Why I became a nurse: Steve’s story

Siri Stafford | Digital Vision | Thinkstock

My mother and grandmother were nurses, as are my sister and aunts. At my high school graduation in Vero Beach, Fla., the typical professional choices for women were teaching or nursing. Of course, with the influence of family members who were nurses, and my father being a physician, I attended a three-year diploma nursing program in Charlotte, N.C.

I have been working in hospitals at the bedside for more than 34 years in various services. For me, it has always been a heartfelt service, helping others who are vulnerable, that has brought me joy in my profession. By working in emergency rooms, ICUs and then various specialty units, I have had the privilege of sharing my patients’ joys and sorrows in their situations with healthcare.

Even now, at age 64, I have found a place where I can be useful and caring to others in teaching positions. What a comfort, too, in this economy to know that my life skills are always needed and that I could find a niche that still brings me pleasure. I have been an encourager of this profession whenever possible and have never regretted my choice those many years ago.

I dedicate this story to my parents, who were role models: my mother, who I have always loved and admired for all she was to me, and for all the support and encouragement she gave to me in my life; and my father, who spent his life serving those in need.

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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 florencenightingaleexhibit.com). 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 thenursinginspirationproject.com.

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