Staff Nurse Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York City
“Nursing is one of those professions that find you”
Nursing? There are several reasons why I chose nursing. As a second degree nursing student, I faced this question on the very first day of the program, and my answer was at times different from others’ due to the unconventional route that I took to become a nurse. My first degree was a bachelor’s of science in business administration; with a major in international business. It has always been a long term goal of mine to make positive impact on society not just here in the United States but back in Rwanda as well, where I was born. At a younger age, while deciding on a career, international business felt like the perfect route to eventually making that impact on a global scale.
After graduating with my first degree, I worked for a medical supplies distributor outside of Chicago, and that is when my exposure to the healthcare profession began. After some more reflection about my career, I became more interested in being able to help people regardless of location, especially those in what is considered vulnerable situations. “Think global, act local.” While I was satisfied with the job as a medical supplies inventory coordinator, it was always understood that it would be something temporary; my plan was to go back to school full-time for a master’s degree. An MBA was the obvious choice but life had other plans for me. Before I knew it, at the end of my contract, I found myself in moving from Chicago to New York and several weeks later I was enrolled at a local community college taking prerequisites for what I thought would be a career in health care management. And that is where nursing began to reel me in.
My older sister with whom I was living at the time is a registered nurse (currently NP). She had always asked me to think about a nursing career but the rebellious little brother that I was, wanted nothing to do with it. However, as it was concluded in my job interview, “nursing is one of those professions that find you!” The more I learned about the profession, the more I realized it was something I could see myself doing. As I began to reflect more about it, the more I recognized that my goal of helping others not just locally but globally is very much still achievable with a nursing career. There many circumstances that led to where I am right now. Moreover, it took a certain level of maturity for me to fully embrace a nursing career path, and now that I am here, I could not imagine doing anything else.
The challenges of being a nurse have been great but the rewards continue to be even greater. As a new graduate nurse, I am learning a tremendous deal on a daily basis. I am fortunate to be in an environment where colleagues genuinely care about each other’s wellbeing. And this sentiment has been one of my favorite parts about being a nurse. That genuine interest in others wellbeing and success was initially evident to me as a member of the NYC MIN Chapter. It has been encouraging to see the organization grow, and it is my wish to continue to be part of this organization as I continue to grow as a nurse. One of my favorite events organized by NYC MIN is the high school visit during which we got to interact with high school kids with interest in a health care profession. My vision for the group is to continue to be involved with our younger generation. There is no doubt in my mind that some of us could have benefited from having early exposure to the nursing profession at a young age. But then again I shouldn’t be too concern because “nursing is one of those professions that find you” no matter how much one may try to avoid it!