Aside from emails from readers about motherhood, the next most common question and topic of interest is---Why did you become a nurse? It's a question that I get asked so many times that you would think by now I would have a straightforward answer. The thing is, there is no one reason, one deciding factor, or one way of answering. There are multiple reasons, and nursing has been the only career that has been able to meet all of those ideals that I wanted out of a full-time-big-girl-job.
1. Family first. No matter what, I wanted a career that would allow me the opportunity to make my dreams come true of my husband and I raising our children and not having to be forced to have daycare as an option. By switching to night shift, I was able to make this dream and wish of mine come true. Nursing is a career that has endless amounts of opportunities. Want to stay home with your kids during the day
2. Flexibility. The second, and very important, reason behind my career choice was the flexibility. I loved that I had the option of doing day shift or night. One day, two, or three. The ability to choose whether I wanted to be on one designated floor, or float around to several around the hospital. If I wanted to just do weekends only. The flexibility to adjust as life changes. Which is exactly what I have done. Prior to day shift, I worked days. After having my daughter, I realized that I wanted to be able to stay home with her during the day, and so a change to night shift was made. Nursing allowed me to stay home with my daughter.
3. Choices. You have choices. Nursing is not just about being a nurse. With nursing you can be a pediatric nurse. You can be a medsurg nurse. You can be a critical care nurse. You can work in trauma. In the ER. In the doctor's office. You can spend all day at bedside, or you can spend it in meetings as an administrator that is trying to make the work force a better place for all. You have options and I love that I don't have to do the same thing for the rest of my life.
4. Helping others. This is probably the number one reason stated by all nurses out there, and it is definitely one of mine as well, but for me it is one that is understood. You cannot possibly go into this career and not want to help others. Not want to have a changing effect and make a difference in care. Even if it means placing your hand on someone in need of a touch.... it makes a difference. I go to work every day knowing that what I do impacts the life of another human being. That the decisions that I make can change their outcome. Whether that means through medicine, or a simple smile.
Being a nurse means a lot of things to me. It means opportunity. It means giving. It means flexibility, choices, and family. It is as rewarding to me as anything else, and I am so happy to work alongside some of the brightest people I have ever met.
I became a nurse because there is no one definition of a nurse or what we do. So many ways to describe it, and so many ways to define it. But if I could only describe it in one way, one sentence, one word? Rewarding.
If I had one word left to give you, it would be rewarding.
Being a nurse is rewarding. On so many levels.
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