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

My passion for becoming a registered nurse began while working as a certified nursing assistant at a post-acute rehabilitation center, where the disadvantaged and underserved are residents. Many of the residents at our location have dementia; they are homeless, veterans, or in a disadvantaged position where they need help in rehabilitating in the hope of living independently again. When tending to my residents, I always go the extra mile to put a smile on their faces. It is the small things that other people might overlook that are important to these residents. Understanding how to cope with people with a variety of diseases is essential to their care. Some of our residents have different forms of dementia, and they sometimes use emotion and behavior to communicate because they may lack the ability to communicate in other ways. As a nursing assistant, it is crucial for me to recognize potential triggers that can lead to the residents’ agitation and depression. I focus on long-term collaborative care, which cares for an individual as a whole; mind, body, and spirit rather than just caring based on patients' condition or illness. Some diagnoses accompany depression; therefore, I am always sensitive and empathetic to every individual in understanding that everyone handles their diagnoses differently. Most of these people have lived long, independent, healthy lives and are now bedbound and subjected to a life in rehabilitation or hospital setting. I encourage my resident not to let a diagnosis define them, instead to have faith and to understand that everyone owns the right to have a present and future that are not dominated by the past. Being a nursing assistant has proved to me I am in the right profession; my patients have inspired me never to give up my dream of becoming a nurse. I want to continue to reach the heart of ill individuals and become their advocate so that they may recover to their full potential. Nursing was meant for me.

Sophie from California
College Junior
Samuel Merritt University