The Calling: What Made Me Pursue a Nursing Career - page 3
"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... Read More
Aug 10, '12Quote from NatkatI don't think the majority of nurses EVER subscribed to "the calling" theory. It was just a very vocal minority, and most of them in the new nurse, student nurse, pre-nursing student and wannabe groups. As you've become a nurse with some experience you're having less reason to cross paths with those groups and more reason to identify with us mean old biter nurses.It makes me happy to see that people's attitudes are changing about "the calling". I was shamed and bullied out of admitting that I was going into for money and job security. When I told people I was going into dialysis, they would sneer and snort as if my choice was beneath them. Now as I push the dialysis machine down the hall and run into my former classmates, at least once a day someone will ask me "how do I get into dialysis?". Yeah, getting into nursing to "help people" will put you on the fast track to burnout.
Aug 10, '12Quote from Ruby VeeI totally agree with this. But even now you won't see many nurses admit to money being the reason they got into nursing without qualifying that admission by saying "but that's NOT the only reason." Dealing with the stigma attached and the resulting flack from such an admission seems to be too much for most to handle.I don't think the majority of nurses EVER subscribed to "the calling" theory. It was just a very vocal minority, and most of them in the new nurse, student nurse, pre-nursing student and wannabe groups. As you've become a nurse with some experience you're having less reason to cross paths with those groups and more reason to identify with us mean old biter nurses.
Aug 15, '12After not doing so well in high school (save for my bio, chem, spanish, and music classes), I entered college not knowing what to do w/ my life. I chose bio originally, ended up taking O chem and got an A and A+ in the 2 courses. After that, I thought I could take on the world, so I decided to pursue med school. Thinking it over for years, realizing the lifestyle didn't match up w/ my desires, I took my biochemistry/molecular bio degree and got a lab job. Thinking about escaping, I looked at dental school; I quickly realized I have no desire to look in people's mouths all day, and it was much less of an interpersonal job than I was looking for. Never had I even thought of nursing until my ex-gf brought it up. After analyzing the pros and cons, I realized it can be a very satisfying and rewarding job that will get the bills paid and allow (hopefully) a more family-oriented schedule.
Sep 7, '12Absolutely LOVED this article! Thank you for sharing it.
This kind of reminds me of a conversation I was having with my wife a few weeks ago. We were having the "If every job paid the same, what would you want to do?" discussion. At first I said I would still want to be in nursing school. She looked at me and said, "No you wouldn't. Be honest." So I thought about it for a few seconds and I said, "You're right. I'd want to work with animals."
When I graduated high school in 2006, my dream was to become a vet. A year later, with a spotty community college record, I realized I didn't want to go to school for 10+ years, so I thought about becoming a vet tech. I didn't even finish one semester of the program before I realized that the credits wouldn't transfer if I wanted to do something else, which given the salary averages, was something to consider.
So, there I was, working as an assistant manager at a local pizza place, a job I had held since my senior year of high school, when one of the managers who had just finished up the nursing program stopped by to tell us about her job offer and salary. My mind was made up right there, in that moment. She had worked her butt off while in the nursing program and at the end got a really great paying job before she had even graduated. That was when I realized nursing just made sense. It would give me enough money to support my future family, but it would allow me to finish school more quickly, so I could actually START making that family sooner!
Now that my partner and I had that conversation (and now that I've read this post) I don't think I would answer the question "Why did you get into nursing" the same as when they asked our class that.
I would know how to respond: I picked nursing for the money and job security, and I also picked it because it was the hardest thing I could do in the shortest amount of time and it's full of variety.
As for my passion for animals, I'll just shower affection on our Chow-Chow. : )
Sep 14, '12Thank you for this article. I appreciate your honesty. For once, one person saying they didn't have a calling. I was pushed into nursing in my senior year of high school. My mom was going through a divorce, and she was looking to join a nursing program because of the so-called stability that nursing offered. She didn't apply, but she pushed me to apply instead. Her rationale was even in a bad economy, nurses would always have job. More or less, she was correct. I am fortunate that I was able to get a job within four months of graduating. That can't be said about people that graduated with, say, a biology major. I remember during classes with other pre-nursing students, I would feel bad when I was asked to give my reason for joining nursing school. Because for me, it really is all about the money. Not to say that I am a hardhearted you-know-what. In nursing school, it dawned on me that while I don't make a difference in all my patients, I do make a difference at least 10% of them. That's the percentage of patients I ended up connecting with. The other 90%, not so much. One thing I've learned to nursing school is to not take things personally. If a patient is being mean to me, I just let it go. There are many patients that don't want help. They want to wallow in their own miserable circumstances, and they take their anger out on the nurses. And that's okay. I've learnt that sometimes the only thing I can do is cross my T's and dot my I's, and leave. It's a little complicated dealing with coworkers, especially those that could be trouble down the road. That's the worst part of nursing. You can't really trust anyone.Another thing I've learned from nursing, is that if I'm going to take all this crap, the ungrateful patients and coworkers I can't trust, at least I should get paid well for it. And that's why I want to become a PA eventually. I had a bad experience with the preceptor, and her manager. How can I trust anyone again? I managed to find a job in another state, and this will definitely help me get into PA school as I would need experience. I also have a few more classes I need to complete but one thing is for sure. I'm getting out of nursing. Forgive me if this comes out as a block of text. It's very difficult to format paragraphs on an iPad.
Sep 17, '12I chose nursing to help people. Why should it matter that the particular people I'm most interested in helping is my family. Family is much more important to me than strangers in a hospital, and if I can have a job that offers them financial stability, that's what I will do!
Sep 17, '12Great article, thank you for sharing!
I wouldn't say I had a "calling" for nursing. When I was little, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Even as I grew older I still had that passion. I LOVE animals. It wasn't until my senior year of high school when I started thinking of other options. I thought becoming a veterinarian was kind of unrealistic. I didn't want to be in school for forever and I know vet school is very difficult...so I pushed that dream aside. I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field, but I wasn't sure what. I thought about med school but also pushed that dream aside for the same reasons. I started researching other healthcare-related jobs. My mother suggested nursing, and I admit, at first I looked at her in disgust...but that was because I didn't quite fully understand what nurses do. I did more research, looked into shadowing opportunities and then I fell in love with the profession.
My father was also very sick during this time - diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He had a stroke and it just went downhill from there. I admired some of the nurses that worked with him - and others, not so much. I wanted to do what they were doing - care for people, help people. I know that's a cliche way of saying it and everyone has heard of it before, but it's the truth! I wanted to deliver the same care to others that these nurses were giving to my father and that same time, NOT be like some of the crappy nurses he had, too. I didn't want to put anyone through that.
I will admit, the money is pretty nice, too. I have a unique skill set that would be needed anywhere I go - and being a military wife, I chose a good field to go into! I also love the flexibility - there is so much you can do in this field, unlike other professions.
Jul 7, '13thank you for this article & all the comments! I have never had "the calling" for nursing; it is something I stumbled upon after I graduated from college with my first degree. the whole "nursing is a CALLING" thing really makes me feel doubtful sometimes, so I'm very glad to hear that there are people who got into nursing for other reasons! thank you for this uplifting thread!
Jul 17, '13true. im not sure if nursing really is a calling since most nurses saw this career that has more opportunities and advancements. they are more on the goals rather than the call
Sep 7, '15When I first got married I went to work in the Bookkeeping Department of a local bank. To say it was not an ideal job, is putting it lightly. There was little to no possibility of a promotion in that department. This was the late summer of 1973. Then my dad offered to pay for me to go to Practical Nursing School. One of his co-workers wives was an instructor. So, I gave my notice to the bank and started nursing school.
I LOVED IT !!!!! I loved every minute of nursing school. I absolutely fell in love with learning every aspect I could about caring for others. The love of caring for others was in my heart as soon as I took care of my first patient. And now 40+ years later after completing my Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing, Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing and completing all but three classes in the Masters in Science Degree in Nursing Program at Liberty University, I can honestly say I had found my niche.
i loved every second of every minute of every hour of every day of my nursing career. I loved my patients. I treated them the way I learned, but also the way I would have wanted my parents, my sisters and anyone I love, taken care of. No, I'm not saying I did not have days I did not feel defeated, tired and burned out. But if i had been asked what I would have done if not nursing...I truly could not give a good answer. I cannot imagine my life as anything but a nurse and a lifetime of caring for others.Last edit by RNBillieBSN on Sep 7, '15