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What's your story? Why did you take up nursing?

Joe V Joe V (Admin) Columnist Innovator Expert

Has 24 years experience. Specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development.

Everyone has his or her own story about how or why they became a nurse. What's your story?

Please be as detailed or as short as you wish. It'll be interesting to hear everyone's stories.

I was a bad kid. I ran around with the wrong crowd. Got into some things I shouldn't have and saw some things I shouldn't have.The things I saw stuck with me due to the violent nature and the impact and I wished then I could help out in some way.... and vowed to do great things later.

I knew then I wanted to be a nurse.

Z :)

PS: I'll write more detail later..when it's not 3 am. :chuckle

Brian, ASN, RN

Has 26 years experience. Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

I've always found the human body fascinating, enjoyed biology and anatomy. While in Jr. High school, one of my best friend's mom was a nurse, and the idea of being a nurse intrigued me. I also new a flight paramedic and his stories always peaked my interest as well. While in High School, I made my mind up that I wanted to be an ER nurse and eventually become a flight nurse.

I went to nursing school, started out in Geriatrics, became very interested in Nursing Informatics, which at the time was fairly new. I was amazed at how little the Nursing Home and Hospitals used technology, and I loved using computers to save time. I never did anything with my interest in Informatics directly. I then moved to the hospital, worked Telemetry, and then I went to work in CCU for several years.

Back in 1995, I started a nursing website as a hobby when I was in nursing school back in 95, that hobby became a passion, and then became a business for me. That website is now called allnurses.com (this website ;) ) has grown to significantly since it's early days. I've never for one minute regretted becoming a nurse!

While I never became an ER nurse or a flight nurse, I am very happy where my nursing career has taken me :)

I was in my back yard one evening with a nice fat possum on the grill. I heard a noise and looked up to see a spacecraft directly above me. In an instant, I was transported into a dimly lit area equipped with strange equipment. Then a 3 ft tall being with a single eye in the center of his neck...or what I though was a neck, kicked me in the shins. As I jerked my leg up out of the way, several of the little critters pushed me back on an exam table. The next few hours were a blur as I went in and out of consciousness. Before I knew what was happening I was graduating from nursing school. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Well I applied to the local supermarket and they didn't have any vacancies, I was gutted, all my life I'd dreamed of stacking shelves. As a last resort I went to nursing. :chuckle

Grace Oz

Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/HH/Radiology-Now Retired.

In the Australian outback town where I grew up, being a nurse was the only job you could continue working at AFTER you married! :o :uhoh3: :rolleyes:

It was a town ruled by the union movement, and married women weren't permitted to hold jobs! The jobs had to be for the single girls only. TRUE! Understand, I'm talking about the 1960's.

Not that my decision to become a nurse was something I really considered or thought out in great detail. I really "sort of" fell into it. I'd actually always wanted to study law! However, circumstances sent me on a different pathway.

I'm always grateful I did become a nurse. I've never been unemployed, other than by choice, and have had an incredible journey along the way. It's a profession whereby you can travel and see other places and always be assurred of obtaining a job. Something I've done over the years. I think the thing that has always held true for me about being a nurse is; it's a REAL job! It has purpose. It has a reason for being. I realise ALL jobs have reason/purpose, so NO need to flame me! But nursing just has that edge and something more/extra, over most other jobs.

Would I do it all over again, given my time over? Hmmm .... the jury's still out on that one. :rolleyes:

I was a bad kid. I ran around with the wrong crowd. Got into some things I shouldn't have and saw some things I shouldn't have.The things I saw stuck with me due to the violent nature and the impact and I wished then I could help out in some way.... and vowed to do great things later.

I knew then I wanted to be a nurse.

Z 🙂

PS: I'll write more detail later..when it's not 3 am. :chuckle

Hi Z ,

Do you Stay awake all the time ?

or are you night owl like me ?

tvccrn, ASN, RN

Has 20 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care.

I am at work and my story is a bit detailed so I will write it up when I get home and post it on here. I think it's interesting to know what drives people to chose this as a career.

hi! i am a new graduate. i am going to be 26 next week, but i have wanted to be an rn since i was in 8th grade. funny story? i had a lot of ear infections in 7th and 8th grade, and i went to the doctor... back then, to me, he was about it. the "hunk" of my dreams! ha ha! ever since then i have been interested in medicine. i had a collection of gloves from different places that i snatched on my way out. (now i can get all i want!) i graduated high school, went to college for one year for and art major (my other love), but realized i wouldn't be able to do anything to make money in the area i was, and was not going to move to a big city to make big money. so, i got married (nope, not the doctor!! he he), 3 years later had a son, then after he turned a year i decided to pursue my dream. that was 3 years ago, my son is now 4, and i am now an rn. i have not gotten a job yet, and i have not taken my boards. (i just graduated last friday!) so i am very anxious and excited to get out there and start in the real world!!!

laurlaur said:
well i applied to the local supermarket and they didn't have any vacancies, i was gutted, all my life i'd dreamed of stacking shelves. as a last resort i went to nursing. :chuckle

ha ha! that is hysterical!


Has 11 years experience. Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis.

My mom was a 2nd grade teacher (now retired.) I decided early on that I would never be a teacher - way too much work. Never thought about being a nurse, I wanted to be a vet.

After my oldest son was born, I had contact with several nurses who made a big impact on me with their kindness, gentleness and concern beyond the immediate problems. Still didn't think about being a nurse, mostly because I had screwed up my life, not graduated HS, and felt I had missed my chance at going to college.

After my last child was born, I decided I had to make something of myself and decided to become a psychologist. I got a community college class book and started thumbing through it. Being a psychologist started to look boring. I looked at all the cool classes nurses got to take - anatomy, chemistry, biology. I decided to do that instead.

So, 18 years later, here I am. It took me from 1991-1999 to earn a 4 year degree - 1 class at a time sometimes. Little kids and life got in the way. Somewhere along the line, I forgot about ever wanting to be anything but a nurse. Now, although some days I feel like running into McDonalds and filling out an application - I can't imagine working in any other field and being satisfied at the end of the day.

It sounds like a cliche, but it's the little things that keep me going back to work, and make me feel good about what I'm doing. Even the patients you work your fingers to the bone for 12 hours on - touch and go the whole way - who don't remember you, but think the nurse who extubated them the next day must be the best nurse in the whole world. I look at them up walking around, going home to be with their families - and I think, well at least I did something right!

earthlovers123 said:
Hi Z ,

Do you Stay awake all the time ?

or are you night owl like me ?

Nope. I never sleep. :chuckle

Just kidding.

Sometimes I'm a night owl. Last night I had a headache so I was up late.


I didn't dream of becoming a nurse growing up. I was originally a nuclear medicine major. My older sister became ill with leukemia, and fought an amazing fight. She was the strongest, bravest person I will ever know. She always said that when she recovered, she was going to go back to school to be a nurse. It will be four years next month since she passed away. She was only 30. The care from that she received from her nurses was nothing short of extraordinary. When I returned to school that fall, I switched majors, and just graduated with my BSN last weekend. I am 24 years old, and so glad that switched so young, because I know that I am going to love doing this for the rest of my life. :)


My story is pretty boring. I just wanted to help people. I honestly love being a nurse. My wife tells me that I'm empathetic and compassionate, but she may be biased. :)

My wife is also a nurse. She says she became an RN because she grew up in the hospital as a patient. She lit herslef on fire as a child, beat the odds and lived, and feels it's her responsibility to give back.

Interesting thread.

HisTreasure, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Pediatrics.

My story; a little boring but I'll share anyway. I come from a family of nurses. I have a mother, two aunts, a cousin, and a sister who are all nurses. Oddly enough, I never considered nursing as an option for me. I was accepted to an excellent education program at a highly rated college in my area. I decided since I was not getting much financial aid (and I was paying for my own school for my first two years) I would attend the community college and then transfer my credits. Well, I started at the CC in a 2+2 program for Elementary Education. My best friend was attending the same college for nursing. I ended up getting married during my second semester, moving out of state, and having children. Meanwhile, my best friend failed two co-requisites and was taken out of the nursing program. I took almost three years off to be a SAHM, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However our family grew exponentially and I hated seeing my husband sacrificing all his days off and working 12-16 hour shifts so that we could make ends meet. I told him that if we moved back to NY I would go back to school since we had family here that could help with the kids. Well, for my third pregnancy I was tended by midwives. They made such an impression on me and it dawned on me that I wanted to be (and was meant to be) a nurse. I applied to the LPN program on the last possible day, interviewed on the last possible day, and somehow was chosen out of 413 qualified applicants. It was God's grace. I graduate this Tuesday, but I've already been pinned. I don't regret making this career choice at all & I absolutely CAN'T WAIT to start my job 6/6/05 and continue towards my RN this August.

:chuckle PS- I mentioned my best friend to say this. She has gotten her Associates and is working as a paraprofessional- slated to start school this coming January for her teaching certificate. :chuckle

live4today, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

I became a nurse because wanting to become a doctor instead didn't pan out.....................for various reasons I won't drudge up.:o

I never wanted to be a nurse. Now that I'm 53, kids grown and gone, husbands out of my life, I want to become a writer who makes a great living writing books of action/drama/fiction/ and even some nonfiction books that relate to the grey areas of life many people are afraid to talk about. :)

Edited by Joe V


Specializes in ER, ICU, Corrections.

Well I started out wanting to be a horse trainer but I realized that I wasn't going to make the big bucks at that job and I decided to become a high school teacher but that didn't pan out and I am glad that it didn't. I finally decided on becoming an nurse and i am soooooooo glad at what I did. I would have never been able to do and see the things that I have all these years.

I have been a nurse for 30 years and in corrections for 16 and I am glad that I am doing this. I love my job and I wake up wanting to go to work and each day I feel like this is where I am supposed to be, taking care of these guys and making their life just a little better and making them feel like there are a few people that care.... I only have 6 more years and then I can retire, but I don't think that I would ever completely quit working, I will find something to do in my spare time when I can.

Joe V said:
Everyone has his or her own story about how or why they became a nurse. What's your story?

Please be as detailed or as short as you wish. It'll be interesting to hear everyone's stories.

Delusions of grandure?? I thought at one time, I could make a difference. Like I said-delusional plain and simple


Specializes in I don't have much experiance yet..

When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a nurse. Most children say they want to be a doctor but for some reason I didn't. At the age of 20, I had my first son. He had to have surgery for Pyloric Stenosis (runs in my family), when he was a few weeks old. After he had his surgery, he was put back into his room. Unfortunately, there was only one nurse for half of the floor. She was running around like made. I tried to help as much as possible but there was only so much I could do. When it came time for his pain medication, I just sat and waited and waited and waited. Finally, I went and found her and very nicely 🙂 , reminded her that he was due to have his pain medication a half an hour ago. She said she would be right there. So, I went back to his room and again, waited and waited. Well, if you are a parent, I sure you can imagine that I was beginning to get upset, especially b/c he was becoming very irritable due to pain. So, I went to find her again and this time, I was very forceful. :argue: Needless to say, he did receive his med an hour and 25 minutes late. Of course, the mother in me was extremely upset, but I really could not blame her b/c she was just entirely too overwhelmed with patients. Once my son was released, we had a visiting nurse come to the house for about 2 weeks to make sure his stitches were healing properly. In that time I talked to the nurse about what had happened at the hospital and that when I was younger I dreamed of becoming a nurse. That was when she suggested that I still could become a nurse and gave me the information of how to get started. Well, once my son was almost 2y/o (2001) I started part-time at the local college and even though it has taken me awhile, I will be starting clinical this fall(05). In all honesty, after I got married and had my first son I didn't think I could work, go to college, and be there for my new family. However, I am very proud to say, I have made academic Recognition every semester but one, and that was the semester that I had my second son(2003) , and while studying my @** off, I still am able to make time to be with my family and work a few days out of the week. Now, I am fully aware that when clinical starts things will change. I have tried to prepare my husband and children for this. Even though, I am going to miss my family dearly when I'm in clinicals, I know that it will pay off in the end. I am one of those fortunate people who will be able to get up every morning and know that even if I have a bad day, I am doing a job that I love. Someday, I will be a Nurse Practitioner. As of right now I am working towards my ADN.

Thank you :thankya: for this uplifting thread and giving me a chance to post my story!! 🙂

Sorry for such a long post and all the icons. I couldn't resist 🙂


Hi Everyone,

I'm new here, Love to read about all of you. Ive always had a love for nursing I could write a book haha. I have had a love for the nursing profession all my life and after three marriages. The first one ran off with a high schooler, the second had a CVA and the third is a nurse who is putting me through school (guess he is a keeper)I am now 50 years old and getting to realize my dreams can come true and I am and get to take LPN boards in July and go on to RN in the fall. I don't know who is more surprized about the whole change I have taken me or those who have known me for years. I have noticed that there is a definite difference between the young student and the older student, I studied 60 hours a week they partied the same amount of time and got A's. Nursing is sooooooo much different than my career of 30 years as a heavy equipment operator. I used to get grease under my nails now I wear gloves and have clean hands, washed god knows how many times a day. This is all so very exciting too me, I come home grab my husband and tell him about my exciting day he smiles pats my hand and says how happy he is for me and can't wait for me to get 10 years experience under my belt and have the conversation again. Congrats to all of you. May all that you aspire too become reality may the happiness never leave your chosen career and may all that you dream as nurses be reality.


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