Attending a university where the majority of my classmates are pre-med or pre-law, I’m frequently asked “Why did you choose nursing?” It took being asked this several times to finally be able to give a solid answer, in fact to finally discern not the reason, but reasons, as to why I’m meant to be a nurse. Emory is known for its medical school and pre-med track, in fact the large majority of the incoming freshman class is pre-med (although over 50% of them change their majors soon after enrolling, but that’s a story for another day). In fact, the pre-med track is so prevalent that people just assume you are until you correct them. Because of this, myself and the others whom are pursuing non-traditional majors, so to speak, are definitely outcasts in a sense on campus. I personally love it. It gives me the opportunity to share a view point and a major that is incredibly under represented on campus. It allows me to talk about nursing, its importance and the role I see myself playing in the field. To sit here and say that I never wanted or pondered on being a doctor would be a lie, but there are so many reasons as to why nursing is clearly the better choice for myself.
1. First and foremost, I honestly cannot imagine myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.
Coming into college, I didn’t completely know what I was majoring in. I just took the leap of faith and trusted that like the tour guides and dean had promised, that I would soon figure out my calling along the way. Unfortunately, my personality does not allow for uncertainty. My anxiety and over-thinking leaves no room for taking “classes that interest me” while waiting to find my major along the way. Because of this, I had placed the pressure on myself to figure out what my major is during orientation. Yup… you read that correctly, ORIENTATION. By the time I was signing up for classes, I knew I was pre-nursing. I always knew I couldn’t imagine myself not in the medical field, somehow or another. Even when I was sure I would be pre-law during my senior year of high school, I wanted to pursue medical law. Being a doctor just wasn’t an option for me (more on this later) and being a lawyer just wasn’t practical for me either. I took all the aptitude tests the internet had to offer and I had a serious conversation with my mother. No matter how much I tried to convince myself into different career paths, my heart and that voice inside my head always reassured me that it’s nursing, time and time again. Now, I honestly cannot imagine myself pursuing any other path than nursing. I’ve heard about all the jobs that currently exist and even had a late-night conversation with a friend about positions that, though, currently do not exist, I can be the first to introduce. With all my goals and desires in mind, nursing checks all the boxes. It’s something I can truly see myself doing for the rest of my life. As the famous saying goes… do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s important to me.
2. There’s always room for advancement.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to nursing. You can work bed-side, in a clinic, at a doctor’s office, be a travel-nurse and even be entrepreneurial with your nursing degree. There is always room for advancement as well, with the possibility of acquiring a masters, or even a doctorate, in nursing. Career advancement is very important to me and I love that nursing always leaves the door open for me to continue climbing up the ladder, if I feel inclined to. I already know for certain right now that I want to get my masters some time down the down, but first I want to work as an RN for awhile.
3. It’s convenient and makes sense.
My university has an extraordinary nursing program that ranks very highly in the United States. In the statistics released by the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, 100% of graduates were either employed or continuing onto nursing school last year. Because the program challenges you, it sets you up for a successful nursing degree. Pursuing nursing, for me, just makes sense. I will finish my BSN in four years and can go straight into the workforce… this is HUGE. With every other career path I meddled into, I was always anxious about post-bachelor degree and how I’ll be able to continue. It seems silly to some, but I don’t have the financially stability to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans with no guarantee that my career is ever going to take off. Nursing is in high demand and I have the safety net of knowing that my bachelors degree is a guaranteed job. Take for instance a degree in psychology… statistically without further higher education, that degree doesn’t go very far. Uncertainty is found in my undergraduate degrees unfortunately. The nursing route at Emory gives me the tools to prepare to continue onto higher education, but also the peace of mind in knowing that if I’m burned out at the end of these four years, I can jump into the work force.
4. The learning never truly ends.
You never truly know everything in this field. There’s always new advancements and discoveries. I’ve talked to many nurses and asked the clique question of their most and least favorite aspect about nursing… and on both sides I heard “The learning never ends… just when you think you know it all, you learn something new”. This overwhelms and annoys some people (thus why I’ve been told it’s their least favorite thing), but it EXCITES me. It makes me want to pursue this field 10 times over. I will never get to know everything and that leaves room for growth and learning. Most importantly, you can’t become bored in a field where there are endless opportunities to adjust, advance and develop into a better care giver each and every day.
5. I desire a strong patient connection and relationship.
I don’t want to be the person that’s in the patient’s room for 10 minutes every day. I want to know the patient and their family. I want to be around so often that I pick up on their spouse’s fear when I mention another test has to be ran. I want to pick up on how the patient doesn’t like green beans as they always leave it on their tray. I want to be able to pick up when my patient is about to break down crying in fear. I want to be a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold when the diagnosis is just too much. I want, and need, to be there for the good, bad and everything that happens in between. I want to know my patients further than just their name and diagnosis. I want to be in the patient’s room more than any other personnel.
Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help. – Christina Feist-Heilmeier
I could talk for ages about this, but the above five reasons sums up pretty well why I chose nursing and in a way nursing chose me. It’s the perfect path for me and I’m so excited to pursue this next journey in my life.