2008 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 750 words or less, how did "A Nurse I Am"Â change or enhance your perception of nursing as a career? Using one of the nurses on the film as a role model, explain why someone should pursue nursing as a career.
University of Pennsylvania
I am now in my junior year of Nursing school at Penn. I am the Vice President of the Minorities in Nursing Organization at Penn and am applying for membership to Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing. I have survived Med-Surg and am now onto my obstetrics and pediatric clinical rotations. I am in the midst of looking for nursing externships for the coming summer, which has not proven to be easy. Because of the current recession, it seems that several hospitals have not been able to support their nursing externship programs. Therefore, it is extra competitive to get a spot this year. However, fortunately, I have a couple interviews lined up. To prepare, I have made appointments at Career Services on campus to go through mock interviews with a career counselor. The career counselor has been truly helpful and I feel much more prepared for my interviews, even though I am usually a nervous wreck for them.
On campus, I am now working as a Research Assistant in the School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. It involves a lot of reading, critiquing, coding, and literature searches. I have learned a lot of valuable knowledge regarding the components of nursing research.
This summer, I was fortunate to become involved with the Office of Minority Health, HHS on their A Healthy Baby Begins With You campaign to bridge the racial gap in infant mortality. I was certified as a Preconception Health Peer Educator and returned to campus to hold training sessions in order to certify my peers as Preconception Peer Educators as well. We are now in the process of holding a health fair to reach the West Philadelphia community and disperse important preconception health messages. I look forward to a nursing externship, if I am lucky enough to get a spot, so that when it comes time to apply for RN positions after graduation, I can return to the hospital where I worked the summer before.
A question that I have been struggling with for quite some time is, “What exactly is a nurse?” I have been a nursing student for almost 2 years now and with all the preconceived notions of bedpans, impacted bowels, and burnout, quite frankly, sometimes I am both scared and unsure of what I may have gotten myself into. But there seems to be something that keeps me holding on, something that tells me that there’s more to it than what everyone else sees nursing to be, a key ingredient to the essence of nursing that everyone seems to forget. I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly what that is, but this 62-minute documentary has surely guided me in the right direction in my journey to finding the answer.
In my opinion, nurses aren’t angels. They don’t go hand in hand with hearts and rainbows. Nursing is about providing care, yes, but that does not entail that nurses’ only purpose is to be a compassionate hand to hold on to. Nursing integrates science and care. Nurses take the knowledge they have gained from their education as well as their experience and apply it each and every day, all while, being there to comfort patients in their times of need, whether what is needed is an IV, pain medication, or an ear that will listen. Like it said in the documentary, a nurse takes advantage of opportunities, faces daily challenges, and most importantly in my eyes, is a powerful advocate for the patient. Watching this video enlightened me to the most significant responsibilities of a nurse. I’ve realized that a nurse is the liaison between the doctor and the patient. They ensure that the patient fully understands what is happening to them in their most vulnerable states. Nurses are responsible for patient education and for making sure the patient understands what the doctor tells them. Ardis Bush said just a few words that really clarified what being a nurse is all about. She said that nurses treat the whole person, someone with feelings, someone who may cry – not just the diagnosis. In other words, doctors cure, but nurses heal. Ardis really helped me understand the difference between a doctor and a nurse. Nursing facilitates more meaningful patient interaction. I don’t want my patients to be just a statistic. I want to remember them and how strong they were emotionally when they weren’t strong physically. This video showed me that being a nurse will allow me to do just that.
Watching Ardis Bush in the documentary and reading about her accomplishments made me proud to be a nursing student because I now have the opportunity to be as innovative and compassionate as she is. Ardis is the epitome of a nurse who integrates science and caring into her daily life. She found a way to lower the rates of cardiopulmonary arrests on her unit as well as grant a dying man his last wish of being baptized. If anyone was to become a nurse, they should do so for the right reasons. Like Ardis said in the documentary, a nurse does not seek fame or fortune. However, what you do receive from nursing are intangible gifts, gifts that have no nominal worth. You receive the gift of knowing that at the end of the day, you will go home, and know that what you did all day at work truly mattered. Nursing will provide you with these invaluable gifts of life. Yes, you will be on your feet, battling a full bladder, enduring the consequences of rampant nursing shortage and dangerous staffing, but these things won’t seem to matter in the midst of it all because being a nurse will be eternally fulfilling.
Why do you want to be a nurse? Students share their sentiments
By The College of St. Scholastica | @StScholastica | Apr 27, 2015
Let's face it—not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. But in the midst of it all, babies are born, lives are saved and life-long bonds are even formed between the medical staff and their patients. This rewarding career path is as multifaceted as it is essential to the medical field.
And what's better? We need nurses now more than ever!
Baby boomers are aging and the need for healthcare professionals is skyrocketing as a result, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Nursing schools across the U.S. are struggling to expand at the rates necessary to meet this increasing demand.
The numbers reflect this widening gap. There were more than 750,000 job postings for nurses across the spectrum of specialties in the past year, according to Burning-Glass.com.* The job prospects for registered nurses (RNs) alone are expected to grow at a rate of 19 percent by 2022, much faster than the average vocation.
The field needs qualified nursing hopefuls to step up to the plate. But sometimes a bright job outlook isn't enough to seal the deal for the medical professionals of our future.
That is why we spoke to a handful of nursing graduate students and asked them, "Why do you want to be a nurse?" They identified four distinct reasons why pursuing a career in nursing is worth it.
4 Reasons you should become a nurse
1. It's an exciting, fast-paced profession
The shifts may get long and certain aspects of the job will inevitably become routine, but the life of a nurse is never boring. Whether you're working out of a hospital, a private practice or a palliative care center, you have to be ready to respond to just about anything at a moment's notice.
"I need to be in a fast-paced work environment," says Danielle Mella. "In nursing, every day is different, so there's always something new to figure out. Working as a clinician keeps me on my toes."
From quirky patients to split-second decisions, rest assured that no two days will be alike when you're working as a nurse. This makes nursing a great choice if you're the type who thrives under pressure and craves excitement.
2. It gives you the opportunity to positively impact your patients & community
"I want to be a nurse because I really want to help people through some of their most vulnerable moments," explains Meagan Thompson.
All nurses have at least one thing in common—they want to help people. Not only do they play the role of caretaker for their patients, but in some circumstances, they can also be a friend, a confidante and a trusted adviser. It takes a special kind of person to fill all of those roles the way nurses do.
"Ever since I was a little girl, my empathetic heart took over. When I saw a friend crying, I was the first to go over and comfort him or her," says Brie Peters. After traveling to Guatemala as a young adult to assist an RN in administering medical treatment to underserved villagers, her childhood penchant for helping others transformed into a career dream.
The medical care administered by nurses isn't just a temporary fix—it is also about teaching people afflicted by injury or illness to care for themselves as they move forward. "Empowering others to take control over their health and quality of life will be truly fulfilling," says Elana Goldsmith.
3. It offers one-of-a-kind flexibility
There is a certain flexibility that comes with the profession of nursing—one that can often lead to a longer, more sustainable career. In fact, there are more than 100 different specialties in the world of nursing. These jobs include everything from critical care nurse to forensic nurse to nurse anesthetist.
"There is so much flexibility in terms of the areas that a nurse can specialize in," Mella explains. "It truly makes for a career that will last a lifetime!"
Nurses relish this opportunity to locate the perfect specialty through which to utilize their specific strengths. This plethora of positions means it won't be hard to find your perfect fit.
4. You can experience the benefits of a holistic approach to medicine
"One of the aspects I enjoy most is the holistic approach of nursing care. We are taught not to focus on the specific state of a disease, but rather the patient's response to the disease or illness," says Kara Somora.
She explains that the most effective method of patient care includes not only meeting their physical needs, but meeting their emotional, social and spiritual needs as well. "If any of these components are neglected, a person can't be their healthiest self," Somora says.
Using a holistic approach to medical care allows nurses to treat "the whole person" while also benefitting the nurses themselves—often preventing professional burnout among medical teams.
Join this rewarding career path
Americans consider nursing to be the most trusted, ethically-sound profession, according to a 2014 poll from Gallup. But, as our panel of nursing graduate students revealed, there is a lot more to this multifaceted career path than what is portrayed on TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."
"I believe that patients' willingness to place their lives in the hands of those assigned to care for them demonstrates the ultimate act of trust," Peters says. "It is a great honor and responsibility."
From the flexible job opportunities to the profound community impact nurses can make, this career path has the potential to reap a lifetime of rewards.
If you can identify with these reasons for pursuing a career in nursing, learn more about 9 of the different nursing jobs that are in demand now!
The College of St. Scholastica
The College of St. Scholastica is an independent private Catholic Benedictine college with locations across Minnesota, in addition to many high-quality programs available online and through convenient evening and weekend formats. Since 1912, St. Scholastica has been preparing students for a life of purpose and economic gain by engaging students in the love of learning and active citizenship in the world. Our mission is to provide intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.