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

Becoming a nurse is a big career change for me. My first bachelor’s degree was in chemical engineering and I worked for ExxonMobil for five years. I enjoyed being an engineer because I loved thinking critically but I knew in my heart, it was not the career for me. I had been affected by the kindness of a nurse years ago and my experience left a nagging voice in the back of my head to switch to nursing. It took me five years to switch, but every time I can interact with people in my clinical I am validated that nursing is the right career for me.

When I was 19, I ended up in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms. I was supposed to be on a plane to Madrid, Spain for a semester abroad but instead I found myself in a hospital gown with an IV in my arm. I had a nurse named Stephanie who was my nurse for my entire hospital stay. She would come and visit me and chat with me several times during the day, and she had a smile on her face every time. I couldn’t take an oral anticoagulant so I was going to have to learn how to inject the medicine into my body twice a day for the next six months. I was nervous but Stephanie came into my room with a few needles and a handful of oranges. She sat down with me and together we injected the needles over and over into the oranges until I felt comfortable injecting into my own body.

I don’t remember the name of my doctor, but I know even now, ten years later, that if I saw that nurse again I would recognize her and thank her for inspiring me. The people who make the biggest impact in the hospital are the nurses. They are the people that sit by the bed of the patients to comfort them. They are the people who provide pain medication and a reassuring smile. They are the people who treat patients like people rather than diseases. I want to be a nurse so when people are in the hospital, they can have the best experience possible.

Stephanie from Texas
College Freshman
University of Houston College of Nursing