I took a different approach to the essay. Here is what I wrote. Just got the acceptance letter yesterday.
1. Describe those life experiences which have influenced your choice of nursing as a career.
2. Describe personal qualities you possess that could contribute to a career in nursing.
3. How do you see yourself as a nurse practicing in the next 10 years?
Last August, as I waded in the middle of the Yellowstone River, my thoughts were concentrated on the native cutthroat trout that were feeding before me. How could I get one of these fish to take my dry fly? What more could I do to convince these fish that my fly was the real thing and not just an imitation?
I don't remember hearing the two grizzly bears. It's when I took my eyes off the trout and prepared to change my dry fly yet another time, that I noticed the mother grizzly and her almost full-grown cub meander out of the woods. Despite the obvious danger, I felt no fear. As I stood in the water, I'd say 100 feet away, I watched these two bears drink and play along the riverbank, and then disappear back into the woods.
That night, as I headed back home to Denver, I had time to reflect on that day's experience. I felt honored to be invited to share a brief moment in these animal's lives. I asked myself, how may people get to go to Yellowstone Park? Of these, how many get to see a grizzly bear while enjoying their favorite pasttime?
Upon graduating from high school twenty years ago, I started my own trucking business. After several years on the road, I left trucking to pursue a career in software design and development. Ten years later I graduated with a Master's degree in that field. It is that discipline of following a dream and sticking with it, that I bring into the nursing field.
Too often, today's society views education as a form of punishment rather than an opportunity. Granted, I too once held this view. Fortunately, I learned the opposite is true. Education provided me with the opportunity to witness those grizzly bears. It allowed me to participate in life, and not just sit on the sidelines as a spectator.
Today, as I write this essay, I do not specifically know what career path I will follow in the nursing profession. With this indecision, I see my career in nursing as an adventure. Academically, I hope that I can build upon the foundation that a nursing education at Saint Joseph's provides.
Someday, I hope to pass what I have learned about education and life to other people so that they too may witness their grizzly bear.
[ I submitted this with my application to St Joseph's School of Nursing on March 9th. Hope this helps.]