I Believe This About Nursing...

May 10, 2012, 3:00 PM

Happy National Nurses Week! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has a proud history of supporting nurses and nurse leadership, so this week, the RWJF Human Capital Blog will feature posts by nurses, including leaders from some of our nursing programs. Check back each day to see what they have to say.


Every month, New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) asks its scholars to submit personal stories about their decisions to pursue careers in nursing. These students—who have undergraduate degrees in other subjects and have chosen to become second career nurses—have unique life experiences and views on the importance of the profession. The topics of their essays range from how their NCIN scholarships have enabled them to pursue careers in nursing, to events that may have shaped their decisions to become nurses, to their unique perspectives on their career choices.

Below are excerpts from the most recent winners of the “This I Believe About Nursing” essay contest.


Angelo Llanes: For the first two decades of my life, I definitely did not want to do it.

“Until my senior year at Rutgers University, I had never aspired to be a nurse. Quite conversely, as a Filipino I attached a stigma to the nursing field considering it the ‘easy’ or ‘expected route’ when I wanted to find ‘my own route’… My experience at the internship became a life changing event. I began to feel that I couldn’t continue pursuing a career in business… To me, nursing had almost come like a calling. When I recognized it, there was nothing left to do but follow it.”


Inetra Langley: Nurses help save lives, make a true difference and inspire those around them.

“For me, there was no question that my calling in life is to be a nurse. Unfortunately, life had another plan for me… While completing my undergraduate degree, I worked in the Emergency Department (ED) for three years. I shared with the nurses my plans of one day following in their footsteps. Without hesitation, many of them took me under their wings and taught me all about quality patient care in the role of a nurse. That invaluable experience has been my motivation for pursuing a nursing career for many years.”


Gregory Curry: Nurses can help their patients muster inner strength in times of need.

“As I scanned the faces of my classmates I saw individuals not much older than my oldest son. I felt an inner gnawing of fear; did I really belong here in nursing school, at my age? …Then I centered my mind on a conversation my younger sons and I had at bed time; both had been discussing the fears they have during the night, and as I walked in, simultaneously they asked, ‘Dad, what are you afraid of?’ I kissed them each on the forehead while tucking them in bed and answered, ‘Nothing, boys. Your dad is afraid of nothing.’”

Learn more about the “This I Believe About Nursing” essay contest and see all of the winners.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.