I did not always want to be a nurse. It was not something I dreamed about. I never even thought about it as a career. When I was really young I wanted to be the lady that stood behind the cookie counter at our local grocery store. I couldn't think of a better profession than passing cookies to little kids and arranging them into neat rows inside the glass cases.
Then I went to high school and learned I was supposed to be thinking about what I wanted to do for a future career. I thought becoming a secretary sounded glamorous. I could dress up every day, wear heels, and file my nails while I waited for the phone to ring. So I enrolled in all the courses that would help me fulfill that dream. I took Shorthand I and Shorthand II, Typing, Bookkeeping, Dictaphone, Business math and Business Law. Any class that would get me into a business office went on my agenda. After I graduated from high school I enrolled in Salt City Business College. This school is now defunct. But I spent one year (and more money that I want to remember) to become a secretary. More shorthand, typing, dictation, and bookkeeping. I left school (without a diploma) and went to work in a business office.
AND I HATED IT!!
This was in 1970. I worked as a secretary until my son was born in 1971. Then I didn't go back to the office again until after Justin was born in 1975. I didn't like it any better but I needed a job. And this was what I was trained to do. So I continued working. And disliking what I was doing.
It was not until after I became a divorced, single mom in 1980 that I knew I was not going to be able to support my two young sons and myself working in a business office. So off to the local community college I took myself to find a new career.
I was interested in medicine. In hospitals. I thought maybe I wanted to work in a laboratory. Don't ask me why. I didn't have a reason. I asked the college counselor about courses that could take me in that direction. He started to outline the path I needed to follow. I got stuck on the word math! After he said math three times, I told him I didn't think that was for me. When he questioned me more closely about why I was wanting to change careers and found out that I wanted to make more money than a secretary made he wrote a figure on a piece of paper and slid it across the desk. The numbers were $18,000+. He said they had a new nursing program at the college. It was in it's first year.
Wow, a nurse was born. So I started my nursing education in 1980. For money! I became a nurse because I would make a lot more money. And I did make good money as a nurse. But along the way I fell in love with taking care of people. And I found my career.
I loved being a nurse! I will write more about my nursing education and career in the future.