Why I want to become a nurse

by OKNurse2be

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I have been reading how a lot of nurses are saying that there really isn't a great market for nurses these days, and how nursing is both wonderful and not so wonderful. Both the negative and the positive posts have made me think about my motivation behind why I am deciding to go down this somewhat uncertain path.

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    Why I want to become a nurse

    My choice to become a nurse is really multifaceted. There is no single reason that stands out, but it's a combination of wanting to help people, a deep admiration for nurses that I know, and the knowledge that the pay scale is better than what we have coming in now.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you have witnessed a medical type of crisis? I have, and to not know what to do was paralyzing in a way. I was cashiering at a grocery store and the lady I was checking out, who also was very visibly pregnant, passed out and fell and smacked her head on the till in back of her. She was unconscious for about 3 minutes. To witness this and to hear that deafening sound of her head hitting the hard plastic till behind her still sends a chill up my spine. It just so happens that a lady was walking towards the exit and she saw what happened and immediately knew exactly what to do. She said she was a nurse. Truth is, any of us could "become first on the scene" of an accident, or be present when someone has a heart attack. There really is no guarantee in life not to, and I can only imagine how empowering it would be to KNOW what to do in that situation. By no means am I implying that one should seek these things out, but rather be willing to use our skills outside of the four walls of a facility should the need arise. The ability to know what to do in a situation, and thus being able to help people is something I am looking forward to.

    The ability to help people is perhaps one of the biggest motivator for me. As a nurse you get to touch people when they are at their very lowest. People aren't always on their best behavior, but just being able to care for a person and help them restore their health is a reward in itself. I realize that I will not always get a thank you, but I hope that seeing a very sick person overcome their illness will be enough of a satisfaction, to know that my skills and expertise had a part to play in their recovery. I also am acutely aware of the fact that not every person will walk out of the hospital alive. Death is a fact of life, and although I dread the day when I experience my first death of a patient, I know that it's something that I must overcome. Quite often I see posts where family members of patients also need to be cared for, and how they to some extent become patients more than the person laying in the bed. I hope that I won't ever get so busy that I overlook the needs of a family member or a loved one.

    Likewise, having nurses in my family and friends who are nurses, I have seen the gentler, caring side of nurses. I can honestly say that the family members I admire the most are nurses. Not because nursing is a status symbol, but rather nursing becomes who they are. There is nothing like scraping your knee as a child and having the "no nonsense" expertise of a retired school nurse, who also happens to be your grandmother, take care of it and make it all better. When I think of the quintessential nurse, I do think of my grandmother, and although she would be quite lost in today's modernized nursing environment, I think her capacity for caring is as strong as ever. She just turned 94 by the way. From my grandmother, my aunt and also my sister I have seen the various capabilities and qualities and growing up I had a desire to be just like them.

    Finally, there is the financial aspect of it all. Although I have wanted to become a nurse for many years, I have married and had children first. My husband works a "full-time and then some job," but the pay could most definitely be better. With a family to support, a career in nursing is potentially the difference between "making it" and "making it with a little bit extra." The starting rate for registered nurses in my state is a solid four dollars more than what my husband makes an hour, and that is not including any differentials. I know full well that finding a job might take a while in the beginning, but I have hope that when I do find myself employed that it will be the perfect position for me. If not, then I will do my very best with what I have.

    I am not expecting nursing school to be an easy endeavor. I am grateful that I have a good support system in my mother and my husband. It is hard to balance family life, studies, and time for me all at once, but we have made it work this far and I know we will keep making it work somehow. I am excited about the challenges to come and the rewards to follow. If you managed to read this far, I would love to hear about your reasons for becoming a nurse as well. Thanks for reading.
    Last edit by Joe V on May 7, '12
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    OKNurse2be joined Feb '09 - from 'A town'. Age: 31 Posts: 168 Likes: 195; Learn more about OKNurse2be by visiting their allnursesPage


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    4 Comments so far...

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    Thanks for sharing this!

    I've been debating weather or not to go into Nursing for a couple years now. I've gone back and forth. Listed the pros and cons. I've also looked up stories like yours to see what others have to say.

    I'm looking into a CNA program at the moment because I just want to see if it's for me or not. Get my feet wet and get some experience.

    Like yourself I just desire to have that "I know what to do" in a crisis and be able to help someone even outside of my work place. Even when my family gets hurts or gets sick I just want to be able to tell them how to feel better ya know?

    I desire to help people. I desire to encourage others. That's my main reason for looking into going into nursing.

    Thanks again for sharing!
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    thank you for your post this realy beautiful good luck
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    Heya! Thank you for sharing your post, I found it to be a wonderful read and I'm glad to know that others have some of the same reasons that I do for wanting to become a nurse. There are many reasons why I want to become a nurse too and I can never seem to narrow down the main reason, but here are a few.

    When I was growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. I used to watch the Cosby Show all the time and wanted to deliver babies just like Doctor Huxtable. Then when I was a pre-teen, my aunt had started medical school, so I was really excited to have a family member who I hoped could be a better role model than my parents (mother's an alcoholic
    ). So anywho, as time went by and high school came, the idea of medical school and the cost just seemed outrageous and with no help from the folks and average grades of Bs, lack of support. It just seemed a waste of time. But I've always kept the health profession as my ideal job.

    I did start college with the idea of a Psych degree, but as I got further into some of the classes, I realized that it just was not for me. I started working at Walmart when I was 16 and was still working there. My salary was pretty sweet for an hourly associate and so I ended up quitting school because I didn't want to fork up anymore money and I just could not decide what I wanted to do. At the time, I still had doctor on the brain and it never occurred to me to think of nursing (not sure why). I worked with wally world for 9 yrs and finally got the heck out of there but also wanted to stay home with my daughter and was expecting another on the way.

    My brother-in-law, who is about 5 yrs younger than me, went to school to be a nurse and now he is a registered nurse in his home country of Australia. We would talk about it and he would tell me what nurses did and how much they got paid, etc. So I think this is about the moment when I started thinking of nursing as a career, it was everything that I wanted that was close to being a doctor, but without all the schooling and the high loans for medical school. So for about 2-3 years, I did a lot of research and started to learn everything I could about nursing in America. I think it really started to grow on me and I realized that nursing is what I truly wanted to be, not a doctor. To me, nursing seemed like a wonderful rewarding job, where I could finally help people which is what I love to do. That was one of my reasons for picking psychology as my first major, I wanted to help people who had come from broken homes like me. But psychology is a different type of science, and it requires lots of research, which I am not into at all. I'd rather read articles about others research than to have to go out into the field and do it myself.

    When my oldest daughter was 2, she had a terrible fever one night and I had given her a sponge bath to lower her fever. I had called Kaiser Permanente and talked to an advice nurse and did everything I was suppose to. She was sitting with me on the bed and leaned back and bumped her head into the headboard and just stopped moving. I heard the smack and then silence, turned around and she was shaking. I grabbed her, flipped her over and watched her eyes roll back into her head and her face turning blue. I knew it was a seizure, because I have a long history of them from my teen years, but I'd never seen it on a child. It was the scariest thing in the world and I was screaming at my husband to call 911 while tears streamed down my face. I have never felt more helpless in my entire life. When the paramedics arrived, she had come out of her seizure, but her lips were still blue and she was sleeping peacefully. They told us that she had probably had a febrile seizure and that it was quite common in children under 3. We took her to the emergency room and they checked her over and she was fine, but that night still remains as a picture perfect imagine in my mind. I remember screaming at my husband that it wasn't fair, if I had stuck with school, I could be a doctor or nurse by now and would not feel so helpless. This was definitely my turning point for wanting to go back to school.

    A few months later, my husband lost his job, but he was lucky and was able to get a new one in 2 months and that was finally my turning point to officially go back to school. We lost over $20k from his paycheck switching jobs and it hurt so bad. We've never lived off such a small salary ever, it was a real smack in the face as we had to learn to cut costs everywhere. We are still struggling today, almost 2 years later, as we try to survive with the four of us and barely any income. My in-laws are even paying our mortgage so that we don't have to lose our house or uproot the girls. The paycheck for nursing would be wonderful and I feel like I would never have to worry about finding a job because nurses are always needed everywhere, even if we have to move states or countries, I will always be needed and I like that type of job security.

    Right now I'm back in school taking pre-nursing classes and trying and hoping to finally get excepted into a nursing program at a school near me, but competition is rough. Even though I still have mostly B's, I still have quite a few A's, more As than I've ever had in my life, but still feel like a failure. It's like, I finally figure out what I want to do, took me over 10 yrs or so to figure it out and I have to pick the one profession that has limited space for applicants. It's depressing, lol. But I'm not gonna give up, I've never wanted something so bad in my life. I've always been the type to let others go first and just wait at the back of the line for my turn, but this time, no way, I want to be a nurse and I will do anything to get in there.

    I worry though, if nursing might not fit me, I'm a shy person and can have trouble starting conversations with complete strangers. But I keep thinking, that if its my job and that's what I do, I don't see why I would have a problem asking someone how they feel today or if there's something I can do to help make their day. I enjoy the satisfaction of helping someone in need. That was one of the benefits of working at wally world. I figure nursing is kind of like customer service, except instead of helping people pick out their soap and shampoo, I'm helping them live longer and healthier, and I love that idea very much.

    So sorry it's a long post, but I loved how you shared your story and I wanted to share mine. I've met a few nursing majors at my school and they always seem to have the quick answers for wanting to become a nurse. I just sigh and say "well its a long story, but there are many reasons why I feel that this is the direction I should be going." For now, just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I get in there. Thank you









    FutureRN_26, Nimua, and zineb19861 like this.
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    I loved your post!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your story! I love how people become nurses for a million different reasons, yet can share that ultimate goal. I also have worked mostly retail/customer service up until now. I cashiered for Target, and I have been employed with The Children's Place ( the clothing store ) for the past 5 years on an as needed basis ( I get to keep my discount that way ). I have also done fast food, so I am no stranger to fast paced environments, and dealing with people. I know nursing is a totally different horse, so to speak, but people are people.
    Good Luck in your future schooling! I know you'll do great!


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