There are countless reasons to join the health care field as a nurse. Not only is there a growing demand for nursing professionals, but it’s a fulfilling career where you help people every single day.
That’s not to say it’s an easy job. But while any health care profession can be challenging, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, the emotional rewards are often worth the long hours and difficult situations you’ll encounter.
To inspire you, we asked seven nurses why they decided to pursue a nursing career. Here’s why they love their job and how they want to encourage others who are passionate about health care to consider it, too.
1. A World of Possibilities
“I wanted to be a nurse for many reasons, including my passion for helping others. But one big reason I wanted to become a nurse was because of the world of possibilities it opens up.
I wanted to have the opportunities to advance my career or to stay home with my kids during different seasons of my life. Becoming a nurse has allowed me to do just that.
I currently own a breastfeeding support business and work from home. In the future, I have the option to become a nurse practitioner, work in a hospital, or continue running my own business. Being a nurse has given me options that I’m fortunate to have.” — Kealy Hawk, BSN, RN, CLC
2. Serving and Caring for Others
“Reflecting on my 30-plus year career as a nurse, my desire to serve and care for others started at a young age. I knew since the age of six that I wanted to be a nurse. I am grateful for a career trajectory that has taken me to different cities and states and has allowed me to practice direct patient care, as a nurse executive and as a leader of innovation.
Nursing has provided the opportunity for me to build relationships at various hospitals, health systems, a nursing association, and with health tech companies. Nursing is an incredible career!” — Bonnie Clipper DNP, MA, MBA, RN, CENP, FACHE
3. Making a Difference
“I became a nurse because, growing up, I watched my grandmother who migrated here from Jamaica West Indies go to work every night with such pride. She was a nurse’s assistant for over 30 years. She enjoyed caring for her patients and inspired and encouraged me to become a nurse. She said it’s one of the most trusted and respected professions, and you will always be able to find a job.
As I got older, I realized that I loved to help people and wanted to make a difference. I decided that nursing was the career for me and have gone on to do great things and make her proud.” — Shantay Carter, RN, founder of Women Of Integrity Inc.
4. Helping Others Heal on All Levels
“I became a nurse because there was something in me that always said, ‘People are hurting, and you can help.’ To me, the best way to do this was become a nurse. It’s more than just taking doctor’s orders and cleaning up poop.
While, yes, that is part of the job, being a nurse goes way deeper. It means holding space for people in the hardest and most vulnerable times of their lives, fighting for what is right, and for people who physically cannot make their own decisions.
It’s holding a hand and saying ‘I got you,’ even when even you — who is supposed to be the expert — don’t even know how to handle it. But you heal the hurting just by being you and being there for someone.
It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and hard and thankless. But this is how you help people heal — slowly and with seemingly small actions that you may not even realize make a difference.
To that person who is scared, hurting, sick, or unsure of just where to go and how, your unconditional love for them may make a world of a difference.” — Jenna Filippoli, BSN, RN
5. Being a Support System
“Fear does not discriminate. People come to the hospital because they need help and are scared.
I became a nurse because I want to be that support system, that hand to hold, the shoulder to cry on, and the safe and calming face they see when they come to the hospital. I love that I can be whatever the patient needs me to be for them that day. It’s selfless and rewarding.” — Samantha Balbierz, BSN
6. Emotional Fulfillment
“Ever since I was little, I noticed most people who worked, including my dad, had jobs that were ‘OK,’ but not really fulfilling in any way other than a means to pay their bills. I wanted to have a job meaningful to me. Like at the end of the day, I could feel like I made a difference in someone’s life.
As I got older, in my early teens, I volunteered at the local hospital as a candy striper and knew nursing would be just that job I was looking for. I felt like I got just as much emotionally from the patients as they got from me. I can’t even imagine doing anything else.” — Nancy Caramela, CMSRN, BSN
7. Becoming Someone’s ‘Good Nurse’
“When I was growing up, I had a few health issues that frequently had me in the school nurse’s office, doctor’s office, and occasionally the hospital. Throughout this, I encountered many nurses, some of whom were amazing and some who left a lot to be desired.
My own experiences inspired me to go into nursing, aspiring to be someone’s ‘good nurse’ who they looked forward to having back the next night or could trust to go to at school knowing they would be taken seriously.
I go to work every day hoping to make a positive difference in my patients’ lives, and nursing allows me to do that.” — Kathleen Connelly, BSN, RN
Are you a health care professional looking to pick up per diem work on your schedule? Sign up for Clipboard Health and start exploring available shifts in your area.