When you first start a nursing course, you are asked countless times, “why do you want to be a nurse?”. Some answer it without thinking; for others it takes more time.
Personally, I realised that nursing was my calling when I was an inpatient at a large and busy hospital. Lying in bed, day after day, I was inspired watching the nurses multitasking about their daily responsibilities. From that day I was hooked and my journey into nursing began.
From my vantage point as a patient I could see how dedicated most of the nurses were, but I also observed the very few nurses that were unmotivated, uncaring and inconsiderate; those who saw their job as a series of tasks rather than a fulfilling profession. I asked myself how a nurse could lose passion for the role. Had they lost sight of the positive impact they can have on patients, families and loved ones?
The Royal College of Nursing (2007) describes part of the nursing role as “…. the use of clinical judgement in the provisions of care to enable people to improve, maintain, or recover health, to cope with health problems, and to achieve the best possible quality of life, whatever their disease or disability, until death”. Nursing is about caring for your patients just as much as it is about helping them regain their health.
The nurse’s daily role is physically, psychologically and emotionally challenging. But the desire to care for others and ease suffering inspires people to advance in the profession. There are few careers that offer such flexibility, diversity, and the opportunity to care for and help people in need.
“Nursing offers the chance to make a difference and be there for someone when they need it most.”
It’s a career that is filled with moments of drama and uncertainty, which is part of what makes nursing so exhilarating and why it attracts dedicated people. Ask a nurse what they would do with their life given any opportunity and they would likely tell you that it would still be nursing.
Making it through nursing school is hard – it’s demanding and daunting – but the reward of working as a qualified nurse outweighs all the negatives.
Thinking back to those uncaring nurses, I realise the importance of embracing my passion for nursing, how I should hold on to it, and never forget it.
As nursing students, we are the next generation of nurses; we are brought together because, for one reason or another, we all want to be nurses.
For those who are not sure if nursing is for them, just imagine working in an environment knowing that every person you work with is excited to show up to work every day, and that each individual is doing what he or she loves. Look no further – it’s nursing.
Kirsty White is in her 2nd year studying Children’s Nursing at Buckinghamshire New University