Where do you lie?

When I applied for the nursing program at UDub, they asked me a question that was rather simple really.

Why do you want to be a nurse?

I knew when I was five.  I used to play this game where I’d gather all my stuffed animals (I had lots) and a little plastic doctor’s kit my uncle got for me (he’s a OB/GYN).  I’d treat all the animals for various ailments, mostly broken legs because you know neurosurgery just wasn’t an option. I’d steal my brother’s athletic tape and stablize their limbs. 

I told my mother I wanted to be a nurse, she nodded and smiled and went about the rest of her day, I was her fifth child, there wasn’t time.

When I was 16 and sick in a foreign country I had three American nurses from the Red Cross look over me in my fevered state, I told them I wanted to be a nurse.  That’s when I knew I wanted to do doctor’s without borders but nurses style. 

Going into nursing school I know I want to be a nurse, not for the money or for the glory (ha) but because I want to help people, I want to make a slight difference in someone’s life.  When I was sick in Ecuador, the nurses did everything in their power to make me feel better, there was nothing medical they could do, let the fever pass, treat the anemia, so forth and so on, but their presense was enough.  That’s what I want to be to someone else, I don’t need a glorified job in the ED or an oncology nurse or help bring a new life into this world, all those things are great, I just want to add a moment of comfort to someone’s life.

Call me naive but I thought that’s what every other person who wants to be a nurse does it for.  Then I started talking to the other students in my class and their reasons started spurting forth. 

Some are doing it for the money, they plan to work med/surg a year then head on to management (okay, some people do better in management), others this BSN is just a stepping stone to an MSN and a career in um management or policy writing (ugh).  Some are in this program because they had still didn’t know if they wanted to go to med school or not and some just couldn’t think of another career and I don’t mean that as in there isn’t another career for them.

All these reasons are fine, but is it good for the long term?  We know we have a nursing shortage, we know the population of baby boomers is aging, we know we need healthcare providers.  So of all of these future nurses how many are actually going to provide patient care for longer then a few years, how many are going to get so burned out in five years they go back to whatever they were before this.

Nursing isn’t just a job, it should be a passion.

At least that’s how I feel about it, anyone who is in a career they don’t feel passionate about are just shorting themselves.  Life is too short to live that way.

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~ by Kim on July 29, 2008.

6 Responses to “Where do you lie?”

  1. […] Where do you lie? When I applied for the nursing program at UDub, they asked me a question that was rather simple really. Why do you want to be a nurse? I knew when I was five. I used to play this game…. Going into nursing school I know I want to be a nurse, not for the money or for the glory (ha… for them. All these reasons are fine, but is it good for the long term? We know we have a nursing… they were before this. Nursing isn’t just a job, it should be a passion. At least that’s how I […]

  2. I would love to be a nurse, but probably for the wrong reasons, you mentioned the nursing shortage, I love the idea of being able to travel anywhere and work. I like to move, and it gives that kind of freedom. I like your view on it, I wish more people felt that way about their jobs (my orders wouldnt’ arrive cold)

  3. I guess my point is we all have our reasons for being in the career we want, but healthcare isn’t one that should be based off of money or because there just isn’t anything else out there. Cuz there isn’t any money there.

  4. Good.

    For me, I know that I cannot do anything else.

    Go back to locksmithing? NO! I will take care of my patients until I die.

    I’m glad you have the right motivation, too. MOST of the students in my program are in it for the right reason, too. But there are those few… who just want the money. I hope they bother to take care of their patients between those paychecks!

  5. hey there…I’m the ‘dude’ from cloaked nurse, thought i’d come by and check out your blog…

    and you’ve explained so eloquently exactly why I want to become a nurse…I agree that nursing (as well as teaching) is a calling

    during one of my clinicals i realized how i fit so well in this career choice when this man who was in incredible pain was getting a pic line, I held his hand and started talking to him about what i thought he would be interested in and the pic line went in and he was distracted enough that he wasn’t caused extra anxiety….it wasn’t anything you could teach in a book, but it’s what nursing is for me (and yes i also really like the information we learn in school too)

  6. Zimmer –

    thanks for commenting…it is a calling

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