The Reasons Why People Become Nurses

Becoming a nurse is often a childhood dream. But as we get older, the reasons for wanting to become a nurse change. To learn more about the key drivers for this sector, we spoke with our close network of nurses, hospitals and consultants.
Clinical Nurse Manager, Gail Dempsey says, “When you ask someone why they went into nursing you will get such a wide variety of responses. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to help people, I wanted to care for people. I feel I have the right sort of qualities to be part of this profession, and I feel it is a profession for life.”
Helping others
This may seem trite or disingenuous bit it’s still (thankfully) one of the most popular reasons for people wanting a career in nursing. To care and help people when they are most vulnerable can be one of the most rewarding feelings.
Gail Dempsey says, “I always remember in primary school, one of my earliest school memories, that if anybody fell over in the playground or felt poorly in any way I recall being the first one to attend to them and then going to inform the teacher that there was a problem.”
Catrona Grant adds, “I became a nurse because I wanted to help ill people become well. I wanted to make vulnerable people feel safe and cared for, because all people matter. I believe that people need people to survive, you can't learn compassion you either have it or you don't.”
Making a difference
Following on from helping others, many individuals have a yearning for ‘making a difference’. Not only in people’s lives but to society at large. Clinical Nurse Manager, Bilqees Mauthoor, has for many years felt the need for helping those in need. Her motto, “To make a difference to people’s life” is a moto that has stayed with her since she was 18 years old.”
Bilquees says, “I not only care for patients but I care for the nurses and make a difference to their lives. I provide jobs, constructive criticisms, training and development and general advice. These things stem from the caring nature I would say I inherited from a young age”.
Jayne Rowe, Business Manager at MedicsPro, says entering nursing, “Was never a doubt for me. I saw nursing as a vocation and wanted to do a job where I could make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”
In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the need for nursing staff. This is across the board and in all disciplines. The British press have picked up on this and with one publication saying there’s a “shortage of nurses in almost every hospital.” It is often this demand that encourages people to move careers.
Many people want a career in nursing due to the wealth of variety as well as the opportunities available. With the demand for nurses far surpassing supply, nurses can expect to have a long career that is secure with more chances of progression and at a fast rate.
Varied career paths
Nurses may fill general practice positions, such as becoming a registered nurse or nurse practitioner. Others can concentrate on a specialty, like those in oncology or as family nurse practitioners.
Degrees and certifications open the doors for nurses to qualify for jobs that require specific skills and experiences. Mental Health Nurse, Shepherd Nhariwa, is a great example of how nursing can take you down different and unexpected roads.
He said, “I wanted to help young people who had behavioural problems and mental health issues, therefore I decided to go to Keele University to study in Mental Health. Although my Mental Health Nursing career started off within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, I eventually explored various Mental Health specialities - leading to broader experience. I have continued, over the years to work in various capacities in Mental Health Services such as Team Leader, Manager, Director and Consultant.”
By qualifying as a nurse, you are not restricting your opportunities. Quite the opposite.
Once you’ve gained the skills and qualifications necessary you can find work in other countries across the globe.
To become a nurse takes dedication and hard work but opportunities that it can lead are numerous. The rewards and benefits of working in nursing have a lasting effect. Not just on you as a professional but as a human being. And the hundreds and even thousands of people’s lives you can touch are almost incomprehensible.