My story is kinda long...kinda odd...
When I was 4, I decided to be a doctor. I was going to be a pediatric oncologist. I was dead set on being a doctor. Until my senior year of high school. I started to think about what the role of the doctor is and what I wanted to do. I realized that I wanted so much to be the person who spent time with patients and was directly involved in care. I also wanted to be the one who did the procedures versus spending 15 minutes a day with a patient. That is when I decided I wanted to be a nurse.
I went to college when I was 17 and started as a pre-nursing major. When I took my health class, I met my instructor who was a Health Educator. She would tell me, "You don't want to be a nurse, you want to be a health educator!" I remember reading some nursing journal and getting completely freaked out. I looked into it and thought health education seemed cool. So I changed my major.
My junior year of college, I was looking online for jobs in health education. I really wanted to do patient education; diabetes, asthma, childbirth, something like that. All of the jobs I was interested in required having an RN license. So I thought I would go to nursing school, get my license, and then teach.
Later that year, I took an EMT-Intermediate class and had to do 50 hours of clinicals in the ED. I really loved it and did 150 hours. I decided that I really enjoyed the clinical side and thought I would like bedside nursing. I graduated from ECU with my degree in Community Health Education (although at a certain point I almost dropped out b/c I really didn't like my major and wanted to go to nursing school) and immediately went to nursing school. I couldn't be happier that I made this decision. And after all is said and done, I am glad I took this long trip around. Having an education background makes it so much easier to provide education to my patients about disease management and lifestyle modifications.