Unless you know me personally, you may not know that I have been on a journey towards a career in nursing. One of my requirements for an application to a program that I ultimately decided to not apply for was to write a personal statement. It was the story of why I chose nursing and some personal struggles I have faced. As a male, I get asked quite often what pushed me towards nursing. Here’s the answer:
P E R S O N A L S T A T E M E N T
Passion—such paramount ambition to excel is not possible without it.
I had not yet found my passion before beginning college after high school. I pondered what I wanted for my life, having such grandiose aspirations but no motivation or plan towards achievement. My only real childhood dream was to become an airline pilot, but the drive to get a degree saturated with mathematics was lacking. As many do, I struggled to find my passion as I began college and unfortunately, my academic transcripts recorded this struggle.
While attending junior college in 2008, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) and learned this disease was quite pesky. In 2013, I experienced the immense wrath of UC; I stood tall at six feet and weighed a mere 110 pounds. I had been losing two pounds per week, my clothes no longer fitting properly. I feared for my life and eventually required an emergency blood transfusion. The very next year I was faced with another bout of UC—this time beginning a biological pharmaceutical as a hopeful miracle to remission. It worked.
Within seventeen hours of the starter injections, I was feeling like myself once more and just two days after, forgot there was ever anything wrong with me. The drug restored my lifestyle and when given the opportunity to help market the drug, I leapt at the opportunity. I was featured as a patient success story on the drug’s website and in 2015 guest spoke with my doctor for Johnson & Johnson to the entire gastroenterology/immunology sales force.
Following my speaking engagement for the morning, many drug representatives asked follow-up questions and thanked me for so bravely sharing my story. They explained they are not able to interact with patients due to HIPAA laws, so I acted as their catalyst for fresh motivation to help those like me. This moved me in such a profound way that I decided I wanted to do the same; I had finally found my passion. I interviewed with Johnson & Johnson for a sales position in hopes of helping patients like me, held back only by the lack of a Bachelor’s degree. I was understandably disappointed, but I had discovered my motivation.
I applied to my dream school, University of Alabama, and was accepted to the business program. I began online business courses, but soon after started to lose my newfound motivation, realizing those with pharmaceutical sales experience would be hired before me. I did not want to sell any drug, just the drug that changed my life.
Another internal struggle I faced was working in the oil and gas industry while enrolled in business courses. The company with which I was employed was not doing well and some of my coworkers were being laid off. Everything became overwhelming with such frequent out-of-town and international travel, sometimes at a moment’s notice. I had the privilege to live and work in China, visit Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and experience blazing sixteen-hour work days in Trinidad & Tobago. I decided to take a hiatus from school to reevaluate my life’s purpose. Shortly thereafter, I became a casualty of the oil and gas industry, being laid off in 2017.
“Where do I go from here?” I asked myself, as I had lost almost all interest for business. Over the last decade I had thought about nursing, reminiscing on helping my best friend run through flash cards between sets in the gym as he made his way through nursing school. A close friend of mine was hospitalized due to cystic fibrosis and something amazing happened while visiting her in the hospital. I always had a unique fondness for the hospital environment, thought my personality was suitable for the nursing field, but never believed I possessed the mental fortitude to achieve such a grueling educational task. As I put her flowers in a urinal as a vase, I smiled. This year was different.
I felt compelled to pursue this calling in nursing. I have since applied myself as I never have before and fortunately, my academic transcripts have recorded this devotion. With passion filling my heart, motivated by unbreakable determination, I now ask myself, “Where can I go from here?”