My Journey to Becoming a Registered Nurse

Debra Riley


This article is part of a series of submissions for a scholarship award and informs us of the dreams and hopes of one young person.

“I am going to write a short essay regarding my journey to becoming a Registered Nurse. Although I am not quite there, it cannot come soon enough. To give you a little background I have always had a passion to care for people. Ever since I can remember, it has always made me happy to see a smile on someone else’s face and to see them succeed in life. I figured out that I wanted to be in the health field when I was about eight years old and my great grandfather became very ill.


For My Grandfather

All I wanted was to see him smile again and to not see my grandmother sad all of the time. I did everything I could to help with that even though I was a little girl and really couldn’t do much. I helped in every way possible. When I was about fifteen, my grandmother made a comment to me that has stuck with me since.

The situation that brought it up was when my grandfather was sick and instead of me talking over him, I got down to his level, made eye contact and assured him that it would be okay. He had finally smiled and said, “I know baby girl.” It wasn’t long after that, he passed.

My grandmother told me that she knew at that time, the time when I spoke directly with my grandfather and not at him, that she knew it was in my heart to be a nurse or a doctor.

A few years later I went to Certifying Nursing School to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. I had worked a few years in convalescent, and truly enjoyed it. There were very hard parts to that job though. I was told not to become emotionally attached with my patients, but I could not do that. I did not understand how to care for someone without having an attachment or bond. I was emotionally attached and became family for some.

I built relationships with my patients and in some cases were all they had. They were my friends and family as well as my patients. It was very hard for me to see them suffer knowing I was not able to do anything for them. I tried my best to make them as comfortable as possible, but there were times when the Lord had asked them home and I knew that I was not going to be able to avoid that. I also knew in my mind that their suffering was ending and that they were going to be free of any stresses they were enduring.

After working in convalescent for a few years I decided to go into home care. I have worked locally in our county taking care of the elderly in the comfort of their own home. This was a totally different aspect to healthcare in my opinion. In some cases, my patients were very independent and in other cases they were very dependent. I loved doing this. I even took care of family and friends of family. I was always there for them whenever they needed it, including house calls in the middle of the night.

For My Family

I would have done this forever, but I started a family which interfered with some of my scheduling and instead of slacking or not providing the care I knew I could or the care they deserved so I unfortunately had to take time off of work to care for my family and so that my patients could be taking care top notch.

The hardest part of doing the home care was leaving my patients to care for my family. It was kind of bitter sweet. I truly loved my residents, but I was so excited to have a family of my own.

When my children were of age to go to school or day care I decided to go back to school to become a Medical Assistant. I completed that schooling in 2012. I have since worked at a local hospital as a Certified Medical Assistant.

I currently work in our Cardiology department and have learned so much. Everyone I work with has become family including my patients. Having this opportunity has opened my eyes and has proven to me that this is what I want.


I want to be in the health field as much as possible. I not only get to take care of my patients, but their families as well. This is such a great feeling and the best satisfaction anyone could have. Just knowing you are the reason they could be smiling today is better than anything.

As a Medical Assistant, I do so much, but I know I could do so much more. That is why I decided to go for my Registered Nurse degree. I am currently enrolled at College working on all of me pre-requisites so I can graduate with my A.S. in Biology. This is a pre-nursing degree which allows me to apply for nursing school. I currently have about 6 classes left before I can graduate, which cannot come soon enough.

For Me

I have truly enjoyed my path in becoming a Registered Nurse and I hope that my education continues to grow as the health field changes. There is so much to learn and research and I hope to be a part of that. I want to make a change in this world and if helping one person can do that, then that is my goal. If I can see one person smile a day that is all I need.

I hope you have enjoyed my story and all the others you will hear about. I know that one day I will be a nurse and the best one possible. Having this scholarship would be a great opportunity to help achieve my goal and to prove to everyone that I have what it takes to be a nurse and care for families in our community.”

Great story and inspiring once more. One career path open to qualified RN’s which is growing fast is to become a CRNA – certified registered nurse anesthetist. See our CRNA Salary page for the fantastic earnings they can gain. If you are considering this move have a look at CRNA Schools – it covers nurse anesthetist program by state. It pays to explore additional training opportunities in nursing!

Have a look around the site – our blog section has a great mix of nursing topics. From the patron saint of nurses to nursing quotes to brighten your day. Maybe read how many hours nurses work in the modern workplace or discover the best places to study! I’m sure there is something for everyone.

Thanks for reading!