Is nursing a "calling"

  1. 0
    I really want to get philosophical here! I have pondered this many times during my 20+ nursing career, but have never come to a full understanding of it. Seeing nursing as a calling is like seeing it as some sort of divine mission. Has God called us to this profession? Is there some spiritual influence in our decisions to become nurses?Is it like joining a nunnery? A nursing hat is somewhat like the hats that the old nuns use to wear. Are we angels of mercy?
    Or is all this just Patriarchal bu--s--t!
    A way to keep us in our places? Is this part of the reason why we feel guilt at asking for more money or better working conditions? Are we suppose to suffer because we are doing God's work?

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  2. 26 Comments...

  3. 0
    I apologize I know this is off topic. But, why did you become a lawyer? Is that what you always wanted to be or did you change careers? Did you put yourself through law school by working as a nurse?
  4. 0
    [QUOTE]I love your question. I of course cannnot answer for any one except myself but my response would be an overwhelming yes. Nursing is a calling. I firmly believe God gives us gifts in different areas and he gives up the desire to pursue a career that will utilize these gifts. I do not think we are the "new angels of mercy" and our nursing caps (does any one still have one) do not replace the head dress of the nuns of the past. I can say this for sure because I once ware the head gear of a nun for 12 years. When I left the convent I sought for my place in different areas before finally, in my early 40's becoming a nurse. I have a degree in accounting as well but accounting and the office was not the place for me. I am a care giver. Nursing is my life. I currently and for the past 17 years have been a nurse in a newborn intensive care unit. To say I love my job would not do it justice. I feel nursing is my ministry. My way of giving back to the world all that God has given me.
  5. 0
    Thank-you Sister JoanMargaret! Chili, I will get back to you on your question, I have to think about it.
  6. 0
    I have definetly worked with people who had a calling. I did not. You have to realize there is a lot of people who need care in this world and if you wait for people who have a calling to come and give the care it will never get done. You have to accept people into the profession who have other motivations for going into nursing. In 1966 when I went into nursing it was one of the few doors that would open to women. So I opened it and went through. Some people want job security and a steady income. What ever the reason as long as the person is intelligent and has a kind heart they can make a good nurse. I know I did.
  7. 0
    So, it's an individual thing and not a calling for everyone. That makes sense to me.
  8. 0
    I can only speak for myself. But I feel nursing is a "calling" from God for me. Although I am not a nurse YET, I will begin the ADN program in August. Let me give you a brief run-down of my story. When I was a small child, a family friend (with clothes, watch, and shoes) jumped into a lake and saved me from drowning. Going through my young adult years I worked in offices in many and all aspects from KP duty all the way up to Office Manager of a medium-sized corporation. In my late 20s-early 30s, I finally realized why I had been saved from that drowning...TO BE A NURSE!!! And not just any nurse, but a peds oncology nurse. And now with the onset of AIDS, to even possibly go in that direction. God is a major part of my life and he has gotten me this far. No, we should not have to suffer by doing God's work, but we have to realize we are NOT God and we are not perfect. I hope that somehow I can use my faith to help families of/and children deal with the pain, anguish, and sometimes loss that they have to endure.

  9. 0
    This is where my inner struggle lies. I used to think that nursing was my calling. But, somewhere along the road I lost that spiritual connection. I've blamed it on managed care and the fact that we have less quality time with our patients. But, maybe it's more than that. I have changed! I am not the same person that I was in my early twenties, when I first entered nursing. I think the shift may have happened when both my parents died about 8 years ago, within a two year span. It was like having the rug pulled out from underneath me. I started looking at my own mortality and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Nursing was starting to cause me more pain, than joy. It was getting harder and harder to get up in the morning and go to work. I started making mistakes that I never would have made in the past and that had me worried. I guess I was just burnt out! This caused me much distress because I was an excellent nurse. I have always gone above and beyond what is expected. So, I went into therapy and decided that I needed a career change. I realized that my mother was the one that really wanted me to be a nurse and there were so few choices back then for women. I met a nurse, who was an attorney and what she was doing sounded interesting. I've always been a bit of a rebel. I come from a family of male lawyers and doctors. My father was an attorney. So, I started law school in 1985.
    I worked full-time as a nurse, while attending night school. I am also married with two children (11 and 16) I don't know how I did all that! I was the first female in my family to obtain a law degree. I loved law school! People actually listened to what I had to say! I started to find my voice again and it was very empowering for me.
    I recently took the Bar exam and accepted a position in a workers compensation firm. I will keep my RN after my name, because it is part of who I am. I am finding out that RN, JDs are a unique breed. Right now I am excited, but very scared. I am having a hard time letting go of nursing. It is probably why I started coming to this forum at, plus I had some free time while waiting for my Bar results. Anyway, I am realizing that nursing is not a calling for everyone and that sometimes we can get called in a different direction later in life.

    [ May 23, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]
  10. 0
    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.
  11. 0
    GInurse, it almost sounds like nursing saved you. That's a calling in and of itself.
    I like what joanmargaret said about nursing being her ministry. I have heard this expressed before by nurses, in so many words.
    This makes me think about what I used to do when I was having a really bad day at the hospital. I would get really focused on the patients and go into a certain patient's room that I felt needed some extra TLC and just hang out and chat. They thought I was in there to comfort them, little did they know that they were comforting me!

    [ May 25, 2001: Message edited by: feistynurse ]

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