December 9, 2007, 9:47 am

Why Should I Be A Nurse?


I just love this ad.

Judging by the text, it looks like an ad from the UK.

I like it so much, I can’t even think of a joke to go with it.

I did this exact thing as a child, except I used my little sisters as my “patients” and the “hospital” was under the card table in my great-grandmother’s bedroom. Of course I always wore a paper cap!

My great-grandmother taught me to make the best nursing caps out of typing paper! I held it onto my hair with paper clips.


Almost two years ago, I considered writing an e-book on why nursing was a great profession. I just found my introduction in an old “blog file” and realized I had never posted it. I do so now, because we can always use a reminder of what sent us into this profession. I now present, the intro to the e-book that never was!


“You’ll always have a job.”

“You’ll always have something to fall back on!”

This is what I heard as a child when I first announced my decision to be a nurse.

It was (and is) absolutely true.

Nursing is the backbone of the health care industry in the United States.

Patients are admitted to hospitals solely for the fact that they require nursing care.

Advanced practice nurses (Nurse Practitioners) are needed to work in tandem with physicians in both rural and urban areas to ensure access to healthcare.

Nurses are needed to work with patients in the home, when hospitalization is no longer required but the need for nursing care remains.


Only there aren’t enough nurses to meet the needs of our rapidly expanding health care systems.

Nurses are needed. Desperately.

Nursing instructors are frantically educating the next generation of nursing professionals, even as qualified applicants are placed on waiting lists or chosen by lottery.

Nursing professors are needed. Desperately.

Nursing will provide you job stability, a healthy (no pun intended) income, a flexible schedule and good benefits.

But there’s more.


Nursing provides you a way to make a difference in your life, your patients’ lives, the life of the community in which you serve.

Nursing is, after all, a service profession.

You will serve by healing the sick and promoting health in the community. You will serve the disenfranchised of society and those who reside in upscale communities. You will see them as equals. They are your responsibility.

They are your patients.


You will work hard. You will make decisions on the fly that will affect lives and make lasting impressions on those you care for. You will give of yourself until you have to dig from the depths of your soul to keep on giving. You will occasionally leave work exhausted, frustrated, maybe angry.

You will be present at the beginning of life and you will be there guiding a patient and their family through the process of dying. You will receive untold rewards from your patients. Perhaps it will be a heartfelt “thank you”. Or a shy smile from a toddler as you hand them a teddy bear. Maybe it will be the satisfaction of watching an anxious patient in pain relax and sleep for the first time in a day.

But let me tell you the greatest reason for choosing to be a nurse…

When you walk out of that job, whether it be a hospital, a clinic or a home, you will leave with the knowledge that you made a difference in someone’s life.

And you will be touched by those same lives.

In the end, even considering the benefits, the flexibility, the income and the respect you will receive as a nurse…

Making a difference in your patient’s lives is the best reason of all.


  • rlbates

    December 9, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Thank you for being a nurse. It’s not that we “need more nurses”, it’s that we “need more nurses like you”.

  • Nickie

    December 9, 2007 at 10:57 am

    What a great post. We definitely need more nurses with the compassion you show!

  • Wanderer

    December 9, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    What a great post Kim! When I have to recommend to someone whether or not to go into nursing, I’ll point them here!

  • Jen

    December 9, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Beautifully written! Good reminders to help me tough it out.

  • george

    December 10, 2007 at 2:31 am

    hi nicely written. great post

  • […] fish, reminds me of the hard working and dedicated nurses we have taking care of our patients. Why Should I Be A Nurse? by Kim relates an article she had wanted to write for a long time but what touched me was of […]

  • Onehealthpro

    December 11, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Maybe you should consider a book of essays on this subject. Thank you for writing this posting and please contact nursing education departments and ask them to share this information with visiting students and new employees.

  • Mother Jones RN

    December 11, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Great post, Kim. Where did you find that ad. It’s so cute.


  • emily

    December 11, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    i really liked your post and it was really inspiring. i am a highschool student in New York and really want to become a pediatric nurse. My family and i have been looking for good nursing schools around the country. do you have any suggestions or advice as to how i should go about doing this?

  • Janette

    December 11, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Yeah Nurses!

    You guys do amazing things everyday. Nurses never get enough praise in my book.

  • Candy

    December 12, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Well written as always — and the ad says it all!

  • Midwife With a Knife

    December 13, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Found this post through grand rounds. It’s great! We do need more _good_ nurses. No matter what hospital administrators think, patient care techs are not substitutes for good nurses.

  • Midwife With a Knife

    December 13, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Oh, and thank you for being a nurse. 🙂

  • NPs Save Lives

    December 21, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Rock on Kim! I only wish I was a quarter as eloquent as you! I’m going to have to print that and put it up on the wall in the new clinic I’m helping to open in Jan.

  • Michelle

    December 31, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I love this post! Its really inspiring. Currently, I’m a health educator that started out as a nursing major 10 years ago. I just recently decided to do a career change to nursing! Its great to read and hear about people who truly enjoy and promote the field of nursing. I think, I missed my calling, and looking forward to reclaiming my destiny as a nurse. Thanks for this post. It has truly inspired me to work toward the career endeavor.

  • Pedinurse

    November 6, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Its great to see inspiring stories such as this. Currently I am a Referral Development Liaison for a Pediatric Home Health Care Company. Started as a staff nurse and now I get to go out into the world and tell everyone how important home health nursing is. Thanks for this post.

  • echa

    March 7, 2009 at 6:59 am

    you are really love nursing this much??? i hope i can love nursing like you…

  • ayu

    March 14, 2009 at 6:32 am

    great post! it truly inspired me!

  • Susan

    January 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I am currently considering becoming a nurse. That’s what I wanted to do right out of HS, but unfortunately my parents didn’t have the funds to send me to college and wanted me to pay rent. Now that I’m “older” and am thinking about a second career … I’m still contemplating nursing. I don’t enjoy the sight of blood like I once did, but I’ll have to see what happens.

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  • Jen

    May 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

    1. Graduated from Nursing school….
    2. Passed the NCLEX examination.
    3. Accumulated $50,000+ in student loans..

    4. UNEMPLOYED, and can’t find an RN position anywhere.


    *As of April 2012, Beyonce Knowles admits to the public that she left school at 15 years of age, and is not obtaining her G.E.D.
    Beyonce Knowles current wealth….more than 80 Million U.S. dollars.

    Feeling like you wasted your life in becoming an RN…priceless.

  • Jen

    May 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

    *now obtaining her G.E.D…

  • Toya

    May 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    GREAT ADD …..thanks alot Kim …. i have this interview before i get accepted to nusing school n i know my passion is to be a nurse cant think of doing anything else becuse of how i deeply n rootedly care for other .. im just nervous that i dont mess up on the quiestions … thanks

  • Toya

    May 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Your post is really insightful thanks …. ure awesome

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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