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Nursing: the Past, the Present, and the Future

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Nursing is a well-respected and admirable career choice, it is inevitable that every person comes in contact with a nurse at least once in their lifetimes. As I progress through life and obtain further knowledge and experiences, I realize the importance of nursing to the medical field and society as a whole. We look at nurses to supply an immense amount of information to patients and loved ones during times of need, curiosity, and sorrow. Some people even look to nurses to save their lives. At an early age my experiences with nursing and caregiving including depicting myself as a nurse for various Halloweens, playing “doctor” and “school” with an entire host of children, and later, playing a minor role in taking care of my grandmother who suffered from lung cancer during what felt like my entire youth. These experiences shaped and amplified my desire to study nursing.

Once I stepped into the real world of nursing, I learned that it is about much more than just caretaking and serving others’ health needs—it is about leadership and teaching, qualities that I have possessed for as long as I can remember. As a child, it was critical that I played a leadership role during childhood games; when it came to playing “school”, I was always the first to volunteer to play the role of the teacher, though not always granted, and when it came to playing “doctor”, it was necessary that I played the doctor. By playing these roles I portrayed admirable, positive, and influential characters—both being characters who provided knowledge and comfort, I knew this from experiences visiting hospitals. In grade school, I anticipated trips to Ann Arbor’s The University of Michigan Hospital to visit my grandmother because the energy was so amusing and positive. Despite not knowing much about cancer and about the hardships that my grandmother had to face as a patient, I watched as she was nursed back to health. She was suddenly happy and carefree, she purchased an RV and had a home built in South Carolina. I had found my role models and dreamed of being just like the nurses who “fixed” my grandmother.

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During my most recent years, I have worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant in homes and hospitals, both of which I enjoyed and learned many lessons from. My time working as a Certified Nursing Assistant brought me to the realization that I would be a phenomenal nurse. Finally, my childhood dream was pushing me to continue my studies and further developing my skills as a CNA and potential Licensed Practical Nurse. I recall spending the summer of 2008 in South Carolina, the first season that my grandmother lived in her new home. My grandmother was as alive as I was, she was active, fun, and exciting! Life was just grand. I imagined that after a long, dreadful day working as a nurse, playing a role in saving a patient’s life had to feel like the life that my grandmother was living—eventful but peaceful. As a CNA I saw peaceful days, days where patients would find out the greatest news announced for weeks, even times where I helped in delivering those positive messages. There were also darker times, watching a patient suffer while having no family to be comforted. I was more than just an informant, I was easily and remarkably a light in someone’s life. During the past several years of being a CNA, I have gathered the confidence to know that with my persistence and passion I will be beyond successful in Dorsey’s PN program and in my career field. I have always had a passion for seeing promoting and tending to healthy lifestyles and choices. Having a CNA license has allowed me the ability to see people at their best and at their worst. I have assessed life in ways that others may not have had the chance to analyze or experience at such a close point of view. I eventually returned home for the beginning of the school year and my sophomore year in high school, the most memorable and sorrowful year of my life.

Upon returning home, my grandmother announced to us that the Lung Cancer had resurfaced, and her health was far more problematic than I ever remembered it being. I would spend hours online researching natural diets and remedies that killed cancer cells and could prolong a cancer patients life. I had promised to never partake in bad habits such as smoking, which I believed played a role in the deterioration of my grandmother’s health and life. It was always heartbreaking to see such happy people withering away. These experiences caused me to become a lot more adventurous, ready to live and experience what life could offer. I realized that there were obstacles and hardships to overcome in the nursing field like any other career. Obstacles including but not limited to attachment and sympathy. Being a natural born leader with my strong personality, I sometimes find myself uncontrollably becoming attached to the people I care for. I consider attachment a hardship because when that person is gone, there is always an emptiness. I live with the fantasy that I can save everyone I encounter, but the reality is that not everyone can be saved; luckily though, with nurses and other caretakers, everyone can at least be as comfortable as possible as they go. When there was nothing else that the University of Michigan’s cancer department could do for my grandmother, she was sent home.

She remained in Michigan where my family and I were cared for her with the help of her homecare nurses. She was fragile and needed extra care and attention, seeing her flustered me with emotions. Being too sympathetic was a gift and a curse, it caused me to compare my life to the lives of those suffering from illnesses, but it also caused me to do my best in caring for patients. I tended to feel bad for ill patients, wondering why they had to suffer, why they were chosen apart from people like myself. In the same token, I realized that my attitude took a toll on the lives of my patients, so I pledged to always put forth my greatest and best effort. I wanted to make sure my presence was peaceful and fulfilling, I wanted to work hard and make a difference, even if I couldn’t save a life while doing so. This became my daily motivation as a Certified Nursing Assistant. As I progress through my nursing studies and continue exploring paths in my nursing career, I will continue to be motivated by peacefulness and fulfillment, ultimately creating a space for my patients to feel relaxed, proud, and comforted.

My grandmother passed away early in 2009. For the last months of her life, she was in the presence and comfort of people who loved and cared for her. If I am accepted into Dorsey’s Practical Nursing program I will accept all the knowledge and teachings I am offered, so that I can lead others into a healthy and gratifying life. Putting my effort into the Practical Nursing program will only give me the experience I need to go back into the nursing field more intelligent and qualified than I have ever been. With all the challenges I will face as a continuing student and caring individual, I know that with hard work and dedication, I will grow and be successful in and after the program. Experiencing and perceiving nursing as a child mapped out the rest of my life. Upon recalling events and childhood memories, I have come to the understanding that nursing is literally a way of life. I believe that to be a happy and successful nurse, you must embody certain characteristics: caring, attentive, responsible, empathetic, mindful, and an all-time favorite, enthusiastic. By being a light in the lives of children and patients, I aspire to be an inspiration to individuals like my childhood self, who may eventually become students of the medical field.


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