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

As a volunteer in a medical center, I spent my summer answering call lights, making deliveries across the hospital, and assisting with discharges. The patient in room 425 had been fasting many hours for a surgery, but it was cancelled, and she never received food. She had been calling every few minutes, complaining of hunger.

Despite the nurse telling me I could ignore her calls, I kept answering and assuring her that food was on the way. Realizing there were crackers available in the nourishment room, I asked the nurse if I could bring her crackers to ease her appetite. He shrugged, “If you really wanted to, I guess you could.” Eager to help satiate the patient’s distress, I brought her crackers and water.

Nothing from school could prepare me for entering the patient’s room, seeing someone’s humanity in such a vulnerable state. I was satisfied knowing I did everything within my abilities to ease her pain. The satisfaction I felt in that moment was what made nursing my dream. Exiting the patient’s room, her nurse asked me, “Did that shut her up?” The lack of respect and empathy this professional employee had were equal parts disturbing and tragic.

The simultaneous ability of nurses to tend to both the physical and emotional care of patients and the versatility of the career is what drew me into nursing, but the feeling of satisfaction I felt in tending to the patient’s needs is what assured me nursing is what I want to spend my life doing. Whether it is through becoming a CRNA, nurse practitioner, or delving into research, I relish that I am able to continue to challenge myself. I hope to make a change in the field of nursing by showing compassion, respect, and excellence to all patients.

Layla from Texas
High School Senior
Cedar Park High School