Why Nursing?

I’m at my best when I’m being of service.

I care about people.

The human body is astounding machinery; its intricacies and functions are fascinating.

The point where pathology and human anatomy & physiology meet offers learning, discovering, aiding, and supporting.

Camaraderie among healthcare workers is unsurpassed.

Adrenalin rushes are exciting.

The pay is great!

The hours are flexible.

A problem like “what do I wear to work today?” is forever solved.

Most of all, the person I help makes for a spiritual connection unlike any other – if the tough times leave me feeling despondent and wondering “what is the meaning of life?”, I look into the eyes of the patient I’ve helped – and I find it.

Why nursing?

Why not?


— Jeff Gill, SN

Nurturing Nursing

I have several examples of nurturing in our profession. The first is in regard to, Dr. Jill Steuer. I had Jill in my first graduate course, Advanced Statistics. I was very intimidated by her as well as the concept of graduate school and I think I really could not quite believe I was there. After a month or so into the course, during which time I had not found the study partner Jill recommended, I went into Jill’s office. I was frustrated with my slow grasp of the material and not having a partner to “bounce it all” off of. I wanted someone to talk to and help me understand the course. When I wailed to Jill about all of this, telling her I had no one to talk to, she looked at me in her own way and said, “you have me”. I was astounded and so grateful she genuinely cared about my success. I was expecting a cold, cut-throat environment in graduate school and that is not what I found. The kindness and caring that is nursing is embodied in her.

Another example of caring is Sharon Stout-Shaffer. She nurtured me through my project when my first advisor and committee chair left on sabbatical. She willingly spent hours with me to help me finish and do it well. She encouraged breaks and self-care throughout the classes I had with her as well as my project. She does centering in her Role Development class at the beginning in order to help transition from the activity of the day to learning. She is a fine example of a caring nurse.


The reason that I fell in love with nursing has increased with each new experience while in nursing school and at work as a PCA (patient care assistant). As a kid I loved to “play” with medicine and measure anything that I could get my hands on. Also during high school I found myself becoming particularly interested in helping people. I did a range of volunteer activities-from nursing homes to fundraisers and even at our local fire station. The feeling that I got when helping someone was unbelievable. I knew that I wanted to be in a career that focused on people and helping them, so during my senior year of high school I began to attend Columbus State to get ahead with some of the required courses and began to work at Kroger’s as a pharmacy technician to get an insight into a part of the nursing world. After two and a half years as a pharmacy tech, I knew that if I wanted to pursue nursing as a career that I needed to become more involved in a nursing related job. Eventually, I was hired at OSU as a PCA and I have now been here for over five years. I found that nursing is not an easy world. We probably have the toughest job of any medical career, just because we do handle the patients more often, and it can become physically and mentally exhausting. What I get the most out of it is compassion, sharing, teamwork, respect, communication, and just being a human being to the patients. It makes me feel good that I can improve either a person’s mood or well-being daily. I am more than excited to graduate and step into the world of nursing as a nurse, and really all I can say is it is about time.

— Jennifer Penrose

Nursing by Susan A.

A year ago, my son cut his finger and I rushed him to the Emergency Room. After hours in the ER, it was decided that he needed stitches. He asked “Mommy, why can’t you do it? You are a nurse!” I explained to my son that my role is to help the doctor set up, assist with the procedure and hold the patients hand during painful times. My son looked a little questioning for about 30 seconds and then said… “You get paid for that!”

Being a nurse is about being there for people when they need you most.

— Susan A. RN


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. (more…)

Why Did I Become a Nurse? Or is the question why did I remain a nurse?

No I did not grow up “wanting to be a nurse”. As a young 18 year old going to college I wanted to become a physical therapist. Unfortunately or should I say fortunately it was not meant to be. Back in the early 1970’s if one wanted to be a nurse you received your “training” at a hospital diploma program. During my freshman year at The Ohio State University I decided that since I could not be a physical therapist I would become a nurse. I trotted over to Mount Carmel School of Nursing to speak with the Director of the program. I am grateful to this woman to this day. She asked me a question that I ask my students when I teach now. “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now and 10 years from now?” Now this insecure, very young woman said, “I think I may want to teach someday.” The director’s reply was “stay where you are and get your BSN.” Now in those days diploma nurses spent almost as much time in school as a BSN, but did not receive the college credit. Although she could have recruited me, she did what was best for me. Getting degrees back then was not as easy as it is now if you were a nurse completing your education. (more…)

My Story

I was a die-hard Respiratory Therapist from back in 1979. Although many had questioned me about becoming a nurse, I resisted it. I was a snot sucker and that was good enough for me. I had my community of other therapists and knew practically everyone in the field in Columbus. I studied on my own and knew most of the information out there on Respiratory care. I supervised weekend day shift and was the authority in Pediatrics, an area that I loved to work in.

My sister, Pauline was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in early 1998. I was with her through diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation and hospice. I was her advocate, keeping her informed about all phases of her treatment. Often she would ask me to make decisions for her. As difficult as it was, I would only give her all the information that I could garner and support her in whatever decision she chose. My decisions would have been jaded; I wanted her to live forever. (more…)

Nursing by JAW

I do not know exactly why I became a nurse. I remember being 11 years old and having some surgery. I was terrified, and remember pulling the sheet over my head – waiting to go to the OR.

Then in college, I was only eighteen or nineteen years old – I was “studying science”, but kept noticing the nursing students from afar. I thought they were different and special. I changed majors. I have been a nurse now for over thirty years.

The one thing I do know now is about the “gifts” I have received being a nurse. The first is that to me nursing has been a vocation. I am a pediatric nurse. In the eyes of the children and parents I see the presence of God. Being a nurse is my way of trying to give to others. These “gifts” that I have received I am so thankful for: the appreciation of life and each day, the example of strength and grace I see in the children and parents, the knowing that sometimes what I do makes a difference, the joy and laughter I see in the innocence of the children, the immeasurable love of a parent. I know these things, “gifts” because I am a nurse.

— JAW, Pediatric Nurse

Nursing by Tammy

“I never even thought of being anything else since I was six years” old. That’s what I tell people when they ask me why I became a nurse. I’ve always believed that the Lord calls people to certain careers.

I am thankful that I was called to this profession. The joy I have encountered because of it has been overwhelming. The different paths I have taken due to my career have sometimes surprised me but they have always been rewarding. My work as a pediatric nurse has enabled me to truly appreciate the little thing in life, especially the health of my own children. What a blessing! The people I have met along the way have left their imprint on areas of my life that will never be removed. The recent path of being a nursing educator has made me so appreciative of the sacrifice my parents made over 25 years ago to pay for my education. I have no regrets about being a nurse and I look forward to the years ahead and the new joy that will come my way because of my career.

— Tammy J, Nurse Educator

“Growing a Nurse Inside – Out” (Katrina Story)

By Susan Sanborn RN

I became a nurse quite by accident. My college degree was in Psychology and I landed a job here, in New Orleans, as a Psych Tech on a Geriatric-Psychiatric inpatient unit.

Just so you know, I did arrive for my first day on the job in immaculate “street clothes.” Only to discover that I would not be guiding patients to group, listening to them, or assisting them in way that fostered emotional growth. No, I was bathing/showering, emptying Foley catheters, packing 4th stage decubitis, feeding, transferring from bed to chair and chair to bed, rolling, positioning, bathing… well, basically, I bought 2 pairs of scrubs after my first day. (more…)

Nursing by Dana

I really can’t remember wanting to be anything else. As a preschooler I wanted a nurse’s kit to play with for all my birthdays. As a school-ager I watched the commercials for the Ship Hope and thought that I was certainly destined to be a nurse and care for people on that ship. As a teen, I volunteered in a nursing home to help with the elderly and I was a babysitter for my entire neighborhood.{showhide}

As a young teen I went to college, knowing that nursing is what I wanted. I applied and got accepted in to other colleges and technologies but declined them, knowing I was going to wear that cap.

I have always loved people and that is what keeps me going every day. Knowing that there are people to love, guide and care for. It may be a baby, a teen, an adult, an elderly person. It may be a patient, a student, friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker. As a nurse, you are really never “off duty”, because there is always a call looking for advice. I have been inspired by teachers, family members, professors, co-workers, nature, patients and families that have crossed my path. I am inspired by knowledge and have gained much from Columbus State, Ohio State and Otterbein College. It has been an awesome path. I have been very blessed by being in the nursing profession and working with other wonderful nurses and others of the health care team. It is a wonderful place to be… Nursing!

— Dana

Nursing by April Lee Magoteaux

I have been a nurse, my mother tells me, my whole life. From feeding a robin that fell out of the nest with a dropper when I was 5, to taking care of my grandmother who had a stroke when I was 11, it just seemed destined to be.   At age 12 or so, my friend Liza and I started a volunteering at the local “nursing home” which was an old farm house run by an 82 year old retired RN who would{/showhide} be able to take a little walk if Liza and I “watched over things.

As I got a little older, my mom drove me an hour each way to Good Samaritan Hospital so I could “candystripe” in ICU. The Good Samaritan Bible story is still one of my favorites. My high school sweetheart’s mom was a nurse who would take time out of her 50 hour work week and caring for 5 children to share her stories with me.

And so, between the awe inspiring nurses and the enchanting patients, I cannot even imagine my life any other way. It is so inherently good.

— April Lee Magoteaux, lucky to be a RN September 1, 2009