I studied English and Psychology in college with hopes of getting my Masters in Counseling and, perhaps, being lucky enough to churn out a bestselling novel by the time I graduated. By the time I was a junior, I realized that this probably was not the best way to support myself, or to have any interesting life experiences that would mean as much to the rest of the world as they would to me. So I knew I wanted to try something different.
I decided on nursing for a few reasons. The classes I enjoyed most in Psych were more medical and physiological, and focused on how to improve the client's life in more practical and tangible ways than doing research or attempting to provide insight. I was very drawn to that, even though I'd previously considered myself too "creative" or whatever for things like that. I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to interact with people, and I loved the fact that there is so much variety in the nursing field - you can make it into as much of a job vs. career as you want. I didn't want to spend my days in an office watching a clock; I wanted something where there was enough excitement to keep me moving and focused until I realized it was time to go. Finally, my grandmother was a nurse in the Army, and my mother is still a nurse (hospice), and I know they love(d) their jobs and were able to be proud of everything they have accomplished. So let's hope nursing skills are genetic.
I've been working as an admin assistant for about a year and finishing my pre-reqs by night, and I'm hoping to start working as a CNA once my license comes through. I too wish I'd gotten started with this earlier in life, but I'm glad I figured it out sooner or later.
Thanks for starting this thread; I love hearing people's stories!