Reasons for Becoming a Nurse

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    I am in my pre-req’s for nursing school. I am currently taking 15 units while working full time. I am a legal office assistant, but want to become a nurse. The “problem” is that I cannot fully put my finger on why I want to become a nurse. And I am pretty sure that my family thinks I am crazy, (except for my very supportive, darling husband). My siblings and even my parents keep asking me why I want to be a nurse. Is it terrible that I don’t have a set speech worked out to tell people? The reasons I tell them seem good enough to me in my mind, but everyone else seems doubtful. And I DO NOT want to get into nursing for the “wrong” reasons. I wish I had this wonderful story or epiphany to tell them, but I don’t. So, I will let all of you nurses be the judge. Here are my reasons, in no particular order:

    - I know I can do more than I am doing now. I have a BA in English, but don’t really want to teach or anything like that. I went into English because I loved it, but didn’t have a dream about what I would do after. When I got my first degree, I did it because that is what I was supposed to do, not because I had an idea of what I wanted for my future.

    - I want to do something that matters to people. I do not need tons of recognition, and I don’t like to be the center of attention. But I want to know that my job and my presence matters to someone, even if they don’t realize it.

    - I want to be really, really, really good at being a nurse. I want to be involved in something challenging, a job that will stretch my limits. I’m excited and terrified at the prospect all at once, but I don’t think that is a bad thing.

    - The schedule would allow me to not work a nine to five, which is important to me. I want the opportunity for overtime, too. I fully understand I will not be choosing my schedule, especially not for the first few years. However, I like the thought of being able to work 3 12-hour shifts a week, or even 4 10’s.

    - The opportunities for a woman to have a decent-paying job where I live are limited. Nursing would be an approximately $20 per hour pay raise. (This is a conservative estimate, and why yes, I do live in California.) Now, this is not my PRIMARY reason, before people screech at me. But money is a consideration in any career choice. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

    - I want to help the elderly retain their dignity in later years. I want to make kids less scared about being in the hospital. I want to take the time to explain procedures to people, so they feel better about it. I want to make people feel better in many different ways. I want to get along with and be sarcastic with and assist and learn from my coworkers, too.

    Ok, this post is practically a novel now. What do you guys think? Are my reasons adequate? Typing them out actually made me feel even more secure about my decision, though. Thanks for reading! I would LOVE to hear from some of you! :heartbeat
    MDCupcake likes this.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    marathonrunner,

    Sometimes you just "know" something and can't explain it - like defining "blue" to a blind person. Trust your own instincts.

    You probably already know this - but you appear to be operating off a very idealized impression of what it means to be a nurse. The physical labor can be intense and exhausting. As the front-line soldiers in the war on disease, we are sometimes the first to be felled by exposures to pathogens that don't even have a name yet. We are continuously subjected to huge amounts of negative and frequently tragic emotions. We see people at their absolute worst - without a shred of the civil and polite veneer that 'healthly' people maintain. We're catapulted into the midst of unbelievable disfunction as illness takes it's toll on families. Nurses operate in the center of this maelstrom - providing everything from maid service to advanced life support.

    That being said - I can't imagine a more fulfilling role. Nursing is not what we do, it's what we are. Welcome aboard. It's going to be a wild ride.
    waterlily777 and texaszeus like this.
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    I have always been interesed in being a nurse and really didnt know why either, i know that it's for needing to contribute to society, helping people that are in need, compassion, finacial stability to support my single mother (that's me!) family, feeling and being confident, just knowing that what i am doing might make a difference, having some knowledge about medicine, and most importantly to me, is knowing that if my family needed medical attention asap that i would be there hoping that i could make a difference.
    Some of that doesnt make sense, it's hard to put into words. it's just how you feel about something and being able to wake up in the morning and be genuinely happy about what you do.
  5. 1
    Sounds good to me.
    Jules A likes this.
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    YOU know what you are doing! Trust yourself!
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    i think it sounded darn good . oi love how you broke down in detail how you want to help the elderly retain their dignity in later years. you want to make kids less scared about being in the hospital. You want to take the time to explain procedures to people, so they feel better about it. THAT WAS GREAT!!!!! best of luck to you
  8. 0
    You sound way more sure than I was! Good luck.
  9. 0
    Although this reply is somewhat late, I just wanted to say that every reason you listed is exactly why you are becoming a nurse. I started nursing school this year and I too was unsure why I wanted to do it. I was a paralegal (ironic) and ended up very bored in my job. I needed a career that I could find fulfilling, where I was helping people but did not want the recognition from anyone except myself. After two clinical rotations, I know this is my calling in life. I want to be the best of the best just like you and it is people like us that will make a difference in peoples lives. Live up to your expectations and care for every patient like they are your own mother or father and you will have the most amazing career and life of anyone you know.
  10. 0
    I think what you said gives great, great detail about why you want to be a nurse! Don't let anyone's negativity affect you! Some of your reasons are the same as mine and at the end of the day, if you're passionate about your job, it will keep you going on the bad days.
  11. 0
    MarathonRunner1-

    I too, am writing this a bit late... but all of the reasons you listed are EXACTLY why I am looking to go into nursing and what I just can't seem to get my family to understand. I got my BA in History and English because I felt like I was "suppose to" but it doesn't define me and I have no where to go from it. I thought I was suppose to teach because that is what you do with those degrees, so I started my teaching credential (and yes, I live in California too). I hated it. Hated, hated it... so I dropped my program. I "fell" into being a Special Education Healthcare Specialist (working with Special Education students with health issues) and I love it. I am constantly tired, stressed and I get puked on and my hair pulled out by angry kids... but I am excited to go to my job every day! It doesn't pay a lot... and I am not looking into Special Education teaching. I am looking into nursing... I assist students with their bathroom routines, help the school nurse administer medicines, and cut up their food into bite-size pieces. Is this nursing? I have been to told to look into OT or SLP... but at the end of the day... the door to nursing looks like it is more open. All this to say- have you finished your program? Do you enjoy what you are doing? Do you have any thing you can advise me on? I sure hope so!


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