For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a nurse. I always knew I wanted to do something that involved helping people. I would consider myself a caring, strong, helpful individual so I knew nursing was the right path for me. Growing up I had a lot of ear problems; I spent a lot of time in the hospital with severe ear infections that caused my ear drums to burst. I had many operations to have tubes placed and then removed a few years later. The experiences I had were scary as a kid but I had wonderful nurses who would make me laugh and take great care of me. I would always say how I wanted to be them when I grew up.
When I was in 11th grade, the year you start to decide what you want to do as a career, my uncle’s cancer got progressively worse, and we were extremely close. I would visit him frequently and go to doctors appointments with him to keep him company. I remember one time I went with him to one of his chemotherapy appointments, and the nurses would play card games with the patients to keep their minds busy while they received the chemo. Seeing him go through everything, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do: help people like my uncle.
When applying for schools, I applied to a lot of schools all over Pennsylvania. I’ll be honest; my dream school was University of Pittsburgh. I was accepted, but in the end I chose Holy Family University. Holy Family was a close school to where I live and was well known. There was an on-campus living option and parking was free. They had an extremely reputable nursing program. I liked that Holy Family didn’t have their own hospital, so for clinical I go to experience different hospitals. In a way, I get my foot in a lot of different hospital doors.
When I first started nursing school, everyone I met was a nursing major. I knew nursing school would have its challenging moments but I also thought in a fantasy world, it was going to be like the TV shows I watched. I would just know the information and be able to spit it out on command or have the time to look it up in a book. Tip to nursing students: Nursing isn’t easy like Greys Anatomy!
As I stated to get into more of my core nursing classes, my class size slowly dropped. I went from classes of 50 freshman year to classes of 30 by my junior year. Now that I’m actually 100% in the nursing classes, it’s hard. To be a nurse you have to put in the time and dedication. Nursing is a lot of applying. When you walk into a room, you have all the knowledge in your head but you have to assess the situation and decided what the best way to solve the problem is.
It may be hard, challenging and keep me up at night, but in the end I know this is what I want. The most gratifying moment is when you make your patient’s day at clinical and it makes all the struggles worth it, because you did something good.
Amanda Morgan is a Senior Nursing student at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, PA.