Why I became a nurse: Discovering my dream job.

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    This article will discuss my nursing story. I will discuss how I became a nurse, what type of work I did prior to nursing and how I combined my prior experience and discovered my dream job working in an ambulatory surgery center.

    Why did you become a nurse? This is a common question that is asked of nurses. Here is my story of why I became a nurse and how I discovered my dream job.

    In 1995, I attended an educational course sponsored by the Ophthalmic Nurses Society (ASORN). At the time I was a certified ophthalmic assistant which is similar to a medical assistant, assisting eye surgeons in a clinic setting. It was at this educational course, that I realized I wanted to be a nurse. It was the ophthalmology aspect of it that intrigued me. I also enjoyed working with patients. I am a people person. Soon after taking the educational course, I enrolled in my local junior college and took one class at a time while working full time and raising a family.

    Ten years later, in 2005 I quit my job to attend college full time. I completed my prerequisites, transferred to the local State University and completed my BSN in Nursing. My original plan was to go straight into ophthalmology but after three years of school I realized that there was much to learn about the body and about nursing. It is said that a new nurse should work on med-surg for at least one year. Three and a half years later I was still at the bedside. I was fortunate to have had a telemetry unit position as my first job. There was a med-surg component mixed with some specialty (cardiac).

    Six months ago, I felt as though change was going to occur soon. I didnít know what type of change but I felt that it was time to leave telemetry for something else. I asked friends how they liked ICU, ER, L&D, etc. Nothing sounded like the right fit. I was looking for my niche. Donít get me wrong, I would have been more than happy to work in any of these areas. I didnít need to leave telemetry but if I was going to leave I wanted it to be a place I really wanted to stay in. I am a planter. I donít like to hop from job to job. I like to plant myself somewhere and stay there.

    Then one night as I was driving home from work, it was like a light bulb turned on above my head. Why not go back into ophthalmology? I had experience in this field. It was something I truly was fascinated with and enjoyed. I started researching different eye clinics and the ophthalmic nurses (ASORN) website to see what it is that ophthalmic nurses do. It seemed the main thing was working in surgery centers or Universities. The closest Universities that would have this set up are at least one or two hours away so this was out. I found a few local eye centers that had their own surgery suites. I walked into a few of these eye centers wearing business attire and resume in hand and asked if they hired ophthalmic RNs. I did not say I was an ophthalmic RN. I was honest and told of my pre-nursing ophthalmology background and my three and a half years of nursing bedside experience. The third surgery center I walked into was the one that hired me. Today I completed my first week as an OR circulating nurse for three eye surgeons, and a few other surgeons (ENT and Urology). And I love it!

    My advice to those who are trying to find your niche in nursing: really do your research. Talk to other nurses in different fields of nursing. See what they like most (and least) about their fields of nursing. Ask a seasoned nurse you work with what type of nursing they think would fit with your personality. If you have a good seasoned nurse mentor they may have an idea where you might like to work. Another question is if you have any previous background that you can use to your advantage. Can you use anything from your past to market yourself positively? This is what I did. None of the places I went to had a "help wanted" sign or listing of employment. I just went with a prayer, a professional, confident attitude, my previous experience and resume in tow. And now I am working at my dream job. I feel like I have found my niche and I am home.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 10, '12
    mzrenegade68, Spidey's mom, Joe V, and 10 others like this.

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  2. About NF_eyenurse, BSN

    OR circulator in an ambulatory surgery center. Previously worked as an RN for 3 1/2 years on a telemetry unit. I enjoy mentoring nursing students and new grad RNs. Prior experience as a certified opthalmic assistant and LASIK technician/assistant for 13 years.

    NF_eyenurse has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Ambulatory Surgery, Ophthalmology, Tele'. From 'USA'; 42 Years Old; Joined Dec '08; Posts: 3,626; Likes: 5,528.

    Read more articles from NF_eyenurse

    21 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Beautiful story!
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Very inspiring! I really needed to hear this, as I am in nursing school. Thank you for sharing!
    barachi, pnut8377, and NF_eyenurse like this.
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    I've had this secret wish to become an aesthetics nurse. Simply for the fact that the patients would actually be happy to see you approach them with a needle, and other assorted torture devices.
    barachi, nurseginx, angeleyes8501, and 3 others like this.
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    Stories like this make me smile, and truly lighten up the at times bleak stories shared on AN. Thank you for sharing!
    NF_eyenurse and TrophyWife like this.
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    great story. thanks for posting
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Great story and thanks for sharing it with us!

    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Thankyou for sharing your experience. I just encountered my first RN position in an LTC and it didn't end well. Felt a bit hopeless leaving there, but after a day and reading many posts, I realize it just wasn't the place to start and I'll find my place eventually!
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Quote from Really new RN
    Thankyou for sharing your experience. I just encountered my first RN position in an LTC and it didn't end well. Felt a bit hopeless leaving there, but after a day and reading many posts, I realize it just wasn't the place to start and I'll find my place eventually!
    That's the beauty of nursing, there are many other things you can do. Check out the specialties tab on the yellow bar at the top of the page. There are SO many different things we can do in nursing. I hope you find your niche. Good luck.
    Joe V and gayetri like this.
  11. 1
    wow.. thanx for sharing your experience. it was worth reading.
    NF_eyenurse likes this.

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