“Have you always wanted to be a nurse? I mean, was it your life long dream to be a nurse?”
I stood before the woman and looked at her. We had stabilized her relative by that point, and it was appropriate to chat, so I took a minute and prepared to give an honest answer.
How do you answer that honestly, without sounding like it’s about the money... because it’s not about the money. There are 1029 jobs I can think of off the top of my head that make more than a nurse. It’s not about the money. I wanted a job that had security.
But that sounds a bit mercenary, and besides, it might not be entirely true.
She wanted a long story, it was serving to distract her from her relative’s illness, I could tell. My gut instinct was to tell it. She needed the human connection.
And, it was a quiet moment in the department. I had time to gift it to her.
“I wanted to be a nurse in high school, but my life took me in a different direction. I ended up in Retail Management with ¾ of a business degree. I loved the human connection that retail afforded me, but I hated the hours.
Once I had children, I became a stay at home mom. Being a mother is really messy. And you deal with gross stuff all the time. And those things didn’t bother me a bit.”
Everyone laughed, included my sweet sick patient. His eyes were engaged, and he was actively tuned into the story.
“And then, I realized at some point in my motherhood that my life was changing, and I needed to reinvent myself. I needed a job that could combine my skill sets. As far as I could tell, my skill set included:
HUMAN CONNECTION + GROSS STUFF.
Nursing allows me to do both of these things.”
And there you go. There were 1029 other things I could have been good at, and I don't regret turning my back on any of them because every day on this path is an amazing experience.
And, I love this, even when I'm exhausted and starving and there is no break in sight. My mother always told me, if you love something, you’ll be successful. I believe her.