Why I became a nurse

I am actually not sure why I chose this career, except that nursing was something that I have always wanted to do as far back as I could remember.

I was in grade-school when I was brought to the hospital to be checked for complaints of abdominal pains. I was not admitted that time, but I saw how nurses worked around and I was completely amazed by the skills and caring attitude they showed to the patients. I guess that started it all.

I come from a clan of teachers. But I had one aunt who worked as a nurse in the US, and I can say, she was one of my influences. I did not see how she worked, but I saw the good life she had and the life she provided for the family back home.  I came from a poor family myself and I thought, I would want a profession that would fulfill, not only my life goals, but would provide economic stability as well.

So when I was about to make a career choice after high school, I decided to choose a path that would allow me to be in a helping mode, and at the same time,  earn enough to be able to uplift my family’s economic conditions. During that time, nursing was a popular choice, even for males because the job was in-demand in the US, and it was easier to get there with this profession as a passport. I thought, I could also bring my family to the US and start a good life in the Big Apple.

It was a rough road trying to finish the 4-year course.  My parents found it difficult to pay for the school fees and on my first year alone, I almost transferred to another school, and to another course, with lesser tuition fees. But I was determined to finish Nursing, so I decided to work at the same time while studying. Being a working student was really tough, especially if your course was Nursing. I had to wake up very early for my hospital internships, go to work after that, and attend the afternoon-till-evening classes in school. I never had summer vacations, as I had to continue studying even during school breaks in order to graduate in time.

And to graduate in time, I did. I passed the board exams the same year and got my RN license. I also took the exams needed to be able to get to the US (CGFNS, NCLEX, and IELTS), and passed them.  Why I am still not in the US is another story. I’ll probably tell that in another post 🙂

It’s now 15 years since I graduated, and I have never regretted my choice many years ago. I fulfilled my goals. I am in a helping profession, and I was able to uplift my family’s economic status. I may not be in the US, but that was not really a major concern for me now. I had my ups and downs, bad days, and bad cases, but those times did not deter me from staying in this job.

Being a nurse allowed me to understand life better. I appreciate every single minute of my life, and the people around me. It is a great opportunity to be of help to those who are vulnerable, to those whose life is in danger, and to those who put their trust on my hands. Being at the bedside for so many years made me realize that each and every one of us are just alike. No matter how different we are – rich or poor, good-looking or not-so-good-looking, black or white, educated or illiterate – we can all get sick. We have the same human anatomies after all. And we need each other to survive.

I am writing this because I needed this self-awareness. Many times, it gets really stressful and tiring at work. There are so many challenges and the work gets demanding everyday. But sometimes, a little reminder of why we are here on the first place is enough encouragement and reassurance. I hope other nurses who feels that work is just becoming too much, are reminded of this privilege – of being used by God to heal and help patients.


36 Responses to “Why I became a nurse”

  1. March 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Love reading why nurses do what they do. Thank you so much for sharing!


  2. 3 janroy
    March 24, 2011 at 5:34 am


    very well said!!! I am not a nurse but I can relate to your thougths, very nice, thanks


  3. March 24, 2011 at 6:59 am

    OMGGG you almost have the same story as my sister!


  4. March 25, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Nelson… this is a beautifully written and fascinating post of what brought you to the place you are. I wish it would have continued, like a book, and can’t wait to read more!

    I’m sure you know that kids in the U.S. don’t choose a profession so they can help out their families. Maybe it’s part of your culture, but I can’t get over what a generous heart you have wanting to provide for them. I’ve never met anyone who did something like that.

    Also, the fact that you worked at a job during such a tough program of study had to be overwhelming at times. Isn’t it awesome that you still love your work? That you don’t regret all the challenges in making it this far?

    I’ve been reading some of your stuff since we became friends, and I remember seeing where you work now. Of course I wondered how your journey led you there, because all of this is so interesting.

    I live a very spoiled, lavish, American life. I’m grateful, but not grateful enough. I’m so humbled by what I’ve read here. God bless you my friend… and keep writing. Hugs! 🙂


  5. 8 nelson RN
    March 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Hi LINDA, thanks for this comment! When you come from a poor family in the Philippines, it is a common goal to get a job that would help his or her own family, before getting married. I helped my parents make my two younger brothers graduate from college, before I decided to start my own family. I guess I wouldn’t be very comfortable if I just carried on with my life after I finished my studies, and forget about my family. Even up to now, I still send monthly allowance to my parents 🙂

    I was glad to have experienced working early in life. I got to mature early, and I was able to understand that life is not at all, a bed of roses. I’ll probably write something more about how I got here on my work later on – since I have at least ONE who is interested to know! Thank you, Linda, for making me feel good about myself and my past. God bless you always!


  6. 9 nelson RN
    March 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Malou Puntero Gedang, Bernadette G Bautista, Elizabeth Callangan, Ann Regadio and Shirwelyn Escutin Gonzales like this.

    Malou Puntero Gedang – Very nice and inspirational story. I’m proud to have you as my nephew, successful in his chosen career, a very good son to his parents and a loving husband to his wife and son. Doctors get all or most of the glory, but to my mind nurses should get at least an equal share there and you deserve all the best! May God continue to bless you and your family.
    Thursday at 6:23pm


  7. March 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm


    It’s great for me as a physician to hear about your nursing life. You inspire me with your generosity and dedication, and also with your enthusiasm for life. I admire the courage it takes to write (which you do in a moving way) in a language that isn’t your native tongue. Blessings.


  8. 11 nelson RN
    March 27, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Hi WOLF PASCOE, thanks for leaving some lines! English is indeed a second language and I know you can sense that with the way I write… but thanks for the complement!


  9. June 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I feel what you felt right now, we may not have the same field of expertise but I know what it’s like to be there in just trying to pass Nursing, right. LOL But you know what, it’s not only when I was already in senior year that I realized that I really wanted to be a Nurse. And the same with you, I don’t have any regrets at all.


    • 13 nelson RN
      June 20, 2011 at 5:19 am

      Good for you! Currently, there are so many fresh grads who regrets taking the course, as they could not find a job back home. I hope they find their respective places soon 🙂


  10. June 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    nursing really is a noble profession + admire those who aspire to be one, i know that it entails a lot of hardwork + endless sleepless nights, but it is good to know that it be well worth it in the end, kudos to you!


  11. June 9, 2011 at 2:18 am

    Your post is inspiring, people who get tired of working (like me sometimes) should read this. My work isn’t that stressful but I complain. How much more other people who have more demanding jobs?


    • 17 nelson RN
      June 9, 2011 at 9:00 am

      That is very true, Dorothy! Sometimes we just have to be thankful that we have a decent job. Others are still struggling to get one.


  12. June 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Happy for you, Sir! Hmmmmm… It was too late for me to find out that the profession is not for me. I salute people like you who are still there and pursuing the career.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Have a nice day!


    • 19 nelson RN
      June 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Awww… sorry to hear that… Maybe you are inclined to do some other things. I hope you already found the career that’s best for you 🙂


  13. June 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    This one is something I would definitely remember for life. Whenever I ask nurses about their feelings towards their professions, and whenever I am in the mood for stories, advice, and insights related to this, the answers I usually get are, “wala lang,” or “okay naman,” and a lot of times, “tiring, but I will have a lot of money when I go to the US.”

    It’s stories like yours that help me stay on track. Because nowadays all I ever hear is about the oversupply of nurses, unemployed, underpaid nurses, and all the negative views of others upon this profession. But I often find it so nice to read these things. I want to thank you for sharing something like this. Keeps me sane 🙂


    • 21 nelson RN
      June 16, 2011 at 3:27 am

      As I have told you before, we should not be listening to what others say about your dreams. Go for what you want to achieve in your life, and make things happen. Believe in your yourself that you can make it.


      • June 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

        Yup, I believe that 🙂 And so far I have been on the top 10 list for evaluation exams in our class, but I can’t stop there. I still have so much to learn. Sometimes I think that I am overworking myself lately.


  14. June 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Same with Jareds mum..find it noble talaga..but you know minsan nakaka-encounter talaga ako ng nurse na walang modo..hehehe..
    Anyway, in general naman I see nurse as maalaga talaga..

    ..nice story you have there..I am also a owrking student in my college days..kuddos to us Nels..


  15. June 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I can see you have the heart of helping other people and I admire for that. 🙂


  16. June 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

    This is such an inspiring post. I admire your hardwork, your will and your heart. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂



  17. June 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    You’re so determined kaya naabot mo ang pangarap mo….I was also a working student when i was in college…natapos ko din, sa awa ng teachers lol. pero pinabilib mo talaga ako sa’yo…2 thumbs up…sana mabasa din to sa mga reklamador na katulad ko hehehe


  18. June 27, 2011 at 4:33 am

    that great american dream will surely come in the appropriate manner and time, nelson…being happy with what u have now, the work, the perks that come to it and the great family u are so blessed w/ now…who could care less wanting so much more…enjoy the time being…we cannot be in two places at the same time. u lived an amazing and interesting life…that i am sure…i love reading ur stories…

    my last stop this morning…(dami hano) bear w/ me,pls:)


  19. June 27, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I thanked God for patient caring nurse like you! God really used as an instrument… and we thank you for that 🙂


  20. October 4, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I am thrilled I have found your blog. This morning I have read through several of your posts and think this one may be favorite! My experience as a patient has taught me nurses are truly the heroes when it comes to receiving care. Thank you for being so passionate to this field you have overcome so much to enter into.

    I normally do not promote my blog within a compliment; however, I want to share this post with you: http://findingstrengthtostandagain.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/critical-lesson-for-medical-personnel/

    It is the care, not just the knowledge, that makes a patient heal well. On behalf of patients like myself, thank you for the care you continue to offer!



    • 33 nelson RN
      October 4, 2011 at 4:15 am

      Thanks for considering nurses as heroes! But of course, there are so many other professions who are as noble, and I thank God everyday for being able to meet helpful people along my life’s journey.
      I’ll check out that link now … 🙂


  21. 34 German Sleiman
    November 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 35 starwalt
    November 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information particularly the last part I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.


  23. January 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    You could definitely see your skills within the work you write.
    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid
    to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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No one person can ever experience all that life has to offer. It is only through sharing - experiences, feelings, insights - that we can hope to grow beyond our own meager lifetime.

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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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