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

When I was 14 years old, I heard the three words that no one wants to hear, “you have cancer”. I had to undergo months of chemotherapy and many surgeries before I was deemed “cancer free”. Sadly, almost a year to the day later, I received a phone call that the cancer had spread to my lungs. I had to go through many more surgeries and months of chemotherapy to treat it. I still have to undergo surgery every few months to have a nodule or two removed.
My amazing nurses and doctors were the support team that kept my head up throughout my many treatments and hospital stays. Without them, I would not have been able to keep fighting and stay as strong as I did. They cared about me so deeply and were the kindest people I have ever met. They inspired me to be a nurse and that is what I am striving to become.
I want to be a nurse so I can be the support team that someone needs while they get better in the hospital. I want to give someone the level of care that my nurses and doctors gave to me. They made me feel important and encouraged me to achieve my dreams, something that everyone needs in a support system. Not everyone has somebody in their life that can do that for them in such a challenging and vulnerable stage.
Many nurses listen to the chart and not the person, they treat the disease and not the individual. I want to be different. My care team listened to me and tailored my treatment to make me the most comfortable. The individual comes before the disease, and treatment should be approached that way. I will be the patient’s best advocate and be their voice when they can’t use it themselves. Patients in a hospital are still people and should be treated as so, not as objects.
I strive to be all of these things because that was how I was treated during my hospital stays and I want to make the hospital less of a scary place for people. I want to inspire other nurses to treat their patients the same way and I want to inspire my patients to treat others with respect.

Caitlin from California
High School Senior
Newbury Park High School