Today I wanted to write about why I became a nurse. It was a long journey choosing this career path, but I feel it was the right one for me!
When I was younger, I was always into science and the human body. I remember learning about how the lungs work when you take a breath. It is something so simple that we do without any thought, but our lungs work hard for that breath! I never knew what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. After being sick and continuously going to the doctor’s office; I was inspired by the nurses and their compassion for everyone who walked in the door. In the back of my head I knew nursing would be something I wanted to try, I just was not sure I could handle the long shifts, blood, guts, and everything in between!
Getting into college I was “undecided” at first. I took all the basic general education classes for my first year, still having NO IDEA what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I eventually decided my first year on joining the physical therapy program. Before getting into the physical therapy program at my college, a specific amount of hours of shadowing a physical therapist was required. I was so thankful for this opportunity because after doing the full amount of shadowing I realized that physical therapy was NOT for me. No offense to all my physical therapy friends out there, but I was so incredibly bored. At the hospital I work with a lot of physical therapists, and they definitely are valuable members of the interdisciplinary care team! Well as I went into my second year of college I was still undecided on what to do. I decided to look into becoming a speech language pathologist (SLP), which I absolutely loved. I was fairly good at it and loved working in the clinical setting. My major set back was having to attend graduate school to obtain a SLP license. This program for most graduate school’s only accept 10-20 people max. Not only was I already paying a TON for undergraduate school but 3 more years?! Ugh. Like I said nursing was always in the back of my mind at this point but I hadn’t made the commitment to apply to the specific nursing school program.
In May of 2012, my sister had her first child, my niece. On this day I knew nursing was my calling. I realized nurses are not only “nurses”, but they are advocates and educators. I had mentioned to my sister’s nurse that I was interested in nursing and she took the time to explain to me what she was doing and why. She explained to me why she became a nurse. I felt compassion, empathy, and overall a caring nature from her. I knew that I wanted to one day have these qualities in my profession, and help guide a young nurse like me into the nursing career. It was this day that redirected my thinking from speech pathology and worries of graduate school, to taking a risk and applying to nursing school.
I applied to nursing school and started in the fall semester of 2012! Nursing school was one of the hardest things in my life, but it gave me some of my best friends to this day. Graduating as an official RN in December 2015 (the program is 2.5 years), I began my first job as a RN in Madison, WI. This job taught me so much about myself. I made so many friends along the way to this day are my best friends. Five years later I am still continuing to work as a bedside nurse. I have worked with a variety of medical surgical patients and really have seen a lot! Everyday I learn something new in my career. The best part of nursing is that it is so flexible. There are several career paths to take including advancing education if you want to!
After 5 years I am feeling that there is change in the future for me! I am not sure where my career path will take me but we will hopefully find out soon! Wish me luck for a career change coming soon. Hopefully out of the bedside and into clinic, procedural, a higher degree? Who knows?! What kind of nursing do you do? What got you into nursing?