The Ultimate Question, Why?

The question of WHY??? has consumed me from the very beginning when I chose nursing to be my major/future profession. The main question being, why in the world did I put myself through all this turmoil of trying to become a nursing student?


The Ultimate Question, Why?

I think about what ifs, i.e. what if I chose a different major? I would have graduated this year with my Bachelor's degree if I pursued something other than nursing. Oh why did I do this?

In the beginning, fresh out of high school, I was not sure what I wanted to do. I always leaned toward a medical profession, but I had to sift through all the options in order to find out what I truly wanted. So I would work part time, take a couple classes at the local community college and do the whole college thing. Then I saw my sister was pregnant. I took a keen interest in her pregnancy for some reason even unknown to myself. I wanted to know what was going on internally as my niece was developing. During the labor and delivery, I saw the nurses work diligently and they all seemed so nice. I finalized my decision right then and there that I would want to become a nurse. I was 18 and feeling great that I made such a good decision so early. Well jokes are on me because I did not know the sheer amount of work I would have to put in over the next few years.

I researched my options and tried to be smart about my decision. The main thing that I wanted at that time was to not be in any debt or have any loans by the time I was done with school. Therefore, I chose the community college path. I also did not think I had what it took to be in a BSN program. I just wanted to get in and get out in a speedy manner. HA! So, I take biology and chemistry one semester, anatomy and micro the next, and finally physiology. Well, silly me, thought that the B's and the couple A's I got in my classes were good grades. I was pretty proud of myself for not working too hard through my pre-requisite classes. Now it's time to submit my applications to the local cc's. I get my letters within a couple weeks. One stated I had a three year wait and the other stated that I am number 516 on the waitlist and they only accept 60 students every fall. 516?!?! Is this for real? Now begins the wait. Again, during this time, I ask myself why I did this to myself. Is there any alternatives? I know every future nursing student has been there. I start researching what else I could do. I want to be a nurse and FAST. I see a commercial promising just that. My mother and I go look into this school that has this promise of getting a nursing degree and fast and boy were we surprised by that price tag. I take the assessment test and they tell me I scored in the top 5% or something and I get a whole nice tour of the school, only to find out that it's $55,000 to get my ADN. WHAT?! Are you joking? Oh, but wait, we'll give you $10,000 off since you already finished your pre-requisites, but that makes it a little harder to get in. I did not even spend anything close to $10,000 for my community college classes. So I waltzed right out that door and took private schools off my list.

I then had another decision to make. I thought to myself; why not get a job in the medical field while I wait? Great idea. I researched the difference between CNA and MA and I thought MA looks like a pretty good job I would enjoy doing for decent pay. Then that's more research. I'm getting sick of this research thing now...That same private college I looked into earlier for nursing offers MA classes too, but that's $10,000. Remember my goal? No debt. So I keep looking and find a local cc offers the same program for about $1500 for everything. I had a blast in the MA program. After I completed it, I knew I wanted to be in the medical field. Only problem is that I graduated right when the recession started and found no job. I was disappointed, but I knew the experience I received from that program was invaluable and showed me how much I truly love the medical field.

Now to make a long story short. HA! Two and a half years have passed since that time when I received those acceptance letters. I even applied to a BSN program, but was soon rejected for not getting those stupid A's in my pre-requisite courses. I felt disappointed at first, but I knew I would get to my dream, some way some how. I am now going to finally attend the local cc this fall where my waitlist number started at 516. The excitement and nervousness is overwhelming. I can now officially say, after four years of dreaming it, that I am a nursing student and I am going to be the best nursing student which, in turn, will make the best nurse. If I can get through the rough road of a pre-nursing student, and the even rougher road ahead as a nursing student, then I know I will be able to do anything.

I still go ask myself now and again, why did I choose nursing as my major? Why, oh why? Well the answer is simple, because I love it.

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10 Posts

I loved your article. I think us nursing students always ask ourselves WHY, did we get into this craziness. All we have to do it sit back and realize it is because we care, it is because there are people out there that need compassion, and it is what we were called to do. Though its a long journey through theprogram the end result is priceless. I am a 4th semester RN student 4 months away from graduating and Ill be honest i have been up all nighters studying asking myself why do i do this to myself? But i am constantly reminded " WHY...because is my calling." Good luck to you and your prenursing classes. I would recommend if you havent done it already getting some pharmocology, dosage and calculations books to get your mind familiar with what is to come. Those two topics.. i have found to be the toughest part to get down in school.

Amanda T.-Elsevier Student Ambassador

craziechiq, BSN, RN

1 Article; 208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

thanks for the advice. i have heard those are pretty tough classes.


170 Posts

This sounds a lot like me...but I'm still working and waiting to get in, with almost all of my pre and coreqs done. It's nice to know that eventually, it WILL happen...


81 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Critical Care.

You sound a whole lot like me. I decided around when I was 19 that I wanted to be a nurse for sure, after spending a year and a half just kind of picking away at community college trying to come up with the perfect major. Among the things ruled out were graphic design, teaching, and veterinary school. I'm 24 and I just graduated with my ADN. I was exactly the same wanting to go to CC program instead of a BSN program due to money. I'm proud to say the only debt I have is my car payment and maybe $1500 on credit cards.

I also worked part time and only took a couple courses at time.. re-took some things to boost my GPA and get myself in faster, and while I was waiting I also took a bunch of stuff required for the ADN-BSN programs.

When I was first starting nursing school at 22, all my friends were graduating with their bachelor's degrees and I felt kind of stupid. I still felt a little stupid when I graduated and people didn't understand why I don't have my bachelor's yet after being in school so long, and many of my friends were getting their master's.

Sometimes I think "why am I not sitting in a cubicle somewhere with a nice manicure and clothes from express and drinking coffee and planning for my weekend off like my friends who were smart and went to college for things like accounting or HR?"

Even though I am not a super nurse yet and I have a lot to learn, little things like my patients thanking me profusely for remembering to bring them a sprite or promptly bringing pain meds, I know why I'm not sitting in a cubicle somewhere. :) That and while my friends are complaining about their 40K in loans, I am going get my BSN for practically nothing, and after that I'll see what I can do about grad school. Yay! Good luck with nursing school!

craziechiq, BSN, RN

1 Article; 208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Wow that's great. I'm 22 now and should graduate with my ADN at 24. We're exactly alike. I'm looking already into RN-MSN tracks but might just go for BSN, who knows. I just have to focus on getting my ADN first. lol. Thanks for the reply. I hate cubicles and can't wait for the day for my patients to thank me for being a good nurse. I know that won't always happen but the few times it does, I will be reminded why I chose this path.


380 Posts

Same here. Everyone was telling me to transfer to another school because I seemed 2 b jumping through too many hoops and still not getting in. The school told me I needed 2 take about 4 classes over, so I did and still did not get n 4 spring 08,then they tell me 2 take my "b" class over and I was like "no way" I resubmitted and got accepted 4 the fall of 09!!!! But it has been a long hard road getting there, with me asking myself why why am I doing this? And of course the answer was I love the nursing field

craziechiq, BSN, RN

1 Article; 208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Congrats on getting in! we'll survive it because we are determined!


12 Posts


congrats....nothing is impossible!just keep your faith..good luck

good luck with your school and a future career. just wondering why did you go to MA instead of CNA? its easier find a job as a CNA, get to union nursing home or hospital and study for free after that. i think most of the unions pay for your school after one year of being in union

craziechiq, BSN, RN

1 Article; 208 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Yeah, I am semi-regretting that decision. I'm going to try to challenge the CNA exam after my first semester. The school for MA was close and I guess I just didn't research enough. I thought it was around the same kind of thing, but boy was I wrong.


5 Posts

My career choice started the same way yours did. I decided is 2002 when I was 17 that I wanted to be an RN. I have had so many obstacles along the way. I had to get my GED first and then all of the pre-req classes and then of course the wait to get in after being turned down two years in a row (we dont have waiting list here). Where there is a will, there is a way. I am very happy to say that last week I passed my boards and an now officially an R.N. The time goes by so quickly and before you know it you are done. In nursing school there will be many more obstacles to over come, but they will make you stronger. And in the end when you get your license in the mail like I did today, it will be all that much more sweeter. Good luck!