This is a question I get asked often once people find out I’m in nursing school. It often follows by “what kind if nurse do you want to be?”
With nurses week ending last week and it being the first week of my summer break, I finally had time to watch a movie I’ve been wanting to watch for awhile- a documentary call “Today We Saw the Face of God” through Amazon.
This movie had a special place in heart since it involves the organizations I work with when I go to Haiti.
Ok, back up- some background information. When I went away for college, I never really had too much of a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Being in health care sounded cool, but besides that I couldn’t tell you exactly what role I wanted in the scheme of things. I picked a major that had the word health in it, and picked the concentration of health administration and planning, it sounded interesting.
Towards the end of my undergrad days, I had to do an internship, so I did one at a free clinic and non-profit group mainly doing office work, and it was there I noticed I was always wondering what the nurses were doing, not really happy just pushing papers and relaying information on how to become a client at the clinic.
Also during my undergrad days, I was really involved with leadership development and community service- I would go on alternative breaks trips around the country. I then wanted to take it a step further- go international.
I tried to go with a group on campus but it fell through, and when this got brought up to one of my BFFs mom (who goes to Haiti regularly) she asked if I would go with her, and I immediately said YES!
So just like that, I signed up to go during my spring break of my super senior year- literally 8 weeks before I get my bachelors degree.
And that trip forever changed me.
It was the first time I ever left the continent. It was the first time I saw poverty fist hand, and the first time I saw how some people weren’t too happy to see Americans, and it was where I saw what else nurses could do.
I’ve been lucky not to have to go to the doctor a lot, so I mainly saw nurses as people I saw before I saw the doctor, the ones that gave me shots, the ones that often asked a lot of questions. That was my interaction with them.
In Haiti, I saw the care and compassion that nurses and nurse practitioners gave, the amount of knowledge they had about almost anything that got tossed at them, and I wanted to be them.
I came back and had to face a hard decision- I never took any classes to get into nursing school, do I really want to start almost all over again?
I decided yes, and went to try to pursuit that dream- taking chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology was tough, and to go from living on my own to back home was tough (and still is somewhat). I had many decisions to make- what route did I want to go with my education ( I had every route available since I have my bachelors already) It was rough, and after getting letters that said “No” I seriously considered giving up, I didn’t know what else to do. I can only try so much and improve my application in so many ways, and I felt I was reaching at the end of the rope. But I finally got a “Yes” and the journey has interesting. It has it’s ups and downs, but I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end.
I’ve been to Haiti 3 times now (2011, 2012, and 2013) this year was the first year I couldn’t go due to school, but it exciting to know the next time I go, I will have RN next to my name 🙂
What kind of nurse do I want to be? I don’t know, but a good one. It changes every day- from an ER nurse, to nurse anesthetist, to birth and delivery (I start that in August!), to flight nurse, to a peds or family nurse practitioner, to a womens health nurse, or something with diabetes education, as you can tell, the list goes on and changes daily. But what I do look forward to is being able to give back not just on a community level, but globally also.