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.

I was in the military, and when I got out, I thought about nursing because of the diverse growth, and the opportunity to work anywhere. I heard about the nursing corps when I was in the military, and was really interested in the work and benefits. This is why I went to nursing school.

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg.

I never could decide what I wanted to do with my life. I had a younger sister who knew from age 10 that she'd become a lawyer (and she did!), but despite being a good student I was clueless. I went through the "career testing" at the community college, and one of the results showed "healthcare." I then spent 4 years doing my BA in Psych. After working and making $10/hr, I thought that there had to be a way to help people and make a living. So back to the career counselor I went. He said "You should be a nurse" and I looked him straight in the eye and said "No way." Understand, I didn't think I could deal with the "blood and guts." But a few years later, I decided to give it a try. Would I do nursing school again? Not a chance. But it was a smart decision. And although the specialty I'm in now isn't for me, I'm sure to find my way back to being a Psych RN someday...

I was taking A&P for fun (yes people, I said for fun) because I absolutely love science. As I worked through labs I noticed that like 80% of the people there were pre-nursing school students. So I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a shot too! I figured if I finished and didn't like it, then it wouldn't be that much of a loss since the program was pretty short. Now that I'm an RN.... I'm still in the deciding phase of whether or not I'm going to continue this or not. I can't imagine myself being a nurse for the rest of my working career, but I also cringe about the thought of going to graduate school. Seems like the only people that are still being hired like crazy are RNs in this crappy economy. I'm in a pickle, so they say! I'm thinking about the CRNA route, but my family says I should dump the nursing gig and go to medical school if that's what I want to do.

I'm currently in a RN program in San Diego, Ca. I have wanted to become a Nurse since I was in High School. It all started when I took a Health Occupation course my senior year; I spent ¾ of my day in the Hospital assisting in every which way. I did the fun stuff too like cast myself and a friend LOL. It was cool back then anyway. I rotated throughout the hospital and took interest in all aspects of health care. I worked with patients and loved it. I can especially recall the patients that made inspiring comments to me such as "you are the kindest nurse I've met," "you've made my day with your smile," and "Thank you for being here for me." As simple as it was I felt like I made a difference in somebody's life that day, and that is a great feeling to have. Immediately after High School I got my CNA and began my journey to becoming a RN. As a CNA I worked at a staffing agency that placed me all over the hospitals where I gained more interest and explored many different fields. I could work anywhere as an RN, but most of all I would get the chance to make a difference in some ones life, even for a day. It might be your son or daughter or your worst enemy. Truth is that it doesn't matter because you still reap the same reward. I want to become a Nurse because I want to make someone feel better everyday. :heartbeat:lol2:

25 years ago I was volunteering in Chiapas, Mexico, on the Guatemalan border, working with Guatemalan refugees that were the victims of the repressive military dictatorship there. I had my Bachelor's degree in Community Studies, a liberal arts degree from UC Santa Cruz, and was living in an area with no electricity and no potable water. I became fluent in Spanish, great at digging latrines and fund raising abroad. But the real needs of the community would greet me daily in the form of children knocking on death's door related to diarrhea, or URI. Pregnancy complications, maternal death in childbirth, neonatal death; it was all a daily reality for these families. I finally realized that I needed more concrete skills that could be readily employed to truly make a difference.

I returned to the States and became an RN through the Los Angeles County School of Nursing, which I chose because of the unmatched clinicals and hands-on experience. I lived in an all Spanish speaking neighborhood, volunteered in a free clinic for central american refugees, and ultimately worked on Labor and Delivery at LA County.

I never returned to live in Latin America as I originally planned, although I have gone on various Health Education Delegations throughout Mexico and Central America. Twenty years later, I continue to work with a primarily Spanish speaking population on a busy OB floor, now in more livable Oregon. Interestingly, there is a sizable Mayan community here from northern Guate, the same community I was working with in Chiapas. I have never regretted my decision to go into nursing, and am grateful that I can make a living wage doing something so fulfilling and that truly touches others' lives. I feel honored and moved every birth I attend.

Science is the only thing that kept me interested throughout my childhood. I also want to help others. Health care just called out to me. At first, my major was premed then I learned nursing gives you a variety of fields to work in and the world needs more nurses anyways. This summer I plan to do volunteer work at a hospital and I hope I can job shadow a nurse!:p

Specializes in Rehabilitation.

I have always been interested in all things medical. I decided to be a nurse my junior year of highschool. I was rejected from nursing school twice due to high volume of applicants. Two angels started a nights and weekends ADN/RN program at my school. I will never forget the day I was accepted. It solidified my calling on this earth. I was meant to be an RN. Through the ups and downs of school, working and getting married, I made it. I passed my boards February 19th 2009.

I cannot wait to start working.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. It is people like you who influence others to begin the wonderful journey of becoming a nurse. :nurse:

Do you know that you became a nurse on the same day my husband and I got married--only that happened 43 years ago. Congratulations. Yes, I have been a nurse now for 45 years and becoming one was the best decision for me that I could have made as a young person. I enjoy what I do, yes, I still work, though I have taken a position that allows me much more flexibility in scheduling as a part-time float at an outpatient surgical facility.

Nursing is one of the few occupations that allows flexible days, hours and a variety of types of work--you can teach, sell, do bedside, research, be in bio technical, the law aspect, forensics, it goes on and on.

I wish you the best in your nursing career, remember to give a job a reasonable trial, but if you hate what you are doing, don't be afraid to search for something different until you come upon the perfect job for YOU. Life is too short to be wishing you didn't have to be there day in and day out--we all have certain days when we wish we were somewhere else, but if it is always miserable, it is time to change.

Again, Congratulations AzMimi

Specializes in ICU, IMCU.

I have always thought that someday I would become a nurse. My mother is a nurse, my grandmother is a nurse, my aunt is a nurse, and my cousin is a nurse. So, you see, it's in my blood.

In 2002 I took a job as a patient care tech in the ICU and IMCU in a small local hospital. I wanted to gain some experience before going to nursing school. About a month after starting my new position I was assigned the patient that no one else wanted. We will call him Mr. B for HIPPA purposes.

I refer to Mr. B as the patient no one wanted because he really was a nightmare to deal with. He was stubborn and just plain mean! Mr. B would curse anyone who set foot in his room especially the nurses and care staff. I dreaded what I might hear when I walked through his door, but I kept a smile just the same. I must admit that the care that I provided to Mr. B was better care than I gave my less difficult patients, even though he scared the crap out of me.

I remember one afternoon while I was helping him to the bedside commode, as he was cursing me, he said, "it's a d*** shame that a grown man can't s*** by himself". Those words, as horrible as they may have been, were the key to understanding this man. At that moment I knew why he was the way he was, and I didn't say a word. It was his pride that was causing the entire ruckus. So, after I cleaned him up and got him back in his bed, I looked him straight in the face...as he was still cursing me...and said, "Listen! One day someone might have to help me the way I'm helping you, and I would rather it be someone like me....so just let me help you". From that moment on, anytime Mr. B needed something, he called me.

As time went by, his condition continued to deteriorate. My last interaction with Mr. B. was when I was called to take some ice chips to him. As I put the cup down on his bedside table he grabbed my arm...startling me, as I knew his nature..."Thank you". "You're welcome", I said smiling politely. He shook my arm and squeezed more tightly, "No....thank you." At that moment, I knew that I was meant to be a nurse.

When I returned to work for my next scheduled shift, I noticed that Mr. B's room was empty. My heart sank, because I knew what had happened. Seven years have passed since that day, but I will never forget Mr. B and the impact he has made in my life. His last words motivate me to be the first to volunteer for the most difficult patients. I want to be the kind of nurse that masters the art, not just the science of the profession.

I will finally be an RN in December!

I was a cop for 7 years and was injured on the job. 9mm gsw to the right hand :cry:. After 2 surgeries a total of 10hrs. I thought i was good to go back to work. I was told be the Docs and the system that this was not going to happen! So I spent the next 2yrs trying to prove that I could still .do the job. I learned how to shoot with the other hand and spent countless hrs. Training lifting and getting my self ready to go. Even after all of this and getting my Doc to lower the disability from 80% to 50%. I was sent a letter that you are no loger being considered for reenstatement. Effective immeadiatly you are retired! Not a happy day for me:banghead:. i spent the next coupleof years doing construction. Which a hated. My brother has been a nurse for 20 yrs. He knew i had a bunch of credits and talked me into going back to school! So far it has been a great choice. Many of the skills you use in police work you use as a nurse! Plus I like to help people. So hear I am and i am happy to be hear!!:yeah:

My story is pretty short and simple. My mom got diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 breast cancer when I was 13 yrs. old. I saw everything that she had to go through, chemo, bone infusions, oxygen...(cancer spread everywhere, obviously) I graduated high school in 2001. (my mom did see me graduate :) ) then I went to college. I originally wanted to go into medicine b/c I was gong-ho about curing cancer and saving everyone. When I realized that the doctors weren't the caring compassionate ones in the hospital, it was the nurses. So I changed my major to nursing and my mom was proud of me. Unfortunately, she passed away Sept. 23, 2003. It was a Tuesday, at 2:19 P.M. I was the last to say good bye, I am the youngest. We were very close and I miss her very much. But she died knowing that I was going to help others, she knew my determination. I am not an RN yet, I am not even in a nursing program yet, but I am not giving up and I WILL be a nurse. I feel like GOD lets things happen in peoples lives to help mold them into the people they are supposed to be. Although my mom was sick for 7 yrs. I never thought that day would come when she wouldn't be there anymore. It has been 6 yrs. this Sept. (maybe thats why I am SO sentimental right now). But I know that she is still proud of me and watching from above. Although my mom wasn't a nurse she passed on the compassion and kindness in me to be a truly memorable one.

When I was eight years old, my mother got into a really bad car accident. She and her five friends were on their way to Las Vegas when she lost control of our van. Yes, she was the driver. Bystanders say that the van rolled over at least ten times and someone was thrown out of it too. Unfortunately, one of the passengers did not live but luckily, my mother did. The doctors called her a miracle. Majority of the driver's that get into major car accidents do not survive and if they did, they probably wouldn't be able to walk ever again. My mother survived with, what my family calls, minimal injuries.

I could just remember the first day she came home after several weeks in the hospital. There wasn't a dry eye in our home. My mother came home wearing, literally a cage on her head known as a halo. It was attached to her head by four pins, two around the orbitals, and the other two behind the ear. The halo prevented further injuries to the spinal cord.

My mom had the halo for eight months and during those eight months, my maternal instincts, my passion for taking care of others was exemplified. I fed my mother, I gave her bed baths, and I assisted her going to the bathroom. I had to act as if I was her mother. I only left her side to attend school other than that, I felt it was my duty to be beside her at all times. It hurt me to see her in pain. There were days where I would go to the bathroom and cry to myself and come out a little later with a smile on my face. Its what I had to do in order to show my mom that everything was going to be all right.

Sure enough, eight months later, my mom had the halo removed and she looked like she was back to normal. She had scars here and there but she was able to move her whole body and most importantly, walk.

My family was being tested on how close and how much we love and care for each other. It was the most difficult thing my family had ever experienced. When I cared for my mother, I decided that I wanted to be in a profession that would help heal people. Nurses seem to have the most direct contact with their patients. As a nurse, I'd want to know that I have impacted someone's health in a positive way. I want to look back and be proud of helping others as I helped my mother get her health back.

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