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

The nurse anesthetist pointed to a metal tin -- where the head of the femur had been unceremoniously discarded -- and offered me a pair of gloves. I donned the latex and gingerly picked up the bone. Another nurse pointed to where the cartilage had worn away: the reason that the hip joint had been replaced. Glancing at the unconscious patient, I decided that orthopedic surgeries were fascinating. The irony of the procedure -- the intimidating image of a surgeon with his bone saw, the blood flying through the air, and the ultimate goal of reducing pain and increasing mobility -- was not lost on me. I was awestruck that this brutal operation could improve one’s quality of life.

I was shadowing the nurse anesthetist for the day. His calming demeanor had captured me. The way he utilized it toward his patients made his bedside manner impeccable. His example reminded me why I chose nursing over pre-med: the value of patient interaction was too precious for me to compromise. While the surgeon and anesthesiologist were elsewhere, quietly receding between operations, the nurses were ever-visible to their patients. A good nurse seemed to make all the difference to those who anxiously awaited their procedures.

As I trailed my guide, I noticed how he multitasked. Between jokes with patients, the nurse anesthetist silently evaluated what adjustments the particular physiology of his next patient required. He exuded amiability and aptitude, which quickly put everyone at ease. He showed himself to be an honest advocate for those he treated. I followed him around for hours. The more I saw of the profession, the more I loved it.

Last semester, I started the process of developing an honors research project with a faculty mentor. It has even further inspired me to pursue a Ph.D., which would allow me to be both a nurse anesthetist and a researcher later in my career. Although I am only a sophomore in nursing school, I am more confident than ever that this is the career for me.

Sarah from Texas
College Sophomore
University of Texas at Austin