Nursing as a Career Choice?: How I Made My Decision

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Nursing, I must admit, was not my first career choice. I have always believed I was meant for a career in psychology, as I had a keen interest in it during the last two years of high school. It wasn’t until I finished my Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology degree in 2018 that I had the idea to pursue nursing. Actually that’s not completely true.

I first had the inkling to pursue nursing in the second year of my Psychology program, I even took the required prerequisites for entry into the second-entry nursing program at York University. I was determined to get in, so when the time came, why did I not apply for entrance into the upcoming semester? After a lot of introspection, I think I’ve finally figured out the answer. My indecisiveness and fear of wasting time were behind my choice. By not applying for the second-entry nursing program, I delayed the same outcome that would come to fruition 2 years later when I gained entry into the practical nursing program at a local college. Long story short: I ended up fulfilling the fear I set out to avoid by not going with my instinct – I ended up wasting two years of my life and time (from the end of 2018 when I obtained my psychology degree to January 2020, when I started my practical nursing program). My indecisiveness over what I ultimately wanted to do – finish my psychology degree or leave my psychology program for a nursing degree – cost me 2 years of my life and earned me a degree which, honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to use yet.

At the forefront of my internal fight between these two careers, rooting for my pursuit of a nursing career, were my parents. They have always been steady advocates for a career in the medical field. Now, it may be said they expected me to pursue a career in the medical field because they were typical Pakistani immigrant parents, but I choose to see their insistence from the angle of parental wisdom. If I had listened to them from the beginning, I would have saved four years of my life and invested it in nursing or any other medical degree. However, I, being the strong-minded individual, chose to pursue my interest in psychology (which at the time seemed like my passion). I realize now, they were right because as immigrants, they have experienced the hardships of finding meaningful work in a foreign country without a foreign education.

After graduating in December 2018, I still did not feel fulfilled. I still felt incomplete, as if I did not realize my purpose in this world. I still felt my heart’s strings and my mind drifting to the thought of nursing. I did a lot of research and realized, and saw the future employment projections of the nursing field, and was delighted to find it is a stable career. Not only stable but financially rewarding. Not only stable, and financially rewarding, but above all, emotionally rewarding.  It goes without saying that nursing is notorious for being hard on the body, due to its physical demands, and emotionally draining, but those factors did not deter me as that is the case with any job. The selling factor was the fact that I was fulfilling my yearnings to help people. That is ultimately what I’ve always wanted to do: help people in a meaningful way, as being an empath makes it very hard for me to see someone suffer without being able to help them.

The selling factors include:
1) Incredible job stability – you are able to move across the country without having to worry about being out of work. This is due to the fact that there is always a need for nurses in all settings (e.g long-term care facilities, hospitals, private clinics, home health care).

2) Financially rewarding – nursing, from my research, is one of the highest-paying jobs you can find with just a college diploma. The pay increases depending on experience and specialization. The pay is even higher if you are a Registered Nurse (RN) with a degree in nursing.

3) Broad range – nursing is as broad as the medical field itself. You are able to specialize and work in essentially any field you desire. You can generalize or specify the field you’re interested in working in.

4) Emotionally rewarding – nursing is incredibly rewarding emotionally. There is nothing better than seeing a smile on your patient or seeing the relief in their eyes because you helped alleviate their pain – may it be physical pain or intense anxiety due to their hospital visit.

The point is, always follow your heart. If your heart is telling you or you feel a pull towards a specific path, look into it. I am a strict believer in destiny, therefore I fully believe it was my destiny to become a nurse. Your destiny may or may not be the same, but it’s worth exploring the pull of your heart’s strings.

P.S. If your parents are insisting on a specific career choice, look into that as well. More often than not, there are years of experience and wisdom behind their words. They are probably trying to save you from years of time wasted and hopes crushed.