When I entered nursing school, I was much older than my classmates. I began school as I approached my 40th birthday, struck by a sudden desire to put my natural knack for nurturing to good use. As my only child had just entered college, I found myself, a stay at home mom with no one to mother, yearning for something useful to do.
Needless to say, I stood out. Much older than my classmates, I somehow felt far behind them academically. After all, it had been nearly 20 years since I received my bachelor’s degree in English – a degree that I never actually used. However, I pushed myself, trying not to be embarrassed by my age, and eventually received my nursing degree.
As a practicing nurse, I am able to put my “mothering” skills to good use, combined with my new wealth of scientific knowledge. And even though it was hard to go to school at such an age, I learned that it’s never too late to do what you are truly called for.
I am not alone in my nursing experience. Plenty of other nurses have inspiring stories like mine, with their own personal twist on them. Here are a few of my favorite inspirational nursing tales from around the US.
When Regina M. found her perfect prom dress, she was ecstatic. She had worked a part time job during the school year to be able to afford her dream dress to go along with the best night ever. Two weeks before prom, she had already made appointments for her hair, makeup, and nails to be done. Her date, Jeff, was also in on the planning, and was promising a fun night with friends in a rented limo.
The week of the big day, however, Regina fell ill and was rushed to the emergency room. A recent cold had led to an infection in her lungs; there was no way she would be well in time for the dance. Needless to say, Regina was heartbroken. As a senior, this was her last chance to go to prom and she was going to miss it!
During her stay in the hospital, Regina grew close to the nurses that attended to her. She told them about Jeff, about the prom, about her dreams of dancing the night away in her gorgeous dress. After a particularly tearful chat, the nurses got together and decided that if Regina couldn’t attend the prom, then the prom should come to her.
The day of the prom came, and the nurses began their preparations. They decorated Regina’s room, matching the “Fairy Tale Love” theme that her high school had planned. Then they attended to Regina – curling her hair, doing her makeup, painting her nails. With her dress over her hospital gown, Regina was able to dance one song with Jeff, making prom certainly a night to remember, thanks to the caring nurses who took a personal interest.
The New Nurse
When Patricia went on holiday to Spain, she had no idea what would happen. She was a brand-new nurse, having just graduated from nursing school. She was competent and clever, and certainly knew her stuff. To celebrate her recent graduation, she and a couple nursing school friends went to Spain with the hopes of relaxing before beginning their hectic lives as nurses.
On the first day, the three girls were having a bit of lunch. As her friends stayed at the table, Patricia decided she would head to the pool to get some reading in. As she was lying there, deep in her book, she heard a sudden commotion.
A young girl was telling a man in a chair something in another language. All of a sudden, the man leaped out of his chair and called out in English: “A boy is drowning! Someone help!”
The man then ran to the pool and pulled out a young child from the water. He wasn’t moving.
At first, Patricia hesitated. Surely there was someone more qualified than her to help this child. She looked around frantically and saw that no one was coming to the rescue. It had to be her.
With determination, Patricia threw down her book and ran to the child as he lay on the side of the pool, unmoving. Pushing the man aside, she calmly said “I’m a nurse.”
In that moment, she finally felt that the words were true. She began administering CPR to help the boy purge the water from his lungs and belly. After a few minutes of this, arms pumping over and over on the boy’s chest, he coughed and spat up the water.
As the boy sat up, aided by Patricia, his parents were finally located and Patricia left the scene quietly, happy to allow the boy to reunite with his family.
After that shocking event, Patricia finally understood that nursing was definitely where she needed to be.