why did you become a nurse

  1. Help with my daughter's school project - questions for nurses

    My daughter is in a focused high school that directs all of her studies toward her future career. She wants to be a Pediatric Nurse. One of the projects she has been given is to ask nurses why they became a nurse in the first place. Also she needs to know what being a professional healthcare provider means to you. Any help would be appreciated.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I became a nurse as a 2nd career after 10 years in the military, at 34 years of age. You might say I was"called" to it...It really is a long story spanning back 15 years. But the final thing that motivated me to become an RN was when I had my son. He was premature and had a birth defect, requiring surgery and intensive care. The staff that took care of me when in labor and after were WONDERFUL; and I wanted to pattern myself after them.

    However, the staff that cared for my son after his surgery were very unhelpful and did not keep us informed as much as we would have liked. They were rather cold and very clincal, but competent. (THESE WERE PEDIATRIC NURSES by the way).

    Anyhow, I was shown in the span of 4 months what GOOD nursing meant to me and what NOT GOOD NURSING (in the point of view of a patient/mom), was like. But BOTH motivated me to become an RN.....so I went back to school when my son was quite young, earning my RN when he was 4.

    I love what I do (ob/gyn nursing) and do it on my terms. I work when I want to; dont' when I am not able or desire to. I love my work and when I go in I try to give it my all. Bring an RN means to me, touching lives daily, really! I am there when newborns enter the world, when new families are made. How cool is that? It's what I always wanted to do. But being a health care professional is much more than this....

    Being an RN means to me, modeling healthy behaviors for others...eating well, getting rest, not smoking, etc. Being an RN means never, ever ceasing to LEARN. Health care is one of the most dynamic fields in the world; you have to be willing to evolve WITH it, if you want to keep up. So as an RN, you must be willing to go to school(beyond college) here and there, seminars, read, work all the time to keep current! But most important to me, being an RN means caring, and being compassionate. It is about reaching out and touching people in need and caring for them in a competent way. It is a daily challenge and NOT at ALL easy at times. Sometimes, I want to QUIT! But it is a huge part of who I AM.

    Yes, Everyone gets tired and has periods of burnout. When I do, I go to seminars, take a break, or just spend time with my family. Having a NON nursing hobby is critical to mental health. A good network of friends and family is also crucial. It is how I strike a balance in my life I leave my WORK at WORK, and when HOME am truly AT HOME! I wish your daughter the best in her school project. I hope I was able to help in my NOT very eloquent way.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 22, '02
  4. by   ptnurse
    I had the idea of nursing on my mind when I graduated from high school, but just did not have the confidence to really go for it. I gave nursing a second (more mature) look after a few unfulfilling years in the business world. This second look came as a result of being called home to help my mother when she had surgery. I just loved taking care of her. Her hospital stay and recovery involved lots of procedures and such that were not really for the squimish, but I just loved every aspect of her care and helping her heal. I just felt at home with it all. I felt kinda lost when she didn't need my help anymore. So I went back to school and became a nurse. It is just my niche. I really like it at the bedside. Nursing is just where I belong.
  5. by   eak16
    I became a nurse while living in Uganda. I saw many people who needed medical care and couldn't get it, either because there was none available at all of because they coudlnt afford that which was there. In an instant, i knew I would never feel as fulfilled doing anything else- I had to help these people. Working my way through school in acute care has only made me want to leave more! I plan on moving back to Africa permantly within five years of getting my RN.
    i have talked to other nurses who give lots of different reasons for going into nursing, as varied as wanting to work with females (from a male nurse), flexible hours and the ability to change specialties (as opposed to an M.D.), daily challenges and fulfillment from taking care of peoples needs, and "fascination with tubing".!
  6. by   adrienurse
    I was told all through my childhood, "now one of you has to become a nurse". My mother is one of those retired but not actually retired nurses. I rebelled, I told her "no way am I ever going to be a nurse!". Not exciting enough for me! I wanted to be an astronaut or a palientologist.

    Deep down, her life at the hospital facinated me. I knew all of the nurses there and some of the doctors. I knew all about running the hospital (mom was a DON). It was in my blood and slowly creeping into my system. When someone was hurt, I knew instinctively what to do, I noticed that I seemed more and more suited to being a nurse. I admitted this to myself and my family, when I was in highschool. I was first interested in training to be a psychiatric nurse, but I was pursuaded to go for my bachelor's degree -- because it would give me the most options including psychiatric nursing.
    And now here I am!
  7. by   Tinkertots
    My mom battled cancer for 8 yrs. Over the yrs, the nurses did so much for my family. I just want to give back. The only way I could do it was to become a nurse also. Despite all the ups and downs of nursing, It was the best decision I have ever made.
  8. by   traumarns
    I became a nurse after getting a bfa in theater. just wanted to go AWAY to college, and this school offered me a full scholarship.

    anyway, worked temp jobs and office jobs blah blah blah, was bored out of my mind. Mom was an rn, dad a pharmacist, and step mom rn.

    I wanted a career that i could interract with a people from all walks of life and ages.
    one that when i got bored, or burnt i could move to a different field without having to back to school.(boy was i way off on this one. I still have not finished school.) lmao.

    I wanted a career that I could go home and feel like i actually made a difference.

    Let me tell you, there have been times i really wanted to leave nursing and go into something else like accounting. but each time i start looking into college for a business degree, something great happens at work, and i think. NO WAY could i sit in an office all day, every day.

    forget it. i love this profession, even the ups and downs. the frustrations, and dissappointments can be numerous. if i have one pt, or one family member say wow thanks for helping me last night, that makes up for all the negative feelings.
  9. by   Teshiee
    When I arrived in Los Angeles in 89. I needed a career that wasn't so 9 to 5 and offer many options. I started taking classes consisting math and english and some of my fellow classmates told me about LVN cirriculum. I didn't have a clue what a LVN was but they said it was like a RN. I pursued it and wanted my RN eventually because of the limited scope LVN had. I was pleased because we were in such demand I wasn't in a lock down situation where I would be at a office job tolerating do or die tactics. I was a PBX operater, unit clerk and secretary I had enough of those jobs. No room for advancement no matter how hard I worked. In nursing you can pave your own career if you wish. I do not regret my decision. Nursing is hard work and challenging at times but I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China of course if I hit the super Lotto but that is another story.
  10. by   researchrabbit
    I was not going to be a nurse. Mom's a nurse, two aunts are nurses, my sister's a nurse, she married a nurse...

    When I was in high school, I was going to be a psychologist. I was scared away from that profession after my first psychology professor groped me in his office my 1st week at college (far from home). Got a degree in languages instead, was going to teach...

    Found myself doing research in psychiatry, decided I liked it and wanted the nursing degree to complement the job; I was married then and he objected. Later we divorced (not over that) and I went back to school and got the RN.

    What does it mean to me? It means I'll always be able to get a job for a similar amount of money. It means I can work here or go somewhere else and work there. It means I can work with the psych patients who have always intrigued me (and, as time goes on, I have realized that Psych Nursing suits me much better than counseling would have).
  11. by   VictoriaG
    I always thought I wanted to be a nurse, but had mo idea why. Instead I went into cosmetology, married well, lead a frivolous life for a while.
    When I was 26, my dad and I went to thre hospital to visit my grandfather, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. As we entered his room, we met an amazing sight. A nurse was sitting on Grandad's bed, holding him in her arms as he sobbed against her. My dad and I backed out of the room, embarrassed, as if we had intruded on a very private moment. I was amazed, I could never imagine holding and comforting a stranger. That nurse became my role model. I wanted to be like her.


    I have been a nurse now 12 years, have held and comforted many many strangers. A few months ago, I wrapped my arms around an elderly man as he was getting a spinal, whispering ressurances in his ear. As his Versed took effect, he held me tightly, and said, "It feels so good to hold you." I did not take offence, or see anything sexual in it. I saw my Grandad.

    Nursing makes me feel good about me, because I can offer comfort and care to others. Not just the patients, but their families, my co-workers, the docs. It has made me a better person. I have never regretted it.
  12. by   MarcusKspn
    I decied to start my nurse training 1 year ago. I thought a long time about becoming a nurse and if I really wanted to go through with it (you are what? a male nurse?). I started out as a CNA in a LTC facility to see if I would like the nursing field. I felt weird being a big guy taking care of all the little old people. But the other aides were always complementing about how gentle I was, and how much they could see that I actually cared for my residents. I quickly fell in love with nursing, and right now I am in LPN school, I plan on getting my RN after that and open up all the doors.
  13. by   Audreyfay
    I always wanted to be an elementary teacher. But, when I was a junior in high school, there was a surplus of teachers, and they weren't getting jobs. I couldn't imagine going to school for 4 years and then being unemployed. All of my friends were going into nursing, so I did too. I was able to live at home too.
    26 years later, I never regretted the decision. I am now a nurse who teaches, and am a diabetes educator.
    The nursing profession's signficance to me is that through my knowledge and actions, I am able to help the person with diabetes learn to cope with their disease, and attain optimum health, for them. I also see myself as a patient advocate, who is there to help the person be the director of their care, to get the best outcomes possible.
  14. by   pianonurse
    Originally, for steady income. I remain a nurse because I've grown to love my profession. I can be stressful at time. Actually left the profession for a while. Came back, though, when I found myself missing the care I used to provide. However, this time I picked a place to work which fit my needs in terms of hours, scheduling, pay, etc. In return, I give the best darn 8 hours of my time. And the patients seem to appreciate my care.

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