To be able to afford going to seminary originally. Then we started having kids and I found out nursing pays better than pastoring. I loved it, though: the “taking care of people and making a difference in their lives and the lives of their relatives” part. After 20 years I did eventually get ordained but still do nursing on the side at times because nursing still pays better than pastoring. And it is excellent preparation for pastoral care. I have to say, though, these days I mostly like home health care because institutional work has become factory nursing, little different from raising animals in cages. 90% of your work is pushing pills and pushing paper. You rarely have time to actually listen to and take your time caring for your patient in a hospital or nursing home setting. I realized something was wrong when a patient died in the nursing home (we were expecting it) and I had less paperwork than had she gotten a bruise or a skin tear. And sadly, I’ve seen us lose some excellent young nurses who went into the profession to help people and then got beat up by the reality of what nursing has become.