This post was originally published on May 6, 2013 and updated on May 7, 2019.

At many of my keynote addresses, I talk about the choice we all made when deciding to become a nurse.

I will ask my audience, “Why did you become a nurse?”

And almost immediately…

The responses to my questions begin filling up space.

I really love hearing all the reasons and want to share some of my favorites with you today.

Why did you make the decision to become a nurse?

“I always admired the white cap and I wanted to become a nurse so that I could wear one too.”

“My Grandmother was a nurse; so were her sisters, my mother, my mother’s sisters and cousins. It was the expectation that I became a nurse too. I’m so glad I did!”

“My parents told me that I could be a teacher or a nurse – I chose to become a nurse because I could teach as a nurse but couldn’t nurse as a teacher!”

“I watched how the nurses cared for my Grandmother when she was dying. I was so inspired by how smart and kind they were – how they treated everyone like we were family. I knew I wanted to become a nurse so that I could be like them.”

“When I was a kid, I was in a bad car accident and spent a lot of time in the hospital. Not only did the nurses take care of my physical needs – dressed my wounds, gave me medications, and took away my pain – but they read to me, played games with me and comforted me when I was scared. I wanted to grow up to be like those nurses! And now I’m a pediatric nurse!”

….and my personal favorite from a young, new male nurse:

“I became a nurse to meet chicks.” When I asked if he’d met any, he replied…” Nope. Still waiting.”

Whatever the reason, I’m glad you choose to become a nurse. Being a nurse isn’t easy – actually, sometimes it feels like it’s humanly impossible to meet the demands placed on us!

However, somehow, we manage to rise above and find a way to make a difference no matter how big those demands are.

Never forget that…

  • It’s a privilege to care for the sick
  • It’s an honor to be present when a human is brought into this life and when that human leaves
  • It’s a choice we make every day to put the needs of strangers before our own.

Most nurses I know are in the PEOPLE business…who happen to be nurses.

The Healthy Workforce Institute is celebrating YOU this week for National Nurses Week.   Click here to learn how.

Be sure to download our complimentary Nurses Week poster.  We’ve provided 2 versions to match your printer requirements, color or black & white.  Print out and post in your department.

Finally, watch your inbox and social media for daily inspiration, gifts, and other pop-up surprises.

We’d love to hear why you made the decision to become a nurse.  Let us know in the comments below.  I can’t wait to learn your reasons!

Happy Nurses Week!

Take care and stay connected

About Renee Thompson

Dr. Renee Thompson is a keynote speaker, author and professional development/anti-bullying thought leader. Renee spends the majority of her time helping healthcare and academic organizations address and eliminate bullying behavior. To find out how you can bring Renee to YOUR organization or nursing event, visit www.healthyworkforceinstitute.com

There are 4 comments on this post
  • Renee Thompson
    Reagan Smiles
    Sep 24, 2017 Reply

    Wow a great Information, this might be attractive, performing our analysis about remembering. Thanks a lot

    • Renee Thompson
      Renee Thompson
      Sep 26, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Reagan! It's important to remember why we chose nursing in the first place!!

  • Renee Thompson
    Renee Thompson
    May 11, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the comment Liz! I'm always fascinated by the reasons why someone chooses nursing. Love your story!

    I became a nurse for two reasons: 1) I wanted to have a career where I had the OPPORTUNITY to make a difference in someone's life, and 2) I love science. Think about it....the pH of your blood is 7.35-7.45. Only 0.10 range! Anything above or below and we're dead!!! I'm always fascinated by the body and how we manage to keep ourselves alive :-). Nurses play a big role.

    Love being a nurses and I know YOU do too.

  • Renee Thompson
    Elizabeth Scala
    May 11, 2013 Reply

    Happy Nurses Week, Renee!
    I love this post. I actually am doing a bit of research on nursing and loved reading the reasons why folks became nurses. Why did you? I became one because I was graduating from college... I was in my living room my senior year moving into my apartment... my two roommates were in nursing school (one of whose mom's was a professor there)... my mom and the three of them were standing around talking about what "I" was going to do when I graduated! They all came up with the great idea that I finish up my undergrad and then go back to the accelerated nursing program and do psych nursing (because my first degree was in psychology and to them it made perfect sense). LOL. I didn't like the schooling and didn't want to do it- but am glad I did now!

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