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Nurses on the Moment They Realized They Wanted to Be a Caregiver

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The decision to be a nurse is often a life-long calling. Many providers say they knew they wanted to be a nurse when they were just five or six years old. Some came to the profession later in life after years of working in other industries. This business isn’t for everyone, so we asked millions of nurses to share the moment when they realized their purpose in life.

I wanted to be a ballerina (never had a lesson), a teacher, a writer, an artist, a journalist. When I was 14, I became a junior volunteer at a local hospital in The Bronx. Suddenly I knew I could do this- I could be a nurse! I just celebrated 47 years as a full time RN on June 1st.

Gail

I had a family friend in the ICU, and it sparked my interest.

But when I was 18, I got my gallbladder out and had an incredibly awful emotional reaction to the anesthesia. I woke up in recovery and cried for like an hour. And the nurse sat and talked with me. I was a grown ass adult and she got me through a really vulnerable time. I really admired that and wanted to be that kind of nurse too. That’s why I love Hospice. It allows me that kind of 1:1 bond and time.

Kristin

I never wanted to be a nurse. I hated math and science. My husband and I had a baby to take care of and needed a career. Nursing called to me. I took a GAS health option and had a high enough GPA to get into the nursing program. I never looked back.

I also did my pre-grad in L&D and they asked me if I wanted to work some days in the NICU and I said no thanks, I am never working with babies. After graduation, a community hospital close to me had a $3,000 scholarship and 6 month position which I took and ended up in the NICU. I did the perinatal intensive care placement at the hospital I am now at and fell in love with my autonomy and getting to use my brain all the time and was hired after my clinical.

That was 15 years ago. Almost 20 in nursing. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Tina

I was sixteen when I got a job doing laundry at a nursing care center. I came to love the residents and met a nurse who really pushed me to go back to school. It was the beginning of a forty-year friendship and career.

Cindy

High school, I took a course called “Health Occupations” for fun. You got to go to the hospital and learn a little about each department. I was hooked!

Mary

At age 50, as my wife was on a trajectory for dialysis, she also could no longer do the work that we had been doing together. So, I needed a new career and I wanted to be able to provide her home hemodialysis.

Brad

I was 38 and trying to leave a bad marriage. I realized that it was hard to gross me out, so I became a nurse.

Victoria

I decided to become a nurse after I became an EMT and took people to the ER. I got addicted to the adrenaline rush.

Debbie

I saw an ad in the Reader’s Digest that said, “Are you man enough to do a woman’s job?” This was in 1975. You could not run that ad now.

Gary

My mom passed away in June of 1990. The hospice nurse was there to guide me and my family through this process. Her kindness, gentle touch, and knowledge encouraged me so much. I decided that I too wanted to give back this type of care and comfort and became a nurse in 1998. I have never regretted that decision 25 years later. It wasn’t easy working through it all, but God made it possible. I’m honored to have served the community as a nurse.

Viola

I didn’t realize it then but looking back… my mom had a first aid book that had some pretty graphic pictures in it, and I would literally flip through it daily before I could even read. I also always used to play hospital and all my dolls would have their charts before I even knew charts existed. And our old baby stroller was the ambulance.

So, I guess it was always in my blood, but I didn’t decide until I was finishing high school and it was time to apply to colleges – all my choices were nursing. My mom told me to pick something else as well just in case and I said, “What for?! This is what I’m gonna do.” I ended up picking EMS and got accepted to that program too, but nursing was always number one

Marijana

When I was born! I literally never wanted to do anything else with my life. My mom still has memory books going back to when I was 3 years old and the portion where it asks, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” It says nurse every year.

Leslie

I specifically never wanted to be a nurse because my mom is one and I would see her cry and struggle when she lost patients etc. So, I went for biology and wanted to do environmental biology. Fast forward a few years and I was working with children with autism, and it was then I knew I wanted to do more to help people. So, here we are. I’m five years in working as an ER nurse and now I almost have my PMHNP (August!!).

Destiney

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