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Why did you become a nurse?


Has 16 years experience.

I'm just wondering what inspired others to become nurses (or why you are aspiring to become a nurse).

Were you attracted to the lifestyle of long shifts condensed to one portion of the week and opening free time through the rest of the week? The payment? Desire to help people? Family encouragement? Geographic mobility via contracts?

There's no interviewer here to impress, so I'm curious about people's REAL answers.


klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

The paycheck

The paycheck. The ability to relocate anywhere. Pressure to get my life going. A foundation on which I could build and grow.

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

The big return with minimal investment. I came from a low income family and wasn't sure how I was going to afford college. The hospital based diploma program I attended was free 100% in return for me, working at the hospital after graduation. Best investment ever

I love helping others and truly do feel that nursing is my calling. The pay isn't too bad, however with all the crap I have to put up with sometimes the pay definitely isn't on the top of the list to why I became a nurse. IMHO. When I chose nursing, at a very young age, I wasn't aware of the schedule of flexibility. I must say the flexibility is a plus. I can work in so many different areas of nursing and feel as though I'd never be bored.

Nursing is not my calling!!! Trust me if I had the time to go back to school I would. The reason I went into nursing, I was in vet school and had to quit due to a family emergency. I had to come home and since there was no vet schools around and I had pretty much all of the curriculum for nursing school figure I would go so I can at least work and be making some kind of money. And I'm still here.

Palliative Care, DNP

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Because I was wait listed for dental hygiene and didn't want to wait a year.

I never knew a nurse before I went to nursing school. I had no clue what shifts or days nurses worked, had never heard of travel nursing. I just wanted to do it.


Specializes in Operating Room. Has 3 years experience.

Encouraged by my Dad who was a firefighter - he enjoyed helping others in a time of need and that characteristic rubbed off on me.

I did it for the scrubs. And fancy shoes. :nurse:

Hopefuldogmom, LVN

Specializes in 4. Has 7 years experience.

I was all of 18 years old and not sure where my life was going. I dropped out of college and having a hard time living at home with my parents. I had a friend who was a medical assistant and she told me about an agency who could help me find a job. I had to take a long test and the agency suggested that I may be suited to work in a doctors office. They actually had a job in line for me and that was 1990. I have been in the medical field almost since then and never looked back. From working as a front office receptionist, I wanted more and was so interested in the actual care patients were receiving. It was from that point on, that I knew what I wanted to do. This was my calling and I didn't care what the pay was. Yes, it does bother me when others use that reasoning but it is truly a personal choice. Personally, when I help others I get a return that no paycheck or benefit even comes close to. Nursing has changed since I came on board in 1990 as a wide eyed high school graduate but all of my middle years experience has helped me become the nurse that I am today. I have been an LVN for nearly 4 years and I am taking ASN/BSN RN pre-req's now. I have no regrets and I truly appreciate the path I am finally on.


Specializes in LTC.

My Mom was the one to push for nursing. I truly think her deep down reason was that she expected to gain an MD son-in-law.


Flexible schedule, multitude of options if you get bored with one specialty, it involves talking to people, and it's constantly going to engage my learning. Those were my reasons.

I sat behind a desk every day and did accounting for 3 years after my first bachelors and it was hell. I got fat, lost my motivation to improve at work, and flat out felt like my job didn't matter, and I really think I lost brain matter doing that job.

So with the help of my husband I went back to school for nursing and graduated a few months ago and it was the best decision I've ever made.

It wasn't the best decision I've ever made because nursing is some :wonderful: job that gets me excited waking up in the morning, but I knew I would never be bored at work and most of the time it engages my brain. The few and far between moments where I feel like I'm helping someone or making a difference makes it worth it, even if that's only once in 3 shifts.

ETA: for those of you who did it for the money..... We don't get paid nearly enough for the crap we deal with!! I made the same amount working in accounting with a Bachelors in Business. I can honestly say the pay wasn't a driving factor for me.



Specializes in Med Surg.

My mom is a nurse...my grandma was a nurse...and my great-grandma was a nurse!

Although I always said, "I'm not smart enough to be a nurse." When I was preparing to graduate from college with a Psychology degree I applied to a nursing program as kind of a "Oh, what the hell" type of thing and ended up being accepted. So fast forward a few years I guess I became a nurse 10% because it was a goal I never thought I'd accomplish and 90% pure luck/fate ;)hahaha

enchantmentdis, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, ONC, Tele, Med Surg, Endo/Output.

I had to be talked into it by a former high school counselor. I was a waitress, medical assistant, optometric assistant prior to nursing, while taking classes at community colleges and a university. My fiancé died in a car accident; and it was then that my counselor said "you have all the courses to get in the RN program, you should do that". I never thought it was a good idea but the lure of making double the money I was making made me trudge to the local state university to apply.