Write an essay where you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to become a nurse.

My grandmother became a victim of Alzheimer's when she was still in her forties. Spending Saturday's with her, I realized my Nana often did not know my name or that I was her granddaughter. Sitting beside her as we watched television, I saw the dullness, and fright in her eyes as she fought to find some reliability of purpose in her world. I watched nurses as they brought medications to patients and positioned them for comfort. A special nurse usually attended my grandmother and when she spoke to her, I saw a light come into my grandmother’s eyes that usually was not there. I saw that people who cared about other people made a definite difference in their quality of life, and I wanted to do this, too.

I began volunteering at the National Ability Center, a facility providing recreation for people who have disabilities. During my first lesson, Jenny, who has Down Syndrome, was uncomfortable and shy with me. Week after week Jenny and I went skiing together. We became best friends and she continues to teach me the value of compassion and care. I sat with her in times of frustrations when she felt she could do nothing, reassuring her that she is capable. I sat with her as she squinted through her glasses trying to read the simplest sentence, and high-fived her when she made it to the end. To see her succeed and know that I was part of the reason was the coolest feeling in the world.

These two individuals had a profound impact on me. They taught me things I did not know about myself, as well as how to be a better person, and how to care for and love others diligently. I learned from them that we have the ability to empower others to succeed if we will only care about them. I believe the moments spent with my Nana and Jenny elicited my aspirations of one day becoming a nurse. I hope that in in serving others through a career in nursing I will not only become an instrument to help alleviate some of the world's suffering, but I will also find and serve my truest self.

Claire from Utah
College Junior
Weber State University