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Reasons for nursing always epic?

I'll be applying to nursing school soon and a lot of times the schools ask, why nursing? From what I've read, a lot of people have epic stories. (i.e. they were in the hospital as a child and then...their mother was in the hospital and then...I saw people in poverty who didn't get healthcare in my last job and then it made me decide to go into nursing...etc.)

I don't really have any of those touching stories. I researched online and found nursing seemed like the right fit because of HOW they help people, and the variety of opportunities, flexibility, and interest in science etc. I volunteered, did informationals, shadowed, will become a CNA, and this is all leading me towards my goal and solidifying my interest. This sounds very boring compared to everyone else's story. This is the honest truth but not sure I can really stand out this way.

Is anyone in the same boat or have advice?

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

No epic "lifetime channel" story here either. Go with why YOU want to go into nursing. I liked the comment on how nurses help people. Talk about your volunteering, research and plans to become a cna, what you saw and did that re-inforced your feeling that nursing is for you.

Be yourself, the interviewers hear a lot of crap and I heard from several interviewers that they aren't impressed with the basic "I just want to help people" approach.

Good luck

Edited by emtb2rn
Fine tuning


Specializes in NICU. Has 14 years experience.

It sounds like you already have a lot to go on. Some of us do have personal stories that pushed us toward this path, but it's definitely not the only way to capture attention for admissions.

Personally, I'd like to hear that someone has worked or shadowed in a few healthcare areas and carefully considered why nursing is right for him... rather than hearing from someone who has a touching story but little idea of the realities of working as a nurse.

iteachob, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB, NICU, Nursing Education (academic).

Here's my epic reason:

I was at the end of my junior year of college as a Biology major/chemistry minor when I suddenly realized I had no idea what I'd do after graduating. One thing I did realize, though, was that I did not want to go to med school (or any graduate school, for that matter, at the time). My next door neighbor was a nurse, and I thought she always looked so spiffy (and happy) going off to work. Voila! To nursing school I went.

mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

No touching story, no feeling of grand "calling." Even though my mother was a nurse, I didn't grow up wanting to be a nurse. Far from it. I fainted at the sight of blood. i vomited whenever someone else vomited. I was just a girl from a poor family who needed to get out of my parents' house and get some education doing SOMETHING that would support me. Most of my friends got married right out of high school and I knew i didn't want to have to depend on a man. Back in the 70s, there weren't a lot of good jobs for women. Mostly teacher, secretary, and nurse. I didn't want to teach and I couldn't type, so nursing was it. I graduated top of my class and went to work.Thankfully, I fell in love with nursing .I've been a nurse for 32+ years and worked in a lot of different specialties. It took me about 7 years to find my real specialty--pediatrics. I have about 25yrs experience in various branches of peds. Now I'm working as a school nurse and a lot of my nursing is cerebral. I have to know pretty much everything, because anything that can happen at home can happen at school. I'm every bit as busy in school as I was in the hospital.


Specializes in Hospice, Ortho/Neuro Rehab, camp nurse. Has 2 years experience.

Why worry about other peoples reasone, sounds like you have a pretty epic story of your own. You know why you want to be a nurse, that's enough. You already hit it on the head, by saying "how" they help people. Good luck, sounds like you will be a great asset to this field.

I remember when I was talking with a recruitment person that she said not to give one of those types of stories.


Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

Nothing epic here either. Just had a friend who loaned me a Cherry Ames book and I said...... AH HA! This is it for me. That was about 1957 or so.

One1, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Pre-Op, PACU, OR. Has 3 years experience.

Say it how it is and be proud of it. You don't need to have an epic story to prove that nursing is a good fit for you and that many future patients can benefit from you taking care of them. I had no epic story either, just a passion for healthcare and like you could show that I had already gotten my "feet wet" a bit to make sure I didn't have any false ideas about the job description, and got offered a spot at a couple of nursing schools so far.


Specializes in med-surg.

I went into nursing because it was either that or biology, and nursing students got to play with the fun equipment and learn the fun stuff (physiology) much sooner than the biology class. There is my grand reason.

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I think your logical approach to deciding your career will be impressive to the admissions boards. Just be honest. Tell them you knew you wanted a job that made a difference (avoid the overused phrase "to help people"), and then tell them the steps you took to choose a direction.

To me, this is more impressive than someone who had an experience as a patient and based on that perspective decided to be a nurse (no offense to anyone who took that route...my own is similar). It shows you have done your homework and know what is involved in the field, and also shows a lot of self awareness and reflection. Good luck!


Specializes in Psych.

No epic story here either. I always felt awkward in nursing classes where the teacher would ask students to raise their hand and tell the story of why they wanted to be a nurse. I almost felt like I had to make up a story to be accepted (which I didn't do, of course)! Many of them had these dramatic, heartrending stories. And me? I just wanted to be a nurse because I wanted to help people get through some of the scarier times in their lives. Since I had no "story", it kinda made me feel like I wouldn't be as good a nurse as the others. But I got over that thought pretty quickly when I got to my clinicals and realized we were ultimately all the same. We all want to help people in some way, but some of us didn't need to have an epiphany or a tragedy to recognize it.

I think that what you did to come to your decision to become a nurse is just as good as any epic story. The fact that you did all the things you did before making your decision shows that you are intelligent, thoughtful, analytical, and logical. Nursing is after all, a science (at least that what my degree will say when I graduate in Dec. with a bSn). The qualities you possess are important to have when your career involves watching over someone's life. Any nursing school admissions person will be able to recognize that. Just say what you've done, how you've done it, and the truth of how you feel and you should be fine. Personally, I think you have a great story!


Specializes in CVICU, ER.

I was a hairstylist and needed a dependable form of income... No glamour there. I did however, fall in love with it once I started. I feel now that it is my true calling. My love for it is what drives me to excel at it!

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

no epic reasons here, either. i suspect that your thoughtful, logical and analytical approach will be more impressive than all the epic stories from people who "just want to help people" but have no idea what that really means.

Honestly I was in my final year of high school and decided to apply to nursing school after my best friend did. Boring, right? But I tell ya it was one of the best things I ever did :) I know its pretty cheesy, but I truly think it is a calling. I love my job (along with all the craziness it brings) and can't imagine doing anything else!

I think you should just be honest. You wont be the only one with a "boring" reason. I wouldn't hold it against you, not everyone has a defining moment that drew them to nursing.

I never had a reason. I'm asked why I got into nursing quite often, and my response is always "I couldn't tell you if I wanted."

Mostly: because I don't remember. I think I made a decision one night while falling asleep, and true to my stubborn nature, followed up on it.

I must admit, I'm extremely happy I made that decision =)

Thanks all! That makes me feel better and puts things into perspective of how I will answer the big why.

i have to agree that you just need to be honest. i have always found that when i am truly honest, it can only be taken as that; simply honest. personally, i can tell when someone is being disingenuous and that turns me off right away.

we had to write a paper in school about why we wanted to become a nurse, and the opening line in my paper was "i wish i could say that i have always wanted to be a nurse, but i cannot, yet my reasons for becoming a nurse are no less valid or true," i then went on to explain my technical, intellectual and emotional reasons. and that is just what nursing is; technical, intellectual and emotional. if you feel confident in your decision to become a nurse, then simply explain your reasoning and it will be the right answer. don't try to form you answer into something that you think it "should be."


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