I can still remember the look on some of my coworker’s faces when I told them that I was going back to school to become a nurse. They literally thought I had lost my mind.
“Tasha you’ve been here for 12 years. You make good money and have good benefits. Why would you want to become a nurse now?”
I simply smiled and said, “It’s not about the money. I have always wanted to be a nurse. This job pays well but I am miserable because it is not what I am called to do.”
I always knew I’d do something in the medical field. I can remember reading medical encyclopedias for fun when I was young. I loved learning about diseases and healing. It felt natural whenever someone got hurt to take care of them and patch them up.
My parents were both school teachers and they took education very seriously. In high school, when I mentioned nursing as a major my parents weren’t very pleased.
They said that nurses were overworked and underpaid. “Pick something else Tasha.” So since they were paying for my college education I chose something else.
I ended up choosing engineering. I thought, “Ok I’ll major in bio-medical engineering.” This way I could work in the medical field and still make my parents happy. There was just one problem. Math was my worst subject all through school. But I knew that if I studied really hard and got extra help from tutors that I could pull it off.
While the tutors were helpful I still struggled with the math in college. I did well in the sciences, and in the non-math subjects but the math almost did me in.
I was able to keep my head above water but it was so stressful. My parents were paying for my education and I didn’t want to let them down. I knew deep down that having a strong math foundation was a must for engineering and I just wasn’t cutting it.
Fast forward six years later. Yes, I said six. The engineering program was supposed to take five years but after having to repeat a few classes and dealing with the loss of my father during my fourth year, it took me longer.
I did finally graduate with my engineering degree. Some did Summa Cum Laude. Many did Magna Cum Laude. But for me it was “Thank you Laude”.
I went on to land a job working as an industrial engineer for one of the” Big Three” automotive companies. I was thrilled to be working and able to support myself but I just had no passion for working with machinery and equipment.
I knew that caring for and taking care of others was what I was meant to do.
So in 2006 I finished nursing school and traded in my cubicle and tape measure for a general surgery floor and a stethoscope. I have never looked back.
Nursing is not a glorious job but it is so rewarding. It feels wonderful when a patient says “thank you so much for taking such good care of me, will you be back tonight?”
If you are a nurse, what made you decide to pursue nursing? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below
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Tasha Nelson is a registered nurse who works the night shift at a large midwest hospital. She is also a total wellness enthusiast who firmly believes in the importance of taking care of yourself. A healthy mind, body, and spirit makes for a happy person. Isn’t that what we all want?