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'What was the moment when you realised nursing was for you?'

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Last week we gatecrashed the excitement of the new term with our student readers.

We started our “Freshers’ Week” by asking current nursing students what attracted them to nursing and were blown away by the response. They shared stories of being inspired by fantastic nursing staff, and many explained how much they’d given up to follow their dream.

But what really came across was how a few kind words can change a person’s outlook.

Stephanie Morris, a student nurse at Bangor University, told us about helping a woman who had recently had a permanent tracheotomy fitted to communicate. When this patient told Stephanie she would make a “wonderful nurse” she forgot her doubts and is now certain that she is on the right career path.

“That night I went home and applied for my nursing course”

Kate Eckert, who’s now studying at the University of Derby, described a similar experience. When working as a HCA, the thanks she received from a 97-year-old woman after helping her get ready for her birthday party made her realise she’d found the career she wanted to do, she recalls: “That night I went home and applied for my nursing course.”

“Being told that I was a ‘natural’ by my mentor made me happy but to have a patient reaffirm this made me nearly burst with pride”

Going out of her way to work with a patient who had been labelled “difficult” by some staff felt natural for Danielle Kirk from Middlesex University, but the response she received for doing so will always stick with her. “Being told that I was a ‘natural’ by my mentor made me happy but to have a patient reaffirm this made me nearly burst with pride.”

“It made me wonder if all nurses have a moment that they think back to if they ever have any doubts about their career”

Reading these stories made me recall my own training and those moments when it was crystal clear just how much difference one nurse can make to a person at their lowest point.

It made me wonder if all nurses have a moment that they think back to if they ever have any doubts about their career.

So please share your stories with us: what was the moment when you realised nursing was for you?

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