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

Nurses General Nursing Nursing Q/A

Every nurse has their own story to tell about how or why they chose to enter the nursing profession. Some may have been inspired by a personal experience with healthcare, while others may have been drawn to the idea of caring for others. Some may have stumbled upon nursing by chance, while others knew from a young age that it was their calling. Whatever the reason, each nurse has a unique narrative that led them to become a caregiver. These stories are a testament to the diversity and passion within the nursing community and the profound impact that healthcare can have on our lives.

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

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.

Winter, 2 weeks before Christmas and I got laid off from my manager position at a convenience store. Most of my life I had been in food service, sous chef, baker, cake decorator, fast food, slow food, massive quantities of food...other times I had cashiered for a living, usually making my way up to a manager position. I get bored easily and like challenges.

Anyway, there were no jobs available (small town) but, if I was willing to put in two weeks of learning, without pay, and two weeks with pay, the local nursing home was willing to train me as a CNA. After my training was over I spent my first month on the job saying, "I'm NOT going back tomorrow." Then my nurse asked if I would be willing to work the "locked unit," the Alzheimer Ward, for just one weekend. After that they couldn't get me out of there, I fell in love with my Alzheimer residents.

3 years later...I was driving our new graduate RN nuts, I kept asking her questions about different diseases, etc. listed on our residents. Finally in exasperation she hollered at me..."For goodness sakes, you know more about these people than I do, why don't you go to nursing school?" So I did, a new challenge.

The vo-tech had a 2 year waiting list and I knew that I would soon forget about it if I had to wait that long, so I enrolled in the BSN program. I started college at the age of 35, graduated before I turned 40.

I got my first, and only, nursing job in a nursing home. I couldn't get on the Alzheimer unit, so I took the End-Of-Life care unit posting. One and a half years there and I had to stop, I had hardened my heart so much, so I wouldn't get hurt, that death was becoming a "non-event" to me. I firmly believe each death deserves a tear, heartfelt sadness. A posting had just opened on the Rehab unit, which I took. I am still there, working medicare rehab, nightshift, weekends.

I love my job, I wouldn't give it up for anything. I passed my five year mark in January. Sometimes I miss cashiering or cooking...but not TOO much.

Well, I'm a pre-nursing student but I thought I'd share my story...

I always wanted to be an elementary school teacher growing up. I loved kids and the idea of teaching in general. My mom became sick when I was in high school and had a couple close calls with death. I felt so powerless to help and saw nursing as my true call to help people (my mom). I became a CNA and got a job at a nearby hospital and worked on pre-req's at the university.

After about a year I became sick with an eating disorder. I spent 6 months in the hospital recovering from anorexia. While there, I bonded with some the the nurses who cared for me. They were so compassionate and caring. They took the time to listen to me and truely cared about my well being. I know that nursing is my calling. I have been out of the hospital for two months and am working on going back to school in the fall and I just got a new CNA job starting June 6. I want to pick myself up and recover and when I become a nurse, work with patients with eating disorders so I can provide the kind of care and support I received and offer hope for others struggling with eating disorders.


My oldest child had a TIA and was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. We were told without immediate surgery she would die. We were very lucky that the specialist was able to get her into a WHO study. Within days we were back in the States. When we returned to Berlin I had a very different little girl. After her second surgery she went into renal failure.

I became a medic to be prepared, terror was a great motivator. I moved back to the United States and applied to the RN program.

I will be starting nursing school this Fall at Deaconess in St. Louis. I have most of my gen eds out of the way (bio, chem, microbio), so I will be concentrating on my nursing classes. I had recently been hired for a job in the emergency department here at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, in preparation for my move to St. Louis. Initially, I had been planning on becoming a radiation therapist. But in working with the good people here in the E.D., I decided that I liked the role of the nurse better. I had already thought about becoming an RN several times before, but my parents didn't want me to because it isn't a "guy's field." But in seeing all the male nurses around the hospital, I no longer think it is an issue.

I am a registrar in the E.D. currently, but there is nothing more rewarding than covering a patient with warm blankets, helping someone down the corridor, or even just taking a minute to listen to what the patient has to say. And the nurses here say that there is nothing more rewarding than receiving a thank you card from a family who appreciated the care that was given to a patient. I can only imagine what it's like, but it'll become a reality for me soon enough.

And that's my story. :-)

Specializes in everywhere.

Everyone's stories are so very interesting! Mine is very boring. I have always to go into nursing, my mother is a nurse. My ex always told me that I was too stupid to become a nurse and moved me out of state each time I applied (and was accepted) to the nursing programs in that area. With his job, he was able to transfer anywhere there was an airport. When our son graduated high school and went to college, I divorced my ex, the day after the divorce was final, I applied for the LVN program and started classes that August, stayed on the president's list, won several academic awards and graduated with high honors. Yes, I worked hard for those grades and I'm very proud of them.

Met the love of my life during LVN school, we were married one week after graduation, I've been taking my pre-req's over the past two years and on the 6th of June, I start the LVN to RN transition program. I do love my job, yes, there are times I wonder why in the world do I want to abuse myself like this? But, like another poster said, when that one patient improves, or the family member (from hell) thanks you, then you know you have to go back.

i saw "meet the parents" and just knew i had to be a male nurse.

actually, i always wanted to save the world, involved in green politics, the union movement and such. and realized the only way to help people was to get hands on.

9-11 played a big role too, i wanted so bad to help but realized i had no skill to help. i realized my psychology degree would not enough. now with the asian tsunami i am convinced that i must do nursing and help when another catastrophe occurs.

my ultimate goals are to get into doctors without borders and really get my hands dirty and get my heart pumping, i figure to save the world around 2043 or so, if it all goes according to plan......which it won't.

Specializes in CCU,ICU,ER retired.

I loved this thread. I used to be a bartender and one night I had a gut full of obnoxious drunks. I also had a couple of regular customers that always came in on Saturday night and they just happened to be there that night in general. After I had dealt with the final drunk of the night I said to my friend and her husband " I have to find a better job than this. Something that has a regular paycheck and insurance." She looked at me and told me she would give me a job and she was a director of an ICU. I just laughed and said right I didn''t know any thing about working in a hospital, much less an ICU. She told me to come and see her Monday. So I did I filled out the application and was honest and put all my jobs on it, grocery stores, waitress and so on and soforth. She said the other jobs weren't needed and then tore up the application and we started over and lied thru our teeth about job history and put down aides in nursing homes and such. I was terrified someone would call these references. She told me the only one who would call these places would be her so not to worry. and then that day she taught me how to run an EKG machine and do blood pressures. That night I went to her house and she taught me some basic arrthymia stuff. what was deadly and what wasn't, and I went to work for her 2 days later. I loved it. I loved everything about it. I quit that job due to a bully nurse but my mentor found me another job at a bigger hospital in there CCU and I would be riding as an assistant on a mobile coronary care unit! I was so totally hooked. I knew then this was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life. She also was my best reference when I went to nursing school.

My mentor died some years ago but I still think about her every time I remember how much I love my job.

Six years ago I was dx with diabetes. The diabetes educator I had was wonderful and saved my life, BG over 650, obese, drank, smoked, ate too much, sedentary lifestyle. I really started taking care of myself at that point. I worked as a project manager for a business firm and hated it. I started looking into how to become a diabetes educator, but didn't have the guts to quit my job. I got laid off and decided that that was the sign I was looking for. I went back to school in my mid thirties became an RN, and two years later I am a diabetes educator. I love every minute of it. I am living my dream.

Several things came together all at once to make me decide I wanted to be a nurse, some logical, and some emotional:


1. I am retiring from the Air Force, and want to keep a steady paycheck.

2. I am a computer tech and can appreciate the value of working in a career where you are needed.

3. I like helping people.

4. Over the years, I have mentally shifted from being an INTJ to an INFJ. I guess I have moved to a more complex and interesting system by moving to people.

5. I always wanted to save a life.


1. I found faith in God

2. A few years ago my stepfater passed away after an extremely long illness. When my mother couldn't lift him anymore hospice was called in. When the nurse came she was always a relief to us all. She was a visiting angel. She laughed when she could, and she listened all the time, and when things got too sad she went out on the porch and cried a little.

I was so impressed with her...humanity...that I decided I wanted to be a nurse.


Specializes in NICN.

I decided to become a nurse the summer I turned 7. My dad was diagnosed with brain tumors and spent most of the summer in and out of the ICU. My mom decided after two months of fighting and him only getting worse that it was time for him to come home and spend his last days with his family. The last three weeks that he was alive I helped my mom take care of him. I knew I wanted to be a nurse and not a doctor b/c the nurse is the one who spends more time with the patient and their family. I am planning on specializing in neonatal intensive care when I graduate and look forward to taking care of my patients and developing good relationships with their families. I am also hoping that I will be able to help others that may be facing the same situation that my mom did. I want to be able to make a difference in someone's life, even if it is only one person.

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