Why I Chose Nursing
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Student Life

Why I Chose Nursing

It's pretty tough to answer a loaded question such as why you chose your field of study in a short and definite response. Well here is my definitely not long response to why I want to be a nurse.

Why I Chose Nursing

As college students, we often get questions about why we are studying what we are studying. As nurses in particular, I have heard the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” or, “Why did you chose to study nursing?” more times than I could ever keep track of. When someone asks me that, it’s easy to go for the generic answer. Often it’s a stranger you just met, or that uncle at the family reunion that you really don’t want to hold a long conversation with, so it makes sense that we would say something along the lines of how we enjoy “helping people,” or that we are interested in the healthcare field. Maybe that a close family member or friend was a nurse and inspired you. Maybe that nursing has a high job demand and offers high job security. Whatever the reason, it’s all too easy to go for the generic one-line answer in these conversations; but, sitting back and thinking about it, why do I want to be a nurse?

I could go on and on discussing the UVA School of Nursing’s esteemed reputation, or it’s outstandingly high employment rate, or all the successes of the program and where it might get me in life, but that’s something my parents want to hear. Sure, those are very important factors in choosing a program of study, but again, why nursing?

Having gotten so used to giving those clichéd answers, I had to sit back and really think about this. Why did I ever decide to apply to nursing school in the first place? Why am I going into a profession that I know is often overlooked, underappreciated, and underpaid, when I could be studying pre-med or pre-comm instead, like the rest of the UVA population?

Well, for me, I flashbacked to high school — the days when social status, labels, and cliques were everything. The days when, because of that, my personal life philosophy became that “leadership is a service.” I think that nurses can be and should be tomorrow’s leaders in healthcare. So, backtracking, to clarify what I mean by “leadership is a service,” it’s all about giving back. It is taking the knowledge, the experience, and the skills you have gained and using that to help others, to lead, to care for, and to teach. It’s not about what title you have, what position you are in, how many people are “under” you, or even how much money you are making. Serving others is about putting other people before you, regardless of status.

So, why not be a doctor? It’s pretty similar — I’d still be in the healthcare field, but I’d make a lot more money and I would be higher on the hospital hierarchy technically. Asking a nurse why he or she didn’t chose to be a doctor is like asking a writer why he is not the editor, or asking a nectarine why it is not a peach. It’s different. Nursing is all about the people, the patients, and caring for them on a personal level. It’s also about choosing something that makes you happy. I don’t want to be a doctor. I don’t care that I will make three times the money, it’s not what I want to do. The truth is, if you find something you love, something you’re passionate about, and you are willing to work hard towards that, you will be happy in what you do.

One thing I admire most about nursing is the genuine passion for learning. The thing is, life and everything in it is always going to be a learning process. You could be the smartest person on Earth, and there will always be more to learn. Ultimately, it’s all about humbling yourself, and taking problems or hurdles in the road as opportunities for growth. It’s about continuing to ask questions, bettering yourself, and bettering the community around you. Perhaps one of the most inspirational people I have met was someone who I originally thought had everything she could ever want — she had money, she was smart, she had travelled practically everywhere — but what inspired me was that even though she had all these things, she continued to take each of her encounters in life as learning opportunities. She never once acted like she knew everything about a certain subject. When she travelled, she never acted as a “savior,” but just as someone with an open mind and an open heart, ready to listen and learn.

So, why did I chose nursing? I don’t think there is any way I could sum this all up in one sentence. We could all go back to the generic one-liners, but what does that do to help people understand what nursing is truly all about?

As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.Maya Angelou
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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