I Knew I Wanted to be a Nurse When...

CHHS  >  Nursing  >  Students

People enter the nursing profession for a wide variety of reasons, and for many, personal interactions and experiences play a large role in their decision to pursue nursing. We asked some of our students to share when they knew they wanted to be a nurse.

Victor Chicaiza

Victor Chicaiza

"I saw the passion in my mother's eyes...."

I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I saw the passion in my mother’s eyes when she provided care as a nurse in my home country of Ecuador. She worked for 25 years as a nurse in my home country, and there were times, as a child, when she had to take me to work because of the lack of childcare. I still remember the hospital, the doctors, other nurses, and equipment surrounding me. Since that moment I knew I wanted to follow my mother’s steps and contribute, in some way, to improving people’s health and lives.

Aundrea Chichester

Aundrea Chichester

"...soon I will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to care for all types of people."

I knew I wanted to be a nurse after going through an experience where I felt helpless and vulnerable. My mother and I were in the ICU by my maternal grandmother’s bedside when she died. Just moments after her death, my mother collapsed in what I had guessed to be a seizure. I moved her to her side, cradled her head, and called for help. An obviously untrained young lady entered, saw me holding my mom while she convulsed, and stated, “I don’t know what to do!” I replied, “Well, go find someone who does!” Moments later an assorted team of staff members rushed in and chaos ensued. I was out of the way, shoved in a corner, and over several minutes heard “she’s got no pulse,” “call a code,” and “bring a crash cart.” After cutting her shirt open and just before a shock was applied, another physician called out that he had found a normal pulse. When my mother became conscious she was transported to the emergency room and was discharged into my care an hour later with a prescription and no explanation of what had occurred or instructions for me. I was terrified to take my mom back to our hotel room, in an area I was unfamiliar with and where I didn’t know anyone. After an extremely emotional day, I sat up watching her all night to make sure she didn’t have another episode. If I had been a trained nurse, I could have reacted and handled the situation in a safer and more organized way, and I wouldn’t have felt so helpless to be in charge of my mom’s care. It feels great knowing that pretty soon I will have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to care for all types of people.

Candace Dickson

Candice Dickson

"...a selfless, professional career that is rewarding for both the caregiver and patient."

I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was a sophomore in high school, realizing that I wanted a selfless, professional career that is rewarding for both the caregiver and patient. I realized that I wanted to be able to efficiently care for and advise loved ones (family and friends) with educational knowledge and experience, since several of them have some sort of medical condition.

Patricia Khoury

Patricia Khoury

"...nurses were the ones who interacted with us the most and provided the best care possible."

I've always had a passion for the medical field ever since I used to run around in a white sweater and plastic toy stethoscope acting like a professional. I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I witnessed how the nurses were taking care of my father when he was ill with cancer. It was a very difficult and heart aching experience, but the nurses were the ones who interacted with us the most and provided the best care possible. The loss of my father really influenced me, and after watching just how much of a difference nurses can make in a person’s life (especially my father’s), I had the drive and determination to pursue that career and work just as hard to help others on their path to better health.

Shivani Patel

Shivani Patel

"Knowing how grateful she was to receive my help was touching."

In the summer of 2011, I volunteered at the Goodwin House in Alexandria, Virginia. Although one of my favorite patients could barely speak, move, or feed herself, every day before I left she’d tell me she loved me. She could barely get the words out with her disabilities, but I understood. I only volunteered there for a summer, but I’d come back every winter break to see her; even when she forgot who I was, she still told me she loved me. Knowing how grateful she was to receive my help was touching. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a nurse.

Christy Penington

Christy Pennington

"...embrace my strengths of compassion and hard work with the desire to make lasting changes in the world."

I was one of those kids whose dreams were all over the place. One week I’d want to be a Disney princess and the next a NASCAR racer. It wasn’t until one night when I was 14 that I realized I wanted my life’s work to embrace my strengths of compassion and hard work with the desire to make lasting changes in the world. That night I chose to be a nurse. I have never regretted that decision and fall more in love with nursing each day!

Marlyn Vasquez

Marlyn Vasquez

"...professionals who [know] what to do in all types of situations."

I wanted to be a nurse when I witnessed my family, most of whom are registered nurses, with other professional nurses who took great care of my grandmother and grandfather when they were very ill. I knew my grandparents were comfortable and happy when they passed away within a year of each other because they knew they were being taken care by not only family but also professionals who knew what to do in all types of situations. I’m proud of the fact that I will be one step closer to being just like them.