting to pay for it (seriously, I spoke with one of those moms at least once a week--so sad). Obviously, these moms never got their kids back. Time and time again the judicial system failed the clients because in order to get their kids back they didn't need LEGAL help, they needed to get healthy. That's when I saw how much of an impact health care has on all aspects of an individuals life and that's when I decided to switch focuses and try for nursing school with the ultimate goal of becoming a public health nurse.

    Everyone has different reasons, but it may take a lot of thinking to figure out what your specific reasons are. Try hard to be genuine with your answer, I think admissions people can see straight through BS.
  5. by   classicdame
    Wanting to help is a good reason to do anything - but you need to add what made you assess your life and determine that you had something to offer. What can you offer others (eagerness to learn, propensity towards science, ability to communicate well----)? I would be impressed if you could tell me why nursing school is but one step towards reaching your goal. What are other steps? Where do you see yourself in the future?
  6. by   Mell Bell
    I had to write an essay for my first nursing class stating why I wanted to be a nurse. I talked about wanting a career where I never stopped learning, and something that would consistently challenge me. If I get bored with one area of nursing, I can try something else. Having options is a huge factor for me. Helping people is not a bad answer, but it just kind of goes without saying. You wouldn't be there if you didn't care about helping people. They want an honest answer that makes you stand out, think about your personal experiences and being a patient, how you felt about your nurses. Brainstorm a little, practice interviewing with your friends and family, you'll do great.
  7. by   country mom
    Just keep asking yourself, "Why"?
    "I want to help people"- why?
    Because it makes me happy to help people (or whatever your answer is)- why?
    Eventually, you'll get to the core answer, which, in the end becomes your very own mission statement for your nursing practice.
  8. by   ghillbert
    Yes. You could "help people" by being a garbage collector. What do you like about nursing (or the idea of it)?
  9. by   Cathylady
    My daughter's required essay for admittance into VCU's school of nursing was interesting. She was honest and said that nursing wasn't something that she always wanted to do, she didn't have an epiphany as far as nursing was concerned. She continued to be honest in her essay and say that in today's market, nursing was a good career choice, it had room for advancement and continued educational opportunities, the pay was good as well as the benefits, and at the end of the day you helped someone and that was a good thing.
    She ended up not only getting accepted into the BSN program as one of 20 students out of 350 but she got a nursing scholarship as well.
    So, my advice is to be honest that seems as always, to be the best policy.
  10. by   RNperdiem
    You could also express a desire for really meaningful and important work. They don't call us essential workers for nothing.
    I agree that "help people" is a bit overused.
  11. by   justkellymarie
    I agree, just make it more personal. Obviously being a nurse is helping people, so just go in depth. Explain WHY you want to help people. Good luck!
  12. by   FowLaf24/7
    I believe this is a good answer. It is a starting point. I entered nursing school at a later age. My answer was along the lines: I know that nursing is a hard job. I have worked in a factory, and it was very hard work, but it did not have real goal or meaning. Nursing is hard work, but it makes a major impact on the receiving end, specially when one strives to give exceptional care. Working 12 hour shifts, with no breaks and a 10-15 minute lunch break, could be very taxing for an individual. But, I am still smiling after the 12, and feel good at what I am doing. This is the job for me....
  13. by   esunada
    Thanks for all your answers. I appreciate it!

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