I come from a family of nurses and knew from a very young age that I wanted helping people to be my life’s work. Nursing school is an amazing, difficult, all-consuming journey that somehow seems to both drag on and fly by at the same time. As my fourth year of nursing school came to a close, I incidentally fell into a job that was not what I was expecting to do, but I decided to go for it. I accepted a job working in a neuroscience ICU. I was unbelievably nervous. It’s so hard as a new nurse to find your groove and feel confident in what you’re doing. This isn’t just any new job… people’s lives are at stake and that can be a scary concept. I wanted to leave. I wanted to run away from this job and find something easier because I didn’t believe I had what it would take to be an ICU nurse. I had never experienced such bad anxiety before, and I even ended up taking some anxiety medication for a short time to get me through. With some help from very supportive coworkers, family, and an amazingly loving boyfriend, I eventually found my way and realized that once I was comfortable, I loved my job! I love helping people in their time of need. Nursing is hard work… it’s under appreciated, bladder bursting, hungry and thirsty, feet aching work. But it is so much more than that. It is life saving, laughing and crying, rewarding, absolutely beautiful work. No matter the outcome, knowing that you put everything you could to try and save someone, make someone more comfortable, or just put a families mind at ease is incredible. Falling into this job was sort of a happy accident and I am so glad I stuck with it. I am so proud to be a nurse and be able to make a difference in the lives of people every single day. I’m pictured here at graduation with my parents. They gave and sacrificed so much to help me get through nursing school and to support me in my early days of anxiety. My mom passed away unexpectedly last year and I hope to make her proud. It’s been a wild journey so far. I have learned to believe in myself and that if your heart is in it, you can accomplish anything.

This incredible story of finding the career that fills your heart was shared by Kelly

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