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So You Didn’t Want to Be a Nurse? What Now?

Not all nurses wanted to be nurses.

That’s a fact.

You will never run out of stories of how some of our registered nurses today were “encouraged” by their parents and relatives to take up nursing because of the promise of “greener pastures” abroad.

Some of those who were “encouraged” are now successful registered nurses who love being nurses; some have decided to stand up for themselves and chose another path, leaving nursing completely during their early years of nursing education; and yet there are still some who find themselves lost even when they are called RNs.

This is for them.

Now, more than ever, with the demand for nurses abroad not as high as before, some nurses find themselves at a crossroad, with no idea on how to proceed.

Do I continue my nursing career and offer my services for free until I get that required years of experience?

Do I choose another path, that one thing I have wanted to do all my life?

What will my parents, my family, and that person who paid for my education think when I decide to tell them I want to choose that other path?

What do I really want to do with my life?

These are silent questions running through the minds of many young nurses today, who most of the time, are simply too afraid to voice them out. It is human nature to fear what is unknown. We get very afraid, so afraid that we stay where we are—unhappy, unfulfilled, and discontented.

So what do you do?

Take time to know what you want to do.

Being a nurse, a good one, requires you to give your best at the very least. You care not just with your actions but also with your thoughts and with your words. It demands much physical, emotional, and intellectual effort to be a nurse. So if you are unhappy, give yourself time and the space to figure out what makes you happy.

This is easier said than done, I know. But think about it, your state of mind will affect your work in more ways than one. You will be doing yourself and your patients a favor by figuring yourself first.

This is not to say you need to quit nursing. After duty hours, spend time alone to think, meditate, pursue a hobby you are passionate about, and listen to that “inner voice.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Seeing friends and fellow nurses who are happy and who seem to be on the “right track” can be intimidating. A nurse going off to work in another country and finally “fulfilling the dream” can make you question what you are doing with your life.

Don’t do this. Stop torturing yourself and remember that different people will lead different lives. You don’t have to be like everybody else. Once you accept this, you may just realize that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Enjoy the opportunity to care.

Many people live their lives with the hope that one day they can change the world.

For nurses, changing the world is a part of our daily routine.

Whether you are at the hospital, in the community setting, working in a completely non-nursing-related job, or simply at home, our values as nurses always show in the way we live.

Enjoy the opportunity to care, to help, to make someone smile, to regulate that IV, to check on a patient, to prepare that medication; enjoy being a nurse. Your actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are important.

It takes courage to admit that we are confused and afraid. That’s okay. You are not alone.

Take that small first step of acceptance.


  1. This is so true. I am one of those blessed ones to land on a hospital job but had just handed my resignation after weeks of employment. Although I’m not closing entirely my doors to nursing, I am taking this time to pursue my passions in life: writing, event management, and clinical research. 🙂

    • Glad to hear you can relate Joann. 🙂

      I love being a nurse, but writing always had a pull. I think it’s all about really knowing what you want and being happy with what you are doing. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.


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