September 10, 2013: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
I remember the summer after I was divorced from my first husband. It was 1978. I wasn't sure what I was going to do to provide a life for my two little boys ages 7 and 3. Right at that moment we were living off the proceeds from the sale of the house. We were living in a small 2 bedroom apartment. My best friend had just moved to Florida and I was LOST. I decided that I needed to find a career that would pay more than the career I had before my kids were born. I went to Business College after high school and worked as a secretary at a variety of places. You CANNOT support a family on a secretary's wages. So I went to our local college to look into some type of education in the medical field. I was interested in becoming a medical technologist. I always thought running all those tests on body fluids would be so interesting. And then I looked at the curriculum. TOO much science and math. While in the counselor's office he asked me what I thought of nursing. My thoughts on nursing could be summed up in two words. HELL NO!. Never did I want to be a nurse. I viewed a nurse as a doctor's handmaiden who cleaned up poop and puke. No way ever! He showed me how much money a nurse could make ($8.69 an hour at the time) and I signed up. That was good, good money back then and I was the sole provider for two kids.
After three years of attending our local community college I graduated with an associates degree in nursing and have never looked back. It is the most satisfying job I have ever had. I love taking care of people. And I was very good at it. I WAS not a doctor's handmaiden. Although, there were plenty of doctors that still felt that was what a nurse was for. And I learned that a nurse does much more than clean puke and poop. We diagnose. We educate. We help with healing. We comfort those in pain and those who are dying. I loved my job for 30 years! Now I am somewhat retired and stay at home and take care of Richard. I am glad that I have my nursing education to fall back on in this time of need. Becoming a nurse, without a doubt, changed my life.