Why did you become a nurse

  1. As you look around, and see the familiar faces of your fellow nurses today, look past the image that you see everyday, look past any conflicts that you may have, and think about what defining moment in that person's life, made them decide to become a nurse, to decide to care for people everyday, day in and day out, working long hours, sacrificing their families for their education.
    My defining moment came when I was working as a nurses aide, with an LPN, unlike I had ever met. She would hardly sit down her entire shift. Her face would be red, and she would have sweat dripping off of her, because she had been helping me on the floor when we were short staffed. She never cut corners, and always went the extra mile for her patients. I had asked her, why she wanted to work in a nursing home, why hadn't she wanted to be a real nurse and work in a hospital. I found that answer out for myself. One evening, I had brought all of the residents out of the dining room, and had laid all of them down, but one. This particular resident was a frail little lady, that was everybody's favorite. She had been gradually losing weight, and had been refusing to eat. This LPN was still out at the table, feeding her, I remember her saying," Come on Leta, one more bite, just for me," and Leta would take another bite, just for her. I knew at that moment that she was a REAL nurse, one with compassion, one that cared about the individual residents that she had built a rapport with. And at that moment, I knew I wanted to be a nurse, I wanted to be just like that nurse that had enough patience to sit and feed a little old lady, a few more bites, knowing that she still had things that needed to be done before she could go home to her family.
    That nurse was my sister, she passed away in 2001 with breast cancer. I am still striving to be that nurse, any time I want to take the easy way out, or take a short cut, I hear her voice saying, "Come on Sherry, go the extra mile, just for me."
    Think back to your moment, remind yourself everytime that you are feeling burnt out, why you became a nurse, what got you to this point in your life, and celebrate the fact that you are a nurse and you are appreciated.


    I wrote this for our inservice at work for National Nurses Week, interested in your defining moments
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   CoffeeRTC
    Wow, great story... To be honest, I dont know why. My sister just started nursing school, my mother is an LPN and said you should be a nurse too. I said Okay!
  4. by   justjenn
    Nursie30 - Out of all the posts I ever read - that was the most inspiring & wonderful one. Thank you for sharing & confirming my dreams of becoming an LTC LPN.

    Just jenn
  5. by   Tim-GNP
    That is a beautiful story.

    My greatest inspiration remains my sister [who is 20 years older than me]. My earliest memory of her as a nurse was when she took care of me as a child when I had Scarlet fever. She never left my side. I thank the good lord that she is still with me, today--- and hope God let's me keep her for years to come!
  6. by   sassynurse78
    Great Story! I do not think it was one thing or another that made me want to be a nurse, especially in LTC. It was many wonderfull moments that keeps me inspired everyday. Like tonight a woman who is usually grumpy and hatefull to everyone, I took some one on one time with her tonight, not only did I leave with a smile and I left her with one, but I felt the way kindness crosses generations, and the way Kindness nourishes the soul.
  7. by   healingtouchRN
    well because I didn't know what else to do.....& my grandma always said to me as a lil' girl,"you'd make a good nurse" as I was rubbing her feet as a 5 years old, & bringing her a cup of coffee (in an empty cup & saucer!) That youthful programming worked. I still rub feet & but I bring full water pitchers!
    What a great story! I have worked with some "Letas" in my day. They all make me proud to put on my white sneakers & lab coat as I head out the door. I can't tell you how many regular people, the one's that check your groceries at Walmart, the one's that give you cash @ the credit union....& they say "wow you're a nurse! What a tough job, we appreciate you!" makes ya want to do a little more (on occasion). To the Letas out there that bend over backwards for lil' ol' ladies, KUDOS!:kiss
    Last edit by healingtouchRN on May 19, '03
  8. by   Merry1
    Great story! I knew I was to be what I am today when I was 8 years old. All of my aunts are/were nurses and it is such a big part of who we/I are/am. I have lived life without nursing and I don't consider it as meaningful as when I do what I was born to do.
  9. by   GPatty
    I have always wanted to be a nurse, ever since I was a little girl adn my Mom tool me to a dr's office for a checkup and he caught me looking at al the jars with "goodies" in them and the silver tray in the exam room and.......(You know, all that stuff dr's used to use in their practices )
    He came in (he had to have been 90 then, but I thought he was almost like a god) and he told me that if I was still interested that much after I turned 16, I could come to his office and work as a nurse for him.
    I think about him frequently and wonder if he ever knew what an impact he had on a little girl. Wonder if he can look down from heaven and see that I AM a nurse now, and as I was going through all the bullcrap, I remembered him and the way I felt SO important when he asked me to come and work for him!
    God bless you, Dr. E.C. Brandt!
    (and I always thought nurses were the best....with their white caps on and white dresses.... )
    Everyday heros!
  10. by   JULZ
    Well I am not a nurse yet but am starting school this fall and my moment came when my aunt came home from work late one day and said she had a really long day, one of her patients in the ltc facility she had worked at passed away and she wanted to be there when her family came in because she had built a bond with them and wanted to help them through. All I thought was here is my aunt with 3 children at home, single mom, works so hard and still finds the time to help people through a time like this. she was a hero to me!!

    She has since passed away from a brain tumor (will be 7 years in June).

    Although the time she spent with all the chemo and meds made her a different person and her spirit faded away I know I will make her proud when I become a nurse and take over where she left off!!

    julz
  11. by   graysonret
    Very good story! Makes one think. I was always interested in the medical field, having an RN mother. Nursing books were easier to read than dad's accounting books. LOL. I was working in a shelter as a medic (1200 residents) when a friend gave me a pamphet about a nursing school. Wasn't all that interested but took the entrance exam anyway. That was 16 years ago. I owe Tom a debt I cannot repay, wherever he is.
  12. by   sbic56
    Wow...great story. Great sister.
  13. by   Barb(Old Biddy)
    When I was about 10 yrs. old my Dad told me that I should be a nurse and "serve my country". I have a chronic illness and spent alot of time in the hospital as a child. The nurses were beautiful in their white uniforms and caps. I still remember how clean they smelled while they were bathing me or changing my bed. I became such a fixture at the hospital that they made me a white cap and pin out of paper and let me sit under their feet at the nurses desk and look at pictures in their medical books. They even let me "answer lights" in my wheel chair and I would come back and tell them what the patient wanted. This was in the late 50's when parents weren't allowed to stay with their hospitalized children. (At Victory Memorial in Waukegan, IL) As it turned out, I got my A.D. because the nursing school was near my home in NE Miss. and the college ran a school bus for transportation. I didn't have the money to go to Miss. State College for Women to be a home ec. teacher, which is what I wanted to do at that time. Also, this guy that I craved said "Why don't you be a nurse? They make GOOD MONEY." I must have actually believed him. How was I to know he was from another planet?
  14. by   healingtouchRN
    great story! what planet was he from? :roll

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