When I consider why my career choice is nursing, I find I am unable to define actual reasons. This is because, I believe, nursing is for me something far beyond an occupation. It is a calling in the truest sense of the word, and this translates to its being a part of myself. Pursuing my nursing career is not a matter of making efforts to become a type of professional; rather, it is the process I undergo to confirm what I know I am. This has been a deeply felt conviction within me for as long as I can recall, and even before I began to understand the actual demands and responsibilities of being a nurse. I have always been drawn to assisting those in distress, as doing this seems to fulfill a profound need in me. In a way I cannot properly describe, nursing feels like the work I must do, if I am to be true to myself. This sense exists without any expectation of recognition, for I feel that doing the work is ultimately all that matters. As I said, then, the career is not a career to me, but a calling as visceral as any motivating others to be of service.
That said, I gladly confess that pragmatic reasons guide me as well. In no uncertain terms, I cannot begin to live up to my role as a nurse if I am not as grounded in training and education as it is possible for me to be. To want to serve as a nurse translates to a commitment to be a superior nurse, always. The goal is to ease pain and facilitate recovery, and these are processes that demand knowledge and skill, as well as compassion. Empathy and caring are crucial, but the true nurse must be as dedicated to learning as they are profoundly drawn to the work. This is, not unexpectedly, why I am pursuing my baccalaureate education, just as the same motivation will carry me to higher degrees of nursing education. I firmly believe I must equip myself with the knowledge and skills any good nurse must possess, which will serve as a foundation for moving forward. The baccalaureate is a vastly important step in my career advancement, and I am both eager to engage in the study and employ it in my nursing work. I am aware that this will be challenging, but my desire to excel in my calling is such that I embrace the challenges as nothing more than opportunities.
With regard to the personal qualities I can bring to being both student and nurse, I feel I can confidently assert that they are both encompassed by one quality in particular: commitment. In simple terms, my ambition to succeed in my nursing studies is precisely as strong as my desire to be a fine nurse, as I feel it must be. This level of commitment fuels my other qualities, and acts as a support. Whenever I have found a course of study difficult or demanding, it keeps me fully motivated and draws from me my best efforts, and I know it will continue to do so as I move on in my education. Commitment also enhances my basic abilities, I find; while I believe my mind is active and eager to take in new learning, my underlying dedication tends to push me further. I retain instruction, for example, because my passion for nursing demands that I do so. Similarly, that passion leads me to want to know more. Aside from intellectual capability, I also possess a strong work ethic, which also translates to both education and actual nursing. Simply, I am not willing to accept work undone because I feel it is pointless.
I would mention as well that, as nursing drives my spirit, my mind is usually restless in regard to investigating any possible types of practice or learning that may benefit nursing itself. I insist on being grounded in skill and training, yet I also think that part of being a nurse equates to an openness for perceiving new potentials in practice. With any learning comes the opportunity for extension in learning itself, and I think this is especially true of the complex and demanding world of nursing. The role of the nurse itself has been redefined in recent years, and I believe this is an important evolution, and one which nurses are obligated to assist. There has been a significantly greater understanding of how important the work is, and I feel that more is to come. Once seen as little more than attendants to physicians, it is now widely appreciated that the nurse may be the most effective agent in patient care. This in mind, then, I approach both my studies and my future career with an eye to developing all the ways in which nurses serve the public. This is, as with all my qualities, a component of the commitment level I mentioned.
When I consider how nursing may impact on global health care needs, I find I evince something of an adamant feeling. Nurses are, and always have been, on the “front lines” of health care. We are the people immediately attending to those in need, and to disregard our experience is to hopelessly impede health care at every level. The nurse comprehends something crucial to any development in health care, global or otherwise: that those in need of help are human. If the rest of the world struggles with cultural differences, the nurse is poised to see beyond these to the greater reality. This is an invaluable perspective for anyone or any organization interested in promoting health care, simply because it is inherently unconcerned with distinctions based on culture, nationality, or any other criterion that tends to create barriers between people. Nurses are very much “bottom line” advocates, and this vantage point can go far in developing genuinely effective programs on international, or intercultural, levels. Most of all, nurses are those who truly hear and attend to the patients. Our awareness of actuality surpasses that of the average physician, able to attend to the ill less fully. In my estimation, in fact, the plan or process in health care that disregards the contributions of nurses is the plan that disregards its basic purpose.
This relates to my ultimate feeling about nursing. When compassion is combined with skill, the nurse creates change in what may be the most meaningful of all ways: the betterment of a human life. There is no reason why this intimate process should not then be expanded, as nurses.