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'So, why do you want to be a nurse?'


Possibly the most dreaded question to be asked at your university interview … how do you answer?

'So, why do you want to be a nurse?'

For me there was no moment of divine intervention, no following the footsteps of an admired parent or relative but rather a gradual realisation that nursing would be the perfect career for me.

I have been lucky enough to have had the pleasure of meeting some healthcare professionals who have inspired me and I hope to one day equal their skill, diligence and passion.

I think my main source of inspiration to become a nurse comes from an innate desire to help people and care for them in times of need. I am also a person who thrives on being challenged and I always have new goals to achieve, so nursing suits me as few other careers offer as much diversity and learning opportunities.

During my experience volunteering at a local hospice I realised that palliative care is a wonderful area to work in, definitely not sad and depressing as many seem to think!

I have many lovely memories of people I have met and worked with at the hospice. Having this experience and insight into nursing care definitely helped me get through the nerve-wracking experience of applying to university. It’s great to have lots of things to talk about at an interview and my work experience certainly gave me plenty to share and I was able to demonstrate my true passion for the profession.

“It’s great to have lots of things to talk about at an interview”

I would encourage anybody interested in nursing to get some work experience, it’s a brilliant way to find out if nursing would suit you and can be extremely rewarding and it is looked on very favourably by admissions tutors as well as being a lot of fun,  highly insightful and a great learning opportunity.

It was also very rewarding to feel that my input, no matter how small, had an effect on the lives of those I was caring for.

I am due to start my degree in adult nursing this September and I really cannot wait! I am full of beans and bursting with enthusiasm. After a year out from study I am raring to go and get stuck into the beginning of a career I know I will love.  

Ashley Needham starts her degree in adult nursing this September.


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Readers' comments (35)

  • poor old bones!

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  • not sure now.
    i came into nursing hoping that my 'lifestyle choice' would be covered by the union. it seems a poor reason but that was the initial one. then i discovered i really enjoyed the work i did.
    but then the paperwork situ has exploded and the constant pressure to keep the theatre lists going and the politics between everyone and i'm now thinking whether this was a good idea or not.
    it's worse on our wards there are never enough staff, rulings are made by people who have never set foot on a ward or in a theatre suite and some of the attitudes of the medical staff leave a lot to be desired.

    the end result? i'm coming up to my 5 year graduation anniversary, i have mild PTSD, low self-esteem and zero confidence. but i got a job and that's good enough for now i guess.

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  • Anonymous | 3-Sep-2011 8:50 am

    "......but i got a job and that's good enough for now i guess."

    But it isn't good enough, is it? Why should a qualified, skilled Nurse with 5 years experience feel like this? Well, you give some very good and familiar reasons for questioning your decision to enter this profession. And you are not alone. The bottom line is that you and, indeed, many of us have been failed. But don't you think that it's time we did something about it? Then we can create an environment where Nurses can be the professionals they wanted to be when they were first asked the question, "So, why do you want to be a Nurse?"

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  • When I was 16 I was rejected for nurse training because when asked the question I replied "I'm not sure if I want to be a nurse or a secretary" which was the truth. I did become a secretary (a good one) and the skills I developed stood me in good stead when I finally became a nurse aged 35. I am now a good nurse also. But you know, whilst nursing is more fulfilling and interesting than secretarial work, I often wish I were still a secretary! I have never encountered so much back stabbing as amongst the nursing profession.

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  • Anonymous 2-Sep-2011 7:15am

    You took the words out of my mouth. When I did my training I was so motivated, after qualification I have been worn down to the point of exhaustion. Why do you want to be a nurse - I honestly don't know anymore. In my interview I said because I want to help make people get better again - I wasn't ready for the question.

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  • For the free watch, which i am still expecting by the way and for the money!!!!!! NOT!!!!!!!

    Because i care about the client group

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  • to be honest, anyone who asks me about nursing i tell them not to do it. especially now you need a degree, choose something else, physio, OT, radiographer, and if possible become a dr. All those shifts, the crap, the amount of paperwork, the relatives its not worth it anymore! If i was younger and had good grades i would do something else especially now they want people to go and do their masters, why bother going to do a masters just become a dr!

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  • there several doctors on my masters course which was open to all healthcare professionals!

    doctors have worse hours than nurses, with the exception perhaps of GPs, but who wants to do that job which is for failed specialists and consultants !

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  • Nurses, Nurses all of you come on lets us get together and show our managers and the people in authority who make us feel like we don't matter that we will continue to be good nurses , but at the same time we will demand Respect, because don't matter what we do it is never enough.
    I do a job for which I expect better payment, I am not an angel, I am just an employee.
    (By the way I wanted to be a nurse because I want to relieve suffering).

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  • Why do i want to be a nurse? Because i was totally blown away by the level of care my mother recieved while undergoing treatments for breast cancer..if i can be half as sensitive, careing, understanding and tactful as those professionals, including; nurses, radiographers, dr's, clerical staff..i will be satisfied. I dont undertand people who come on here to moan about their profession..if you hate it that much- re train! Dont lower moral with bitter comments.

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