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

The sun had just set after a long day. My grandmother was organizing her gauze cabinet and my mother had run to the bathroom. I jumped up and down on my grandmother's couch as I waited for my mother so we could head home. As I jumped off the couch and landed on the red-orange carpet, I opened my eyes. Red streaked my vision. I shrieked. My cry brought my mother running from the bathroom and I only remember a few other things from that night.

I remember sitting in an uncomfortable ER waiting room chair. I remember being scared. But most of all, I remember the nurses who took care of me.

I sat on the edge of a gurney in a trauma bay surrounded by white walls, white curtains, and white sheets. I swung my legs back and forth as they dangled off the edge of the gurney. A male nurse came and sat down next to me. He was wearing navy blue scrubs. I don't remember what we talked about. I don't remember his name. But I remember the fear dissipating as we talked. He looked down at me as I swung my legs back and forth. This nurse showed up. Maybe he showed up every day because he needed to pay rent. Maybe it was because he truly loved his job. But to a scared two-year-old girl, none of that mattered. All that mattered was that he was there. That he had showed up.

I will never forget that instance as long as I live. Those moments replay in my memory when I question why I chose to endure the hardships of nursing school. And then I remember that nurse. How what he did was so simple. He showed up for work that day not knowing what was going to walk through the door. And when I walked in he sat with me and stayed with me. It was so simple.

This simple moment is precisely why I chose to pursue a nursing degree. I want to show up for people. I want to do simple things that impact patients in ways I'll never know. I did not chose nursing for the financial stability or the positive job outlook. I did it for all the people who need a person to show up and fight for them.

Sarah from North Dakota
College Junior
University of Mary