It’s Not Just a Nursing Career, It’s a Calling

By Suzanne Tietjen on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

nursing careerNursing. It’s not just a career – it’s a calling.

My hospital used that as an advertising campaign a few years back. Effective, yes, but is it true?

We think of nursing as a job, our work, a profession (which it is). It’s what we do – a choice we've made. Nurses can live comfortably on our incomes and even in hard times, there are usually jobs to be had.

And the variety! ER and flight nursing for adrenaline junkies, bedside nursing for those gifted in multitasking, Intensive Care for techies, hospice, school nursing, home and public health – the list goes on and on.

I went around the unit last week asking random colleagues why they become nurses. Have they pro-and-conned their way into the field, decided they needed something to “fall back on”, as my mother used to say, or heard a voice from Heaven?

As to the last, no one had.

Their faces softened, though, as they considered how they have ended up in this place, caring for a living.

Megan, a Gen Y nurse, didn’t feel called to choose this career. “It was just what I always wanted to be,” she said. We discovered we shared a fondness for those little plastic nurses’ kits when we were little girls thirty years apart. Neither of us wanted to be the doctor.

Denise couldn’t come up with a reason. Yet, here she is with a bright shiny Master’s Degree, beginning a preceptorship as a Nurse Practitioner, after many years at the bedside. Called? She couldn’t say so.

Being a nurse is a privilege. And a calling.

Like many nurses, I shy away from saying such a thing out loud, but, here’s the truth: I am called to nursing.

Not by an audible voice or a sign from God. Rather, I have been drawn gradually and steadily to this work, my vocation.

Vocation.

No less than the Oxford American Dictionary uses nursing as an example of a vocation – a word that literally means a calling. Novices in religious orders want to know if they have a vocation. Nurses do too. My best friend quit nursing school because she didn’t feel enough compassion for the patients. My hospital’s nurse residency program gives new graduates the opportunity to try out different specialties to find a good fit.

Some of us pray.

I didn’t originally see myself as called. I needed a better-than-minimum-wage job. Then I remembered my childhood love of nursing. I moved near a university with a good nursing program. I got my paperwork together and registered just in time for the Fall Quarter. I thought all of this was good luck.

I surprised myself by doing well in the sciences which I hadn’t in high school. Our class quickly tired of books, longing to see real patients. I loved it.

I found I was suited for this. I had a shirt that said “Nurses Make It All Better”, and for a while, I believed it.

Then discovered it wasn’t true. I saw death. And worse.

But kept coming back.

And started to see beyond the sadness and secretions, the chaos and complaining, to the secret that this work is so much more than a succession of tasks to be done. We nurses are in the unique position of being able to act as instruments of healing – listening, touching, validating, soothing.

My sister called me one day and said, “I wish I could do something important like you. Your work matters.”

These things drew me. I wanted to be good at this, to gain new skills, and I did. I learned that listening was as much a skill as starting an IV. Doing nursing well became less like gaining competence and more like participating in an intricate dance, relating and responding to my patients and co-workers with humility and (I hope) patience.

Like hearing the sound of a voice without understanding the words, I turned to the call and followed it. I moved toward what was beautiful and sacred in my nursing career, occasionally catching a glimpse of what lies just below the surface of our ordinary days of tending to and attending to our patients.

We may not be aware of our call or maybe we just don’t want to speak of something so holy. But, oh yes, we have a vocation.

We are called. And we’re answering.



42 COMMENTS

Bridie Arce 1 month ago
"Your work matters" :) this just brought me to tears... that's why I wanted to go into nursing, I wanted to do something meaningful that goes beyond just a job or career. Nurse is more than what you do, it's who you are. I thank God for every second of this I am in my third semester of nursing program. It has been intense, I have always done well in my prerequisites until I got into nursing school. I was quite discouraged the other day for not doing as well as I thought I would after putting in all the hours and hours each day for the exam. I sat down with my first year advisor and the one thing she told me that transformed my outlook, "you are more than an exam grade, this does not define the kind of nurse you will become" :). I thank you God for every opportunity, every provision every open door, every Yes and Amen. It is an honor you would place this important task in my hands, and I hope to be a good steward to all that you have delegated and entrusted me with, even the opportunity to care for people.

Anonymous 4 months ago
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Sue Goetze 1 year ago
After 43 years in the field I still consider my career a calling. I remember in nursing school we were asked why we wanted to be a nurse and I answered the question with the very word we are talking about today. I was the only one who said they were called to do this work. I too saw too many changes in our field. The nurse that practices today is not the nurse I studied to be 40 plus years ago. Some of the changes sadden me...not being able to spend the time w/ the patients, but the rest excites me. The technology that aids us and the advances we've made are unbelievable. I love being a nurse, albeit an old one, but I still know what I know, practice what I know and enjoy the journey I've taken.

Anonymous 2 years ago
I agree to this post 200%. Nursing is not a career; it’s a calling. Nursing is a field in where service comes as priority one. You may not be able to witness the servicing mentality in not all of them, but you may be able to witness some with that attitude. visit the site

Anonymous 3 years ago
I too am a "veteran" nurse now retired. Went to school right out of high school and worked for 42 years. I guess I considered it a calling since I never really found anything else that I liked to do. I enjoyed helping and making a difference to patients and their families in death. I was a floor nurse for the last 30 years of my career. I saw nursing change before my eyes from having plenty of time with the patients to being pushed to take care of more at a time and undertake more and more techinical tasks. I also found myself doing things that only a doctor did when I got out of nursing school. When I retired I felt like hospital nursing was all about the bottom line and customer satisfaction and not about actual patient care. Nursing can be a calling. I see it in the daughter of my best friend. She came to nursing after having kids. she is a great public health nurse and it appears that it is a calling for her. I believe that the nurses who have a calling make the best nurses. those who go into it for the money only, for the most part, do not have a calling. I would still recommend nursing to anyone, male or female, who wants to care for humanity and make a difference

Anonymous 3 years ago
I am a nursing instructor and I end each Spring semester in my courses with a personal explanation of why nursing is a calling. It is very spiritual and filled with Scripture. I don't remember any calling or drawing when I first became a nurse, but am now convinced that the still small voice of God has led me down this 30 year path. I have had the privilege of ministering to many patients in acute care and hospice. I now am able to help students maximize their caring potential in beginning their path to what I believed God has called them to.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I remember a teacher in 1st grade asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her I wanted to be a nurse. She told me I was too smart to be a nurse, I should be a doctor. I told her I wasn't going to school until I'm 30. Years later, just before my senior year in high school, I was planning to become a psychologist. There was a car accident in front of my house. I told my mom after it was dealt with that I wanted to know what to do in those kind of emergencies. Thus my fate was sealed...

Anonymous 3 years ago
Originally, I thought I was being led gently by the hand, hand in hand, side by side, with a guardian angel of sorts, who would whisper in my ear suggestions as I faced the challenge of working on a Med-Surg unit. However, in time, I began to be so affected by fatigue, short-staffing, a corporate hospital with suits at the top that did not seem to care about the patient, much less care about me as the caregiver. It started to feel more like a life sentence rather than a life calling, so I moved on. I do have fond memories of what it was like back in the 1970s when I wasn't stressed out by having to be in so many places at once and had lots of help. Too bad that type of work environment did not continue.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I came to nursing later in life, myself. I went back to school when my youngest was 6 months old. I was 28 at the time. I actually trained in HS as a medical secretary, had always been interested in medical field, but spent 10+ years in the hospitality industry. Main reason I turned to nursing was financial stability and more regular schedule, albeit off shifts. That said, I do feel that nursing is a vocation for me. It's more than a job. I look at the newer nurses coming into the field, and I see more of them looking at it as a job. Those that do, don't stay long. Those that grow into the idea that nursing is more than just a paycheck end up thriving. Maybe it was God's plan for me all along, I'm not overtly religious. I think it's just as likely that it's the nobility of selflessness that we all offer in caring for others regardless of race/creed/ethnicity/etc. Not everyone can do that. I do believe a GOOD nurse believes nursing is a vocation, and those that can't embrace that notion are the ones that don't fly...

Anonymous 3 years ago
I came to nursing later in life, myself. I went back to school when my youngest was 6 months old. I was 28 at the time. I actually trained in HS as a medical secretary, had always been interested in medical field, but spent 10+ years in the hospitality industry. Main reason I turned to nursing was financial stability and more regular schedule, albeit off shifts. That said, I do feel that nursing is a vocation for me. It's more than a job. I look at the newer nurses coming into the field, and I see more of them looking at it as a job. Those that do, don't stay long. Those that grow into the idea that nursing is more than just a paycheck end up thriving. Maybe it was God's plan for me all along, I'm not overtly religious. I think it's just as likely that it's the nobility of selflessness that we all offer in caring for others regardless of race/creed/ethnicity/etc. Not everyone can do that. I do believe a GOOD nurse believes nursing is a vocation, and those that can't embrace that notion are the ones that don't fly...

Anonymous 3 years ago
why i become a nurse?i remember when my mom still giving birth to my younger sisters and brothers i always in her bedside helping her and my mom told me "when you grow up i want you to be a nurse" and here i am i'm a nurse for 37 years and i love it ..we all know that nurses are not being paid well,its almost slavery but for me "my rewards is in heaven"

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have also known "nursing as an art", and "...as a science" as well as "nursing as a calling" or "nursing vocation". I have always personally felt nursing as a vocation for myself. There is a deeply personal reason for this and my realization that this is something that I could do and do well at, came after living in a hospital on a Pediatric unit during unending, lengthy hospitalizations of our oldest daughter. All through high school I had been inclined toward and supported in entering "the arts" - art school. I did follow through with this; however, years later I was called to nursing. I entered nursing school late by some standards, being 28, but as a career it has always worked well for raising children and providing a comfortable life style. I am thankful and continue to pray every night that I will do well with those put in my care. I believe that even in retirement I will want to be able to contribute something in nursing. Often I have imagined myself as "a nurse" in another time and place, and what role would I have played. Even back to the time of Christ and His Passion, I think I would want to be St Veronica, who wiped the face of Jesus. Even though I believe that nursing is a vocation for most that pursue this, it is not for all; and, I do not believe that public sector "recruiting" to fill the nursing shortage will work out to produce good nurses. There needs to be some degree of passion toward this very hard work.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have been told so many times that what I do as an RN is special - I don't see it that way - I KNOW with all my heart that I was called to be a servant of the most high God and my nursing vocation is one of my ministries within the Kingdom of God! My Mom always wanted to be a nurse and wanted ME to be one - I also always wanted to take care of and care for people - I told my Mom she WAS a nurse even tho she never went to college or had a degree because she had 8 children and took care of all of us beautifully!! I became an RN in 1978 and will ALWAYS be a nurse! I am in private duty home care now, Pediatrics being my specialty, but also adults with trachs and/or vents. I don't always know all of the medical answers, but I DO know that God guides me and strenghtens me to care for my clients! And no matter how many tell me not to get personally involved with my clients, this is an impossibility for me - I simply love them all and give my all to help them with their illness - niursing is not only my vocation, it is my life! God bless you all!!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Nursing is a career for me. This is what I wanted to do since I was a teenager and I
have worked full time since graduation in 1971.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Great article and oh how true, it is definately a privaledge to take of of GOD's people, and to give of ourselves and most of beng in christlike manner of being a servant, some people think that is a strong term, yet, Jesus Christ ministry was all about servanthood and in order to be more lie him and have christlike behavior we must take on that servanthood mentality, because whether we accept it or not that is what we are doing and we need to feel honored that we are walking this walk. People are in one of their most volunarble states (sickness) when we see them and we as nurses, need to be compassionate and look at as GOD chose me to help this person, what and honor! tobe a chosen vessel for GOD, Keep it up my nurse collegues, always keep other first and GOD shall rewrd you as you do His work, because that is what we are doing, HIS WORK!!! luv you much your sister in nursing!!

Anonymous 3 years ago
I was "called to Both Nursing, and to Preach the Gospel, both on the Fabulous creation that is the Human Body. God requires us to Maintain the "Temple", for it is the place where all life is!....Like any fine work of art, our bodies require specific care and upkeep, and the instructions for this care are found in the Bible. Human life begins there,in both male and female,and this is where the Holy Spirit Lives. It does not supprise me, that in all religeous orders, this same topic is addressed, and essentially the same instructions are given !! So from Budda-to Bible, it is understood the God requires care of his creation be special and connected to him. The Vocation of Nursing is the same as a Preacher; "comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable", and remove destructive forces that threaten the life of the host!
There is simply then NO way, the caretakers of this creation are just "workers"!!
We are called of God, to be his instruments of healing, via his instruction, using ours hands, on this earth.
But for the fact, there will be no sickness in heaven, I would apply for the same job for Eternity.

Anonymous 3 years ago
At 3 I wanted my own cap and rustling uniform,at 17 I wanted to do family medicine but was told by my cap wearing mother I was not smart enough,pretty enough,good enough. I went to her nursing school Made her hate me more which I survived through the lens of sociology.The early years of nursing I survived with the love of patients who prayed with me,for me as they taught me about living through their dying.One unit secretary kept me going for years after I left that job with the book she pressed in my hands. I learned to teach medical students / residents the lessons my patients taught me as I healed from my family. Merging nursing with sociology to be an advocate in all arenas. Time has passed,people want me to have degrees that put me in my place. I have studied nursing,sociology,developmental medicine,law with a passionate obsession. I have no degree in any but have exacted and continue to exact changes drawn from all areas.Now as I write books,affadavits,amicus briefs,teach my Aspie son,fight TX for mental health care for FAS kids,correct defects in law,manage dairy goats and start a dove release business I challenge anyone to' put me in my place'. I have been called to be my authentic self. Nursing does not define me. My actions, my attitudes,my integrity define nursing.As the article points out nursing is a personal choice.

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

I am very proud to be a nurse! I believe it is my vocation.

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

I am very proud to be a nurse! I believe it is my vocation.

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

I agree..it is a truely rewarding career.each and everyday we come across individuals with different personalities and temperaments which is mentally and emotionally challenging but we deal with them..some good,some bad, some ugly...but we continue to soldier on..i am previledged to be one:)

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

When one is called into their work- no matter the good and bad-the passion remains. Some nurses leave-because they dont have the passion- and its a tough job or some get disabled. Some get by because they know how-but are not really happy a...nd wish to do another job. Nursing is my true calling- I enjoy it everyday. It is flexible-so many specialties and diverse also, so if you leave the hospital setting to public health-its a whole new exciting experience and vice-versa, public health to hospital. We are needed everywhere, nursing is mental, spiritual and physical.

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

It is indeed a rewarding career. I could not see myself doing anything else....even though sometimes is gets hard, nevertheless the positives far outweighs the negatives....I feel blessed

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:
I have been a nurse from 1986- enjoy every experience and love now to share these experiences with others and mentor younger nurses. Really a rewarding carrer-hope more will join.

Anonymous 4 years ago
via NurseTogether Facebook page:

Serving others is a privilege......being a nurse is a privilege...

Anonymous 4 years ago

I have no doubt in my mind about my calling to be a nurse- and there's been good times, and bad times,and times I was not well, but my passion still remains to help people heal in mind, body and spirit with God's help and direction. I was in Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 Jamaica, worked 24 hrs , and only two of us, because our relief nurses couldnt come in. God helped us those 24 hours and no patients were hurt-despite some of our windows blowing out. We moved evryone to the front cubicle jsut before the windows blew out! I never forget and now I am a volunteer Red Cross Nurse, with a non-profit which has a Disaster Preparedness Project to educate communities on disasters holistically-in mind, body and spirit. Yes, I was called to be a nurse-at such a time as this.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I'll probably be the lone voice here, but I have not been called by anyone or anything to be a nurse. I was a paramedic, and then chose to go back to school and become a nurse. I liked it, and got very good at it, and now teach people how to do it, but I don't want to be considered an "angel of mercy" or anything with any kind of religious connotation. I am a highly educated professional, and I am very good at my job. I think that I should be paid commensurate with my level of education and experience. I think that the more we perpetuate the message that we've received some sort of "calling" and that nurses are "angels," then the more we devalue ourselves and allow hospitals to abuse us by paying less than we are worth and with unsafe staffing practices. The more we allow this, the more our patients will suffer. Following this line of reasoning, administration may ask, "Why should nurses get paid more? After all, they're doing the work of the Lord, and should be alright with making sacrifices." I'm not OK with that. While some may feel that they have been called, I just feel that I want a job that will help me make my house payments. And, I am a kind and caring individual, and treat my patients with respect and dignity. I do feel that what I'm doing matters. I'm glad that I chose a career in which I can help people. I am honored to teach my students how to care for their patients, but even more, how to care for themselves, which is something no one ever taught me. I am teaching them to be assertive and strong. I am teaching them to be members of a healthcare team that makes patient care decisions together. I am teaching them to care for and be with patients at the most difficult times of their lives, and do so with professionalism and authenticity. I am NOT teaching them to be "angels." If they (or anyone else) feel "called," good for them, but I am more concerned about advancing and elevating the profession so that those of us in it are no longer taken for granted.


laurie pitman 1 year ago
Thats pretty much why I went into nursing. It gives me the opportunity to care for people which is what I love while also paying my bills. I don't want to be viewed as some :angel" That is the last thing I feel like when cleaning up massive amounts of bodily fluids. I just want to know that I was there and allowed my patient to maintain their dignity throughout providing their care. It does not "put me out". I will hang IV's or provide hygiene, cleanliness is so important to maintaining dignity! I love what I do but I expect to be paid good for it. How I became a nurse, all the grueling life sacrifices will always be fresh in my mind. If it was easy we would all be nurses, I expect fair compensation.

Anonymous 4 years ago

For me nursing is a calling and a career.I made a decision to become a nurse and i prayed to God AND ASKED HIM TO GIVE ME THE STRENGTH , KNOWLEDGE AND THE FINANCES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AND I'VE BEEN DOING NURSING SINCE JUNE 1971. I FIND IT CHALLENGING ,THRILLING AND EXHAUSTING AT THE SAME TIME,BUT, I AM GRATEFUL TO BE HERE AND STILL PRACTCING.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I came from a medical family. My father was a plastic surgeon and served in WWII, my mother was a nurse and homemaker. When I went off to college I had decided not to go into either of these fields. I had been on the receiving end of growing up in a medical family and realized how difficult the lifestyle was and the sacrifices a family makes for both professions. Emergency calls, infrequent sit down dinners together (except almost always for holidays, but even they were interrupted sometimes),very long, long hours. When I got older I worked side by side with my father for years at his office and this gave me a greater understanding of the differences he (as a gifted and creative physician) and nurses made in the lives of others. It really was an amazing gift. Looking back (after 25 years), I did not know exactly where I would end up in nursing however having worked Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Post-Partum, and well baby, I found my niche early in my carrer to be Neonatal Intensive Care and(not unlike the author) our family too has a working farm business for almost 50 years. That farm has been my peace when there have been difficult days in the NICU. Being a nurse is "a calling" however you define it. Not everyone can do it. Not every one can do it well.


Anonymous 4 years ago

Every summer from ages 7 to 14, I was sent to Washington, DC to stay with my Nana from school out to school restart. She is a nurse. Dressed in her white dress and stockings, starched and pressed, cap firmly in placed she come and kiss us goodnight as she headed for her 11-7 shift at Walter Reed. I'd ask her what she did and she told me she helped sick people get better. "i want to be just like you<" I'd quipped almost every night. Being a nurse is all I've every thought of being, of doing with my life. And then there was nursing school and I saw what nursing was really all about. It was the hardest thing I've every done in my life (including giving birth. But with the grace of God and his divine purpose for me, I succeeded even when others thought I wouldn't. Now after almost 20yrs, I still look forward to going to work each day and can never see myself doing anything else. It's hard work and you may not always be appreciated or valued but when I put on my uniform abeit a litttle different than the uniform my Nana wore, the feelings' still the same....nursing is my blessing to share.


Anonymous 4 years ago

Nursing was a childhood and personal calling for me. I have always wanted to help, care for, protect, and nurture others. I was drawn to labor and delivery and loved (almost) every minute of working with my patients. It was not long before I realized that I was receiving more from them than I was giving. When I walk off of the unit after a 12 hour shift, my heart swells knowing that I may have made their day, and certainly mine, better.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I wanted to be a Labor & Delivery nurse since age 5. I believe I was called by God to be nurse. I've been a nurse now for close to 30 years with 20+ of those years in L&D. I have loved being nurse & it's been a dream come true


Anonymous 4 years ago

I wanted to be a Labor & Delivery nurse since age 5. I believe I was called by God to be nurse. I've been a nurse now for close to 30 years with 20+ of those years in L&D. I have loved being nurse & it's been a dream come true


Anonymous 4 years ago

I wanted to be a Labor & Delivery nurse since age 5. I believe I was called by God to be nurse. I've been a nurse now for close to 30 years with 20+ of those years in L&D. I have loved being nurse & it's been a dream come true


Anonymous 4 years ago

Suzanne's editorial about our beloved profession rings so true. As she said, "Like hearing the sound of a voice without understanding the words, I turned to the call and followed it. I moved toward what was beautiful and sacred in nursing." Many of us did not feel an overt call on our lives to become nurses. For me, I followed my desires to help those in their hour of greatest need and an academic challenge. Little did I know it would become a passion. Once I fully comprehended the sacredness of our work, I began to look at my nursing career as a gift from God. Nurses without a God centered focus in their practice will in evidently feel as though something is missing. I know personally from experience. For a while, I lost focus on what was truly important and my work then became mundane. The bottom line is that it is never too late to be "called" in nursing. Once we allow God to transform us, our paradigm will shift. He shifted mine when he called me to begin a mission to serve the nursing profession which I am so honored to be apart of. Please check out our website at onelovefornurses.org. May God bless our family of nurses!


Anonymous 4 years ago

I always tell others that I was called by God to be a nurse. I had other ideas of what I wanted to do with my life while I was in high school (and nursing was NEVER a choice), but when I graduated I didn't go right into college. I worked for about 4 years and then suddenly...out of the blue...I decided to become a nurse. I literally made the decision and then started class within a couple of months. We had no healthcare professionals in my immediate family and I really had no idea what nursing was all about (LPN vs RN, different fields of nursing, pay, etc). So I didn't make the decision based upon anything that I knew, I made it because God led me to do so. I have been a nurse for 15 years now. I've thought about making a career change, but I can't bring myself to do it...because this is truly my calling!


Anonymous 4 years ago

Initially I made the nursing choice because my mother & grandmother always said"A woman needs to be able to take care of herself!". As the years passed it became a way to make a difference in the world,& in the lives of people.My last 14 yrs in the ER were the best ever!I felt called to help those who were confused,suffering,scared.The bedside was always my place to be,the place to serve,to be part of the universe,to be someone's angel.The thank yous,hands held,& tears shead all were my idea of making a difference.Never in a grand way but one person at a time.Now I am retired but I miss it every day!I never realized how much pride I took in saying "I am a nurse."


Anonymous 4 years ago

WOW you all are amazing! I have always had a great deal of compasion for the "under dog." I felt, as a nurse I would be able to comfort some of those people. I was a single mom with 3 small boys, 1 that was 3 and 2 that were 1. I had always wanted to work in a hospital. That was 15 years, 2 hospitals ad 3 job titles later I am an LPN. I LOVE it! It is so amazing to have a patient or family member thank you for your time and concern. I can not tell you the patients that have made my life so much more enriched with their show of will and determination. Human beings are amazing. Our bodies can endure some pretty amazing things. I do believe that it is with God and sheer will that some of these people make it through. My patients teach me something daily. Usually about myself and about human nature. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to become a nurse. As a little girl I remember thinking that nurses were the BEST. No body could make things better like a nurse could. (Yes, I was a little accident prone. Seen a few ERs as a child). The nurses were always the ones to calm my fears and make things bearable. I wanted to be one of those wonderful women. Now I am! I do hope I have touched a few lives as the nurse I have met touched mine. I want to be one of the good gals! :0)


Anonymous 4 years ago

I too am in the “Veteran Nurse” and now retired group. My options as a young woman were teacher, secretary, nurse or house wife. I opted for nursing. After I married and had two children, I stayed home while my husband went on with his career as a 30 year Navy man. The Vietnam War brought the realization up close and personal that I could be the sole support of my two little girls. At that point, nursing became our safety line and survival mechanism and I reentered active nursing. As God would have, we were blessed that my husband is still here and in one piece. Over the years, nursing became more and more a calling. I spent over 30 years in the perioperative area, with a major emphasis in the OR. I have also taught, been in management and done clinic work. My greatest professional joy is knowing that my skills made a significant contribution in the life of my patients. I was privileged to know that I tangibly helped our OR team save or markedly improve the life of most of our patients. I look back over more years than I believe possible with pride at being able to have made a small difference for my patients at what may have been a frightening time in their lives. I am retired, but friends and family still consider me a nurse. Oddly enough, the calling to nursing seems to be a family thing as there are three of us Veterans and a couple “Experienced Nurses” and now we have a “Baby Nurse” about to graduate from training and enter into a nursing career. So, three living generations of women who have heeded or are heeding the call of Florence Nightingale.


Anonymous 4 years ago

Being in the "Veteran Nurse" group, my father & society told me that if I did not get married, have children & become a wife and mother, I had few options. That left being a secretary, a school teacher, or a nurse. I worked as a secretary by day & went to school at night to become a nurse. While I did like hospital nursing when I first began many years ago, the hospital is all about money. It is how many patients can we give each nurse to maximize our profit? It leaves little time to actually get to know each patient & really take care of their needs. Insurance is to blame as well since patients must be discharged more quickly.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I too was called by God. I actually never wanted to be a nurse, but found that as I pursued what I thought I wanted the doors would close. When I pursued Nursing everything would just fall into place (and still does.) At the time of my calling, I had just had an incredible experience with coming to the Lord and that "call" was actually the first request I "heard" God speak to my heart. Seven years later, the compassion I have for people has grown exponentially as with my ability to provide Nursing care. The opportunities I've had in Nursing have been amazing. As Jennifer says, it is amazing how God works.


Anonymous 4 years ago

If you were to ask me why I became a nurse, I would say that I was called. God did call me. In fact he spoke to my heart and told me,"Jennifer, Your going to be a Nurse." What Lord? I don't know what you are talking about?, I asked. But sure enough everything fell into place. His plan, not mine. I was 18 at the time and now I am 31 today. God has a plan. And although now I still continue with my LVN license, when my children are out of the nest then I will be going back to school to become a Rhematologist. God's plan sure is amazing. Jennifer