Nurses are among the most in-demand, highly respected medical professionals in the healthcare industry. Along with the knowledge and skill set to provide the best possible care for patients, it takes a level of compassion beyond measure, the endurance to make it through long shifts, and a thick skin to deal with the fact that the outcome you want isn’t always the outcome you will get.
Every nurse has a story about how they found their calling. We asked our RN to BSN program instructors to share what drew them to the nursing profession.
“I was very ill as a child and underwent multiple life-saving surgeries. At the age of 5, [I underwent] my last open heart surgery. I remember waking up in my hospital room and seeing the smiling faces of my nurses. My favorite nurse was named Karen, and I always wanted to be like her. I feel that fate has driven my goals to advance toward healthcare.”
— Amanda Walker, DNP, MBA-HCA, RN, CNOR
"Most [nurses] have had some early-on exposure to healthcare, either through a family member's experience or being a patient. You see something that makes you say, 'I want to make a difference.' My brother was killed in a car accident when he was 17, and I was in high school. Seeing that whole process [of my brother's care], even though the outcome wasn't good, made me want to be in healthcare."
— Cynthia Payne, RNC, WHNP-BC, CNM
“I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a nurse. When I was a junior in high school, [I got a job as] a nursing assistant. Becoming a nursing assistant was the first step in my life-long adventure in nursing.”
— Joyce Johnston, DNP, MBA, VHA-CM
“I knew [I wanted to be a nurse] since I was 5 years old. My grandmother lived near a nursing school. One day when I got home from school, I decided I wanted to go there and visit, and they invited me in. I spent the last six months of kindergarten going there. [The nursing students] called me their ‘mascot.’ They invited me to graduation and gave me a nurse’s lamp. I knew from that point I wanted to be a nurse, and I ended up graduating from that nursing school.”
— Sandra Kleiman, MSN, RN
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