Why I became a nurse: Service to humanity


By Zennia C., MA, RN, CCRN-K, ACNP-BC, NE-BC
Nursing Director, Critical Care/Trauma Program/House Operations/Advanced Practice Nursing

As a young, high school country girl, I struggled to make a decision about what I would like to be as an adult. Picking a career is not as easy as it seems. At that time, three career paths came to mind – be a physician, nurse or nun. 

They all share a similar theme, “Service to humanity.” So, I made up my mind and decided to pursue the nursing path, and I am so glad I did! 

Nursing is a rewarding career with great opportunities and room for professional growth and development. It’s an occupation requiring significant people skills, patience, compassion and scientific knowledge. The nursing profession changes rapidly, requiring adaptability and resiliency. Nurses are members of a health care team – a team focused on healing and restoring quality of life through respect and compassionate care. 

Nurses work in many settings, and I personally have had the pleasure of experiencing nursing practice in some remarkably interesting settings from a 250-bed to a 1,000-bed organization. I celebrate 40 years this year as a registered nurse. I’ve had priceless experiences in the U.S. and abroad, in both acute and critical care, oncology, psychiatry, emergency room, community health, nursing home and home care settings. I’ve been a nursing college instructor, medical surgical clinical educator, critical care certified nursing specialist, nurse practitioner in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, assistant nurse manager, unit manager and nursing director. 

The choices in nursing are endless and truly incredible, but our purpose remains the same, to provide patient-centric care. 

As a wise man once said, “Nursing is a profession where the need to understand your patient outweighs your need to be understood.” 

I am inspired by nurses who promote improvement in quality of life and by those who are engaged and model a culture of safety and accountability. I have personally met several nurses with these qualities, and if you ever have a nurse caring for you, I hope you will, too.


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