5 Reasons Why I Want to Be a Registered Nurse

Me, my CNA school scrubs, and invisible aligners (haha!).

Me, my CNA school scrubs, and invisible aligners (haha!).

Despite what most think and know about being a registered nurse, nursing has tremendous lifestyle benefits. From career flexibility, to good pay (thought not nearly enough), and incredible employment outlooks, it is a good career to embark upon. But, my reasons for wanting to be a nurse goes a little beyond the typical. Keep reading to discover why I want to be a registered nurse.

1. To Take Back my Workday

My previous profession as an arts manager, creative director, and photographer required constant work, networking, and planning. It stole time away from being with my family. It also stole valuable "me" time. I just became fed up with the everyday hustle, starting at the crack of dawn to whatever ungodly time that I could find to get back in bed. When researching more "life friendly" careers, nursing stood out because I could make a great living working either part-time (1-2 days per week) or full-time (3 days per week). If I somehow found the time, I could also pick up shifts whenever I want. The flexibility and having 4 days a week to myself and to my family was definitely appealing.

2. To Save Women

So, my ultimate goal is to be a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife (double certified!). This dream was sparked by the ever present news citing this country as having one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. Women are dying at extreme rates (26% of live births, 60% of which are preventable according to the CDC) during and after pregnancy, while the medical community tap dances around the reasons why. There are also a significant number of diseases and illnesses that plague women that I want to help see my patients through. I want to be a health and medical provider for women. I want to protect, listen to, and save the women in this country in whatever way I can as a nurse.

3. To Become Financially Free

We all know that nursing can be a very lucrative career. On average, a registered nurse in the US makes $73,000 per year. That rate goes up in major cities like San Francisco and Washington, DC. Nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) make an average of $107,000 per year. With the right budgeting and proper money management, salaries like those can change lives and make goals actually attainable. One of my biggest goals in life is to be financially free. This means not being beholden to creditors, receiving no financial assistance from loved ones, and being able to live a life free from financial woes--at least the kind that comes with being broke. Nursing gives me a chance at that life. 

4. To Save Black Women

Okay, so many professionals in the medical community are refuting or outright ignoring this claim: 

Black women are suffering and/or dying at an alarming rate because no one is listening to them!

No one is believing them when they say that they are having a medical issue or are experiencing complications post medical treatment. Relating to childbirth, Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die than white women from childbirth (12 times more likely in New York). The general consensus is that risk factors--including obesity, hypertension, and hemorrhaging--are more prominent among Black women. However, there have been several reports of Black women asking for help, complaining of prolonged pain and heavy bleeding, and experiencing other symptoms that were brushed off or cited as typical for Black women. No examinations, no tests, and no alternative causes are being presented to them. This all leads to death. Black women are literally dying because no one listens or believes them when they say something is wrong. So, my goal is to be a provider who listens to Black women and provides them with fair and compassionate care. We, as Black women, should not be dying because others devalue our voices.

5. To Protect My Family

This last reason is simple. Registered nurses are life savers! I'll put that another way. Registered nurses save lives! One of my biggest fears is that my son will suddenly fall ill or that my husband will have an emergent health issue, but I won't be able to get help fast enough. Becoming a registered nurse will afford me the skills to assess the situation and to react appropriately until medical assistance can be provided. Nurses literally save and preserve life as a part of their jobs (had to say it one more time). They are trained to stabilize, monitor, and care for those in medical distress. I want those skills! Those are the skills that could protect and save my family one day.

Why do you want to be a nurse?