Write an essay where you tell us about what inspired you to pursue a nursing degree.

Nursing is one of the most demanding careers — both physically and emotionally. And of course, most of my personal experiences with nurses have involved health challenges: I was hospitalized and had emergency surgery on an infected lymph node in my neck when I was 6; my grandmother was treated for breast and lung cancer just when I was 10, needing surgery for both; my baby sister was the first verified flu case in Reno just two years ago, spending three days in the hospital where I watched her fighting for breath. And in each case, the men and women whose job it was to surround and protect my family — the nurses, all of whom seemed exhausted yet were clearly committed to achieving their goals of helping others — provided such a strong example of what I wanted to do in life. I could see in them a drive that felt eerily familiar.

I just want to be there, doing what I can to help others feel the same security and comfort they provided us.

Am I there yet? Am I finally able to accept where "there" is?

Yes — and no. I realize now that “there” is, in fact, a moving target. Here I am on the eve of it, and yet, so many more are on the horizon. The fact is, I’m achieving something significant, and yet I still have so much more to look forward to.

And I will continue to approach life with the same work ethic and commitment, because the “there” that truly matters can be found in a fulfilling future of working hard — and helping others along the way.

Jilleann from Oregon
High School Senior
Reno High School