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

At age five, I decided I would grow up to be a “baby-taker-outer.” My determination and excitement were obvious as I shared this with everyone and glued myself to shows like “Babies: Special Delivery.” My excitement about healthcare has only grown with my experience. Growing up, I visited nursing homes with my grandfather, a Hospice Chaplain. I saw patients like David, a blind diabetic with few visitors, be supported by nurses who acted as a surrogate family. Now, as a NICU clinical assistant, I help nurses provide this same care to families, and am reminded why I want to become a nurse.
After graduating with a BSN from UT, I hope to work as an RN in labor and delivery and later pursue an MSN in Women’s Health. I aspire to improve women’s access to comprehensive health care. An elective on HIV/AIDS presented how stigma affects health, particularly for marginalized populations; it can deter people from seeking help and lead to shame. I hope to bring women’s health issues like access to reproductive services and mammograms “out of the closet,” much like the campaign to “Bring HIV out of the closet.” I’m not afraid to work on controversial issues; it means I get to advocate for the best, non-judgmental care.
I strive to stay actively involved in policy, where nurses can advocate for all patients. I currently serve as president of my nursing student association and co-authored policy resolutions, two of which passed at the state convention and one at national. With each opportunity, I look for more. I prioritize my studies to become a skilled bedside nurse, but I continue searching for ways to learn more and take action to become a better advocate.
Nursing is not an easy career choice. Inserting catheters, placing a patient in hospice care, and standing 12 hours is not appealing to many -- it is to me. I look forward to being an advocate at the bedside and beyond; I will be there for each patient. It is not easy work, but it’s work I want to be a part of.

Elena from Texas
College Junior
University of Texas at Austin