The Calling: What Made Me Pursue a Nursing Career - page 2

by Ruby Vee

18,757 Views | 35 Comments

“Become a nurse just for the money? How can you possibly be a good nurse if you’re doing it just for the money?” The implication seems to be that in order to be a good nurse, one has to have a “calling”. This is the idea... Read More


  1. 2
    Before my clinlical class started our psych rotation, a psychologist spoke to us about nursing. He asked us why we wanted to be nurses. My fresh faced counterparts all said "I want to help people", or similar, familiar phrases.
    I kept quiet because my reasons were many, and that wasn't one of them.
    Money. Dependability. Basic financial reasons. The one that nobody mentions was the big thing for me.
    I like the way I feel about myself when I make a difference in somebody's life.
    ShaynaSmart and itsmejuli like this.
  2. 1
    enlightening post ruby... hugs .... aloha~
    itsmejuli likes this.
  3. 0
    I won't say that nursing was a calling of mine but it has been my dream since 5 years old. The profession didn't mean the same to me fresh out of school as it does today. I would however say that it defines who I am as an individual.... I give the best care that I can give and can't imagine doing anything else

    Thank you for sharing
  4. 3
    The world is full of varying personalities, and none are "right vs wrong." A good portion of our country journeys through life led primarily by their feelings, career choice included. The concern isn't so much about pay or security, but of good feelings and happiness and and people and puppies.

    Then there are the thinkers, who make moves based on pragmatic reasons almost exclusively. What makes the most sense for my pen and paper goals? Logically, what is best for me and my situation? No puppies.

    The two differing types never quite seem to understand each other. One sees the other as flighty and insincere, or cold-hearted and materialistic. Both are simply living life the way they're program to live it.

    If I were to follow my "calling" with zero thought to odds and bank account balances, I wouldn't be pursuing nursing school. I'd be pursing volunteer work abroad or working in a coffee shop in NYC trying to make it on Broadway. I don't think doing something that does't make my heart flutter makes me a bad person. But I also don't think nursing making someone's heart flutter is a bad thing. The world isn't quite so black and white.

    I also think the "calling" is related to the intensity of some experiences people have with nurses. While I really and truly appreciate my accountant, I don't walk out of his office in tears, filled without gratitude for how he saved our financial lives. Maybe someday I will, but as of now he's brought forth zero emotion in me, and I've had no big A-HAH moment with accounting. Someone a bit more practical may look at him and say, wow, he has a stable job, decent income, and I can do math! A-HA!
    Last edit by Stephalump on Aug 7, '12
    ShaynaSmart, Patti_RN, and Spidey's mom like this.
  5. 2
    I personally feel that if you get into it to "help people" or "make a difference" you won't last long because people can be mean and ungrateful. I got into for the money but I stay in it because I have a passion for science and medicine. The awful personalities I come across are just pesky annoyances to me, like flies or mosquitoes buzzing around my head, and I brush it off. I won't let them get in the way of pursuing more knowledge. On the days that I do have sweet patients who are kind and thank me for what I do, it makes up for all the needy, abusive and negative people who try and suck the life out of me. It's a sweet perk to an otherwise so-so job, but I don't wake up in the morning expecting it to happen. I'm extremely happy and grateful when it does but it's not the whole reason I go to work every day.
    ShaynaSmart and RN In FL like this.
  6. 2
    Thank you for this! I don't feel like I have a calling to be a nurse, and people have thrown that in my face a lot. After all the "you need to know you're MEANT for this" and "you would have known your whole life if you had a passion for this, not just figuring it out now" it starts to get to you and you begin doubting youself. I loved reading this!
    SHGR and Ruby Vee like this.
  7. 1
    I never understood the idea that nursing has to be a "calling", or your not going to be a good nurse. Such nonsense, being a nurse doesn't equate with being a Nun, Priest or a Martyr, nursing is just a job like any other. Personally, if I could do it all over I probably would not become a nurse, like another stated on here, "I would be in NY trying to make it on broadway", for some reason it is only later on in life after we feel somewhat secure that it suddenly occurs to us what we should have done, and what would have made us happy. I have trememdous respect for those who follow their dreams early on without regard to whether they can pay their rent or have money to eat, while I am rather brave I guess I just wasn't brave enough.
    ShaynaSmart likes this.
  8. 1
    I appreciate all the perspectives here. Stephalump's probably mirrors mine the most.

    I came upon nursing by accident in my mid-thirties. Not a calling definitely although I do enjoy helping people.

    Everyone comes at life's decisions by their own road and no one should judge the other person.

    I too have been annoyed that you cannot be a good nurse unless you have "a calling" and that kindness matters MORE than smarts.

    edited to add: I've only worked in rural areas with patient/nurse ratios such that I do see nurses sit by patient's bedsides and hold their hands and listen. Even in the ER.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Aug 7, '12
    Patti_RN likes this.
  9. 0
    Great article!
  10. 4
    I am in nursing for the money, plain and simple. I do my job conscientiously and do the best I can for my patients, but the only reason I'm here is because administration pays me. I used to be much more idealistic, but following a major burnout crisis, I lost all that.

    I am glad that there are people who are in nursing because they love it. That's awesome. But those of us who have no passion for anything about our jobs but the paycheck are nurses just as much as those with a calling.
    Ambitiouz, ShaynaSmart, Natkat, and 1 other like this.


Top