Why do you want to be a nurse? Students share their sentiments
By The College of St. Scholastica | @StScholastica | Apr 27, 2015
Let's face it—not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. But in the midst of it all, babies are born, lives are saved and life-long bonds are even formed between the medical staff and their patients. This rewarding career path is as multifaceted as it is essential to the medical field.
And what's better? We need nurses now more than ever!
Baby boomers are aging and the need for healthcare professionals is skyrocketing as a result, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Nursing schools across the U.S. are struggling to expand at the rates necessary to meet this increasing demand.
The numbers reflect this widening gap. There were more than 750,000 job postings for nurses across the spectrum of specialties in the past year, according to Burning-Glass.com.* The job prospects for registered nurses (RNs) alone are expected to grow at a rate of 19 percent by 2022, much faster than the average vocation.
The field needs qualified nursing hopefuls to step up to the plate. But sometimes a bright job outlook isn't enough to seal the deal for the medical professionals of our future.
That is why we spoke to a handful of nursing graduate students and asked them, "Why do you want to be a nurse?" They identified four distinct reasons why pursuing a career in nursing is worth it.
4 Reasons you should become a nurse
1. It's an exciting, fast-paced profession
The shifts may get long and certain aspects of the job will inevitably become routine, but the life of a nurse is never boring. Whether you're working out of a hospital, a private practice or a palliative care center, you have to be ready to respond to just about anything at a moment's notice.
"I need to be in a fast-paced work environment," says Danielle Mella. "In nursing, every day is different, so there's always something new to figure out. Working as a clinician keeps me on my toes."
From quirky patients to split-second decisions, rest assured that no two days will be alike when you're working as a nurse. This makes nursing a great choice if you're the type who thrives under pressure and craves excitement.
2. It gives you the opportunity to positively impact your patients & community
"I want to be a nurse because I really want to help people through some of their most vulnerable moments," explains Meagan Thompson.
All nurses have at least one thing in common—they want to help people. Not only do they play the role of caretaker for their patients, but in some circumstances, they can also be a friend, a confidante and a trusted adviser. It takes a special kind of person to fill all of those roles the way nurses do.
"Ever since I was a little girl, my empathetic heart took over. When I saw a friend crying, I was the first to go over and comfort him or her," says Brie Peters. After traveling to Guatemala as a young adult to assist an RN in administering medical treatment to underserved villagers, her childhood penchant for helping others transformed into a career dream.
The medical care administered by nurses isn't just a temporary fix—it is also about teaching people afflicted by injury or illness to care for themselves as they move forward. "Empowering others to take control over their health and quality of life will be truly fulfilling," says Elana Goldsmith.
3. It offers one-of-a-kind flexibility
There is a certain flexibility that comes with the profession of nursing—one that can often lead to a longer, more sustainable career. In fact, there are more than 100 different specialties in the world of nursing. These jobs include everything from critical care nurse to forensic nurse to nurse anesthetist.
"There is so much flexibility in terms of the areas that a nurse can specialize in," Mella explains. "It truly makes for a career that will last a lifetime!"
Nurses relish this opportunity to locate the perfect specialty through which to utilize their specific strengths. This plethora of positions means it won't be hard to find your perfect fit.
4. You can experience the benefits of a holistic approach to medicine
"One of the aspects I enjoy most is the holistic approach of nursing care. We are taught not to focus on the specific state of a disease, but rather the patient's response to the disease or illness," says Kara Somora.
She explains that the most effective method of patient care includes not only meeting their physical needs, but meeting their emotional, social and spiritual needs as well. "If any of these components are neglected, a person can't be their healthiest self," Somora says.
Using a holistic approach to medical care allows nurses to treat "the whole person" while also benefitting the nurses themselves—often preventing professional burnout among medical teams.
Join this rewarding career path
Americans consider nursing to be the most trusted, ethically-sound profession, according to a 2014 poll from Gallup. But, as our panel of nursing graduate students revealed, there is a lot more to this multifaceted career path than what is portrayed on TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."
"I believe that patients' willingness to place their lives in the hands of those assigned to care for them demonstrates the ultimate act of trust," Peters says. "It is a great honor and responsibility."
From the flexible job opportunities to the profound community impact nurses can make, this career path has the potential to reap a lifetime of rewards.
If you can identify with these reasons for pursuing a career in nursing, learn more about 9 of the different nursing jobs that are in demand now!
The College of St. Scholastica
The College of St. Scholastica is an independent private Catholic Benedictine college with locations across Minnesota, in addition to many high-quality programs available online and through convenient evening and weekend formats. Since 1912, St. Scholastica has been preparing students for a life of purpose and economic gain by engaging students in the love of learning and active citizenship in the world. Our mission is to provide intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.
When it comes to choosing a specialty, the majority of us are trying to pick up the one which will give us financial freedom. However, when you are inspired with the profession, you might not look at the financial aspect and mainly focus on what you like to do or what kind of contribution you can bring into the field. People who are thinking about their contribution are often talented scientists, honest police officers or lawyers and usually, they are successful in what they are doing because they made the right choice. And there are numerous such specialties which require talent or a strong will to help and nursing is among them. In my essay, I decided to answer the question what inspired me to become a nurse. And I can say for sure that there are numerous reasons, but the main was evident. A lot of people are still keep asking me why do you want to be a nurse, and they are getting the same answer. It was well-known disease – cancer. From the attitude to it my nursing path began it way, and I have started to research and to learn more about this specialty.
So, why do I want to be a nurse who helps patients with cancer? There are a lot of specialized nurses who have various talents; however, nurses who are working with people who have cancer are different. They are aimed not only to provide needed by the patient treatment but also to support this person, share with the person the will to live, help his or her relatives to overcome depressed thoughts about the future.
Nurses who are taking care of cancer patients are real angels and not looking on hard emotional conditions surrounding them they are trying to stay positive and to make the life of their patients different.
When we are speaking about cancer, we imagine a bold pale person who is dying from that disease. However, in most cases, it is not true. The person, who fights cancer, is strong morally. He or she is trying to be positive no matter how hard the path, and help not only themselves to fight, but also others who support them. These people probably ones who now how high the cost of life and how easy to lose it. And supporting them is a great choice when you want your occupation to be connected with such an important thing.
First, I thought about this career path when I saw the film The Bucket List (2007) by talented producer Rob Reiner. It was the story of two different men who had a fatal form of cancer. They created the list of things they wanted to do before they die, and followed it. This film shows how the view of a person changes when he or she hears the diagnosis, and how the will to life can modify the disease flow. Of course, the end of the story was unexpected, and one of the main heroes died, but the second got a chance for a new life. I think this film is about how hard circumstances change the life of people, their thoughts, and relationships.
Another reason for nursing career path choice was different fundraising campaigns I see online each day, on Facebook people from different countries asking for the help. They are looking for money to fight the disease and each day we are losing beautiful individuals who didn’t have money to overcome cancer. These stories are hard to read, and because I am not able to help financially these people, I decided to support them in another way, to become a nurse and take care and support them in a professional way.
The first step besides reading and researching nursing programs was visiting medical center which helps kids with cancer and their parents. It was the hardest thing for me in my life, to see such sweet beautiful and smart children who from their birth are fighting a disease. They are just kids, who want to go to school, have friends and spend time in the park with their parents. They are dreaming of becoming healthy and living like other kids, enjoying sports and spending time with their parents. For Christmas, they wish health to everyone surrounding them. Here children of 10-12 years old are older than the majority of adults, because they do understand how much the life costs and do have the will to live; I saw it in their eyes.
I was just a volunteer who helped with simple day to day tasks at the center. I saw smiling nurses who used toys, candies and other things to help kids to go through treatment procedures: hours under medicine droppers, pricks and pills intake, different analysis and examinations – everything was carried out with love and special attention to each small person here.
The next step in my future nursing path was visiting adults’ cancer center to help there. Here are older people fighting with this illness. And this place is also full of positive people who support each other. Nurses here are tired but ready to help. Each day they help people medically and psychologically. And this is a great job because without this support patients won’t be successful in their fight. It is great to be surrounded by kindhearted people, and I want to become a part of this community because I want to share with all these people my will to life.
I want to be a nurse who is helping to fight with disease; I want to support people who are in a bad situation and need support and stimulation to fight. I want to be a nurse who inspires others, helps them to overcome depression.
I want to be a nurse who is professional and able to prescribed treatment, reduce pain, save life and much more. I want to be a nurse who helps in one way or another. I want to be a nurse because I love making the world different and friendly to anyone.
Note: This article is written on the request of one of my students.
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