I am 34, and recently quit my job as a corporate manager. It was a job I stumbled into, and there were things about it I loved - namely the people I worked with - but I found I missed simple human kindness; at the end of the day we were about making money, not about creating care and compassion and a nicer world.
I have thought about nursing since I was around 20 - it's the one profession I can think of that seems like it would best fit many parts of me. The thing I care about most in the world is human relationships; I love music and the out-of-doors and other things, too, but none of that has any meaning without the relationships we build with each other. Nursing just feels like it's calling me.
But I'm 34; to become a nurse I would need to move to the city (about 2.5 hours from where I live now), be in school for several years. It would be a huge commitment - financially, emotionally, physically. I would give up the security and calm I have now from being in a place that feels like home - a small, beautiful town where I've made good friends. Kind of a gamble.
Like I said, I have considered/felt called to nursing for many years. I feel I just wasn't ready until now; I feel like it takes tremendous strength to be a nurse, and confidence, and calm, and emotional resilience, and I don't think I had enough of those things until now. I would like to pursue this dream, but I can't tell if I'm crazy.
Have I really grown enough to have the qualities a good nurse has? And do I have unrealistic ideas about what nursing really is? Is the modern health system so difficult that there isn't much space for tenderness and real human connection? Am I strong enough to learn to hold patients' suffering without suffering myself? And how about the abuses I believe nurses sometimes suffer - at the hands of patients, of families, of the medical hierarchy; are those stresses so big I couldn't handle them, or could I learn how? So my question is this - what's it really like to be a nurse?