The nursing inspiration project: William’s story

My name is William and I am a large “bearish” fellow with a big heart. From an early age I was always considered the “protector” and when I graduated high school I followed the natural progression of that title by first becoming a bouncer and then a bodyguard before finally settling into law enforcement. I ultimately found my niche in gang investigation and stayed in that role for 13 years until the negative environment in which I was forced to work began to take its toll.

The final straw came when I testified in a capital murder trial for a heinous hate crime committed by white supremacists. During the lengthy trials the victim’s family underwent tremendous pain while having to relive the event and deep in my heart I simply wanted to “hold” them…to put my arms around them and tell them my heart hurt for their loss.

Months later, at the end of the trials, I was finally allowed to speak with the victim’s family and shared in their pain and grief. That day, while driving home from the last trial, I knew in my heart that I needed to take a different path. I took a job the next week at the local Emergency Room and within 24 hours of starting I knew my calling was to be a nurse.

For 8 years now I have worked as an RN with honor and pride. To ease the pain and suffering of another is the most noble act we can perform.

“William’s Story” was first published in The Nursing Inspiration Project blog. To share your story about how you became a nurse, submit to


The Nursing Inspiration Project

Joanelle Mulrain is an artist, photographer and writer whose recent works include a special suite of paintings to honor Florence Nightingale for the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum (Jacksonville, Fla.). For this special series, Mulrain researched what inspired Florence Nightingale to become a nurse and translated her inspirational points of light into her paintings (for more on the exhibit, go to This journey broadened into a blog—The Nursing Inspiration Project—which asks nurses to share their stories in 1,000 words or less about why they chose nursing as their life’s work. Be a part of this important project and submit your story at

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