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

It would be a great story to say that I have always wanted to be a nurse. I did not choose nursing, nursing choose me. My realization that I may have been called to be a nurse came on slowly. I even tried to escape it and reject it. Let’s be honest, there were not many young men around me talking about being a nurse. My academic interests have been in math and science with many of my teachers talking with me about engineering. Though slowly over time our family was face with some experiences and opportunities that opened my mind to another field that appealed not only to my academic skills but to my concern for others. My grandfather suffered non-small cell lung cancer and during the course of his treatment and death the role of skilled nursing and his quality of life became an eye opener.
There are three key moments that I reflect on that clearly caused me to be reflective; the day a nurse helped change how the tape was applied to this IV, the night we waited for him to arrive from a rural remote emergency room to Lynchburg General, and the last three days he spent fighting for his life. Each of those events drove home how the nurse that touched him had to be highly skilled and deeply compassionate and I wanted nothing less than that for him.
There were many visits to hospitals over the course of his illness. Poppy did not want to leave his family, he was cared for at home, and fought hard to live. On one of those visits Poppy had received and IV to his left hand and getting that placed must have been an ordeal. The tape in the hair of his hand, the skin was pulled, and he just couldn’t stop picking at it. Poppy’s nurse came in and we were able ask her about the IV. Immediately she began to remove the tape and take measures to keep it secure and then replace the tape in a more comfortable way, she even placed some bandaging around the area so that it would be more comfortable to him. Her concern for his hand and her ability to find ways to bring him more comfort was priceless to us. It may have seemed like a simple thing to many, but I noticed his hand and I noticed her help.
A second moment that politely haunts me is waiting with my family for Poppy to arrive at Lynchburg General Hospital. Bam, that is what we call my grandmother, called us to say Poppy was having significant breathing issues and had been taken by ambulance to an emergency center in Gretna and was on his way from there to the Lynchburg General. There was no way that she could arrive ahead of him so she called for us to meet him there and she would follow. Our family made our way to the hospital to wait. I, for the first time, realized that there was a strong possibility that he would not make it there. The only thing I could hope for was great care in that transit. When you start thinking about what you want for your family, it can affect what you want to be.
Finally, when Poppy had little left to offer in the fight, I wanted him to have comfort; physical and emotional. I was 17 years old and knew little about what was happening to him on any level. I had no idea what to do for him or my grandmother or my mother. Nurses did. Though no one could change what was happening for Poppy or take away the feeling of loss, his care remained a priority. The patient was first, because of a nurse.
I am Avery McClenny and I want to be a Registered Nurse.

Avery from Virginia
High School Senior
Appomattox Count High School/Central Virginia Community College