What I Didn’t Know About Nursing

You don’t really know what nursing is about until your first day of clinicals. Here’s what I found out about being a nurse.

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I didn’t know anything about nursing! I don’t have a compelling call-to-action story on why I chose to become a nurse and I didn’t know what my purpose was. You can read about finding your purpose in my previous post here.

I swam year-round for 10 years as a kid, frequently traveling to and from swim meets. I loved the distant locations my team and I traveled to and had so much fun during the time we spent hanging out at the hotels our families stayed after the meet. Because of these cherished memories I wanted to own and manage a hotel.

What I expected

The idea of being a nurse was introduced to me by my parents when I was a high school senior. My mom was an accountant and my dad was a traffic officer, so we had no idea what the ins and outs of the job entailed. “You’ll be helping other people” was their selling point. They constantly compared nursing to hotel and restaurant management; “you’ll have a stable job.” Nursing also seemed like a career that fit my personality.

What I experienced

The first day of clinicals was a disaster! We were partnered off with a classmate and assigned one patient. Ashley and I struggled so hard learning how to apply classroom concepts to a patient who was so ill. We struggled, succeeded, and in the end felt so accomplished!

This led me to a realization. “I can be a nurse” I thought to myself, as our herd of students walked out of the hospital in our white, crisp scrubs and sewed on school patches. It wasn’t a convincing thought, but it was a start.

During this time my grandfather’s health declined. I absolutely loved taking care of him and most importantly the time we spent together! He died toward the end of my first year of nursing, which catapulted my motivation to finish school and help other people with chronic illnesses.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

After 6 years of being a nurse, I still can’t fully describe the feeling of reward you experience. It’s a feeling of fulfillment after being at the front lines of helping someone and their family during possibly the most difficult time in their life.

No matter how stressful, physically exhausting, or emotionally heavy your shift may be, I will guarantee you that you will walk away realizing that you and your patients accomplished so much that day!

Millennial Challenge

  • What skills do you have that can contribute to a career in helping others?
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