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So you want to be a nurse

What do you think it means to be a nurse? What is it that drives you? Is this something you can imagine yourself doing for the rest of your life?

Why do you want to become a nurse?

Is it the promise of job security? Potential income and flexibility? Someone who influenced you in some way or took care of you or a loved one? What is your story to wanting to become a nurse?

For me, my dad was a nurse. Growing up in the 90’s in South Florida was interesting in itself, but I witnessed my dad making a second career change from construction to nursing over a couple of years. It was a dramatic switch to say the least. I remember him starting out as a medic and working weekend shifts at the city station and my mom would take us to go visit him when they had some downtime. He even would strap us in the immobilizer and flip us around for fun. 

When Shands got their new helicopter we got a chance to fly in it. I'll never go in another one again if I can help it but it was a fun experience. I think the pilot was enjoying my pre-teen angst while I was grasping dramatically to the oh crap handles.

When I came back from the military my dad encouraged me to get my CNA license. I worked my first healthcare job in a large inpatient Alzheimer's Care Facility and it was there I learned what it was like to be there for someone else. Even if they didn't know who you are. 

I worked as a CNA in a few different places and got the opportunity to train as a monitor tech. This is where I found my love for cardiac. The rhythms were like a puzzle to me. Like electric Sudoku of sorts. I enjoyed figuring them out and within a short period of time nurses were asking me what I thought about their patients' rhythms. 

Once I transferred to an ICU this is where my real passion for nursing began. They loved to teach! Anything they could pull me aside and show me they were more than happy to. I learned more in a year on that unit than I did the previous 8 years at the other facilities. It helped I was also working the night shift so I was probably able to observe than if I had been working days. All of this set the stage for me to finally agree to go to nursing school.

By the time I graduated nursing school my dad was completing his FNP. Although I'm not sure if I will go back for advanced practice nursing I am forever grateful to those who influenced me to become a nurse in the first place. They knew me better than I knew myself.