Do I feel that nursing is a calling? Well I have to agree with all the other posts and say yes, and no. My story:
I was 23 years old, a high school dropout, in the middle of a divorce, had 2 small children ages 3 and 5, living in a 2 bedroom house with my parents and my two younger brothers (the five of us, my children, my brothers and I, shared one bedroom). I needed to make a decision about what I was going to do with my life to A. support my children and myself, and to B. make a difference in this world. I considered my options and decided I would go to LVN school at a local junior college. I managed to move out, and worked part time to make enough money for the three of us to survive, and my dad bought me a VERY used car to get back and forth. I graduated one year later with honors, married a classmate, and went to work as a nurse. I was scared to death, but I was eager to learn and I loved it.
Now, seven years later, having just completed an ADN program, I KNOW that nursing was and is my calling. I do make a difference. I take great pride in the care and services that I perform for patients and their families. Sure, I get frustrated and have bad days, but that would be the case no matter what I chose to do with my life. I learned a long time ago that "everyone's toilet runs over from time to time, it's how we handle it that makes a difference". I have learned to always put myself in "their" shoes and be the kind of nurse that I would want to have taking care of me. I can't see myself ever doing anything else.
I believe god put me here for this reason. Now, I'm not a religious zealot, I don't even go to church every Sunday, but I do believe in God and I do ask that his will be done in my life whenever I have major decisions to make. It has always worked for me.
I feel that I am an asset to my profession and that I should be better compensated, but honestly, if it were an option, I would do it for free. Nursing definitely has its problems, probably more now than ever with the HMO's, shortages, unethical working conditions, politics, and drama; but patients now more than ever need good nursing care due to the afore mentioned circumstances. We are after all the patient advocates.