I really cannot remember what inspired me to be a nurse. It was really just something I always wanted to do. The characteristics I saw in nurses seemed to mirror my own personality and just who I want to be. I always doubted myself though. I did not think I was smart enough to get through all the school involved. I even attempted school a couple of times, but gave up quickly because I just had no confidence in what I was doing and it showed. Then I got the kick in the butt I needed.

I spent many hours and days at the hospital when my grandmother was dying. Her level of consciousness was in and out so oftentimes speaking to her was difficult. At one point she called me her nurse. I just kind of smiled and thought to myself that she was having another moment. She looked at me and said “No, you nurse”. She started to go off on a tangent about something else. I thought nothing of it. That was until she passed.

All the grandchildren were given the opportunity to look through her journals. While reading, her comments in the hospital instantaneously brought tears to my eyes. My grandma wrote about me in several entries about how she longed that I go for my dream of being a nurse. She wrote that she could not imagine a more perfect fit for me as a career. She wrote that she was amazed at my kindness, caring, and all around empathy for every person I came into contact with. She wrote that she believed in me even though I did not believe in myself.

That exact day, I filled out an application for nursing school and here I am approaching my last quarter of nursing school. I had obstacles in my way, but this time I tackled them and believed in myself. With the confidence of my grandmother behind me and the dream of mine to work with children with cancer, I have been unstoppable.

When I was 17 years old, I had major jaw surgery. I was swollen, bruised and in pain. I remember a friend of mine that came by to visit. She was a nurse in the hospital I was at and she brushed my hair and put Vaseline on my swollen lips.

When I was a freshman in college, I decided I wanted to work with children but not as a teacher. So I thought back to that time I was a patient and I wanted to do for others like my friend did for me. Thanks Barb! Nursing is about the little things you do.

— Tanya Kuehn, nursing student