I had wanted to be a nurse since I was a child. However, I was uncertain that I had the seemingly natural skills to perform the duties necessary for the profession.
I turned down a “free ride” to college from my parents as I did not want to waste their money not being sure what I wanted to do and I went to work advancing from office clerical to international sales/government bid package sales representative.
I was making good money and advancing but I always felt that in my soul I was missing something – a purpose.
Approximately ten years ago, with a toddler boy and a baby girl on the way, I was diagnosed with melanoma cancer. While my doctors were great, the nurses were outstanding.
I always remember the nurse in the oncologists office who at every visit said nothing more than “Hello, let’s get your vitals.” But then, she held my hand all the way down the hall way to the exam room with an extra squeeze and a smile once we got to the door.
Her simple touch was healing to my soul, she made it all seem possible to overcome. She is my inspiration for what I do now.
During my treatments, I met people in all stages of life (children to elderly), either battling against all odds to survive or simply looking for the respect and dignity needed to pass from this life.
Upon becoming “cancer free,” I resigned from my lucrative office position.
I embarked on a career in the healthcare field by joining a long-term care center to see what I was made of. While working at this facility, I successfully passed the STNA test.
I worked as an STNA and loved every moment of my job from the gross to the humorous to the joy and sadness of it all.
I then applied and was accepted into an LPN program with the eventual dream of becoming an RN.
I can do this!
I found that my choice in changing careers mid-life and moving to work in a long-term facility only strengthened my resolve to obtain nursing licensure.
I feel in my soul that nursing was and is what I am meant to do. The rewards of working with our LTC residents completely fill my heart and soul.
Each day that I am able to make a difference in their lives is a gift and their abilities to enhance my life daily is even more precious – it never ceases to amaze me how much the resident’s teach me and touch my life, they make me a better nurse, and a better person each day.
My proudest moment was a few months back when my 15 year old son came to work with me for a few night shift hours that needed covered.
While we were snuggling down for a few hours of nap time in my truck in the parking lot after work because I was too tired to drive with him in the truck, he looked at me and said, “I get it now, I get why you are always late, they need you here, you are good at what you do, mom, and I will do more for you at home.”