There’s no wrong way to get into nursing. The Utica College accelerated nursing staff talk to prospective students every day about how they became interested in the field, and while some cite good pay or job flexibility as the main driver, for others it’s an emotional revelation more akin to “By George, I think I’ve got it!” (If you’re picturing a cartoon character with a light bulb over her head, you’re not alone!)
Here are three life-changing moments that inspire some of our students to make the leap into nursing:
1. Attending one meeting too many.
It can be hard to stay motivated in a culture of PowerPoint presentations, marathon meetings and cubicle confinement. And while all workplaces suffer from various degrees of office politics, unlike many desk jobs, the joy of nursing is often in the doing, whether it’s taking vitals, giving a bath or answering a patient’s questions. The mechanics of nursing aren’t always pleasant (see: emptying bed pans), but you’ll know with every bone in your body that what you’re doing means something to the patients and the healthcare teams you serve.
2. Being a caretaker.
The act of caring for a terminally ill parent, spouse or other family member can turn your world upside down in ways you don’t expect. Many of our students gained a new perspective on life after seeing how their actions helped another person live his final months with dignity. The process of becoming a nurse – taking prerequisites, juggling classes and commuting for clinicals – doesn’t seem impossible because you can see the end goal: making other people’s lives better.
3. Starting over.
It can be as traumatic as losing a job or as celebratory as your youngest child starting school. Whatever the case may be, we all reach a point where the shape of our life changes and we’re tasked with reinventing ourselves. In these instances, our students chose nursing as a way to give new meaning to their lives. The great thing about nursing is that it can accommodate you at any point in your career. Whether you have 30 years left in the workforce or five, there’s a place for you in health care as a nurse.