Cynthia Rost, BA, BSN, MSN, RN
Answering this question is tantamount to asking what I like about being alive. For me, nursing is such an integral part of who I am as a human being that it seems impossible to separate the nurse from the person. Nursing was not something that I dreamt about as a child, it was not, in fact, my first choice as a career. I was an audiologist, working with the elderly in a large county-run nursing facility when I first noticed what is was that nurses do. I saw that individuals relied on nurses for health education, activities of daily living, medication management, and life sustaining treatments. Wanting to be the person that provided these many services to those in need, I came back to Duquesne (yes, my first degree was earned here as well) and enrolled in the B.S.N. program.
Throughout the past 35 years, I have to say that, while I have worked for persons that made the job difficult, I never disliked the nursing. When you become a nurse, you begin to see everything through a different lens. You are able to assess objects, persons, environments, and entire communities as you walk alongside them in your daily life. You can never “turn off” the nurse you have become. It colors every aspect of your personality, and changes you at your very core. You may leave your patients at the end of your workday, but you never stop thinking like a nurse.
It is through nursing that I became a better person, wife and mother. It is because of a long career in Behavior Health and Public Health nursing that I am the community member I have become. Nursing has provided me with a job, an attitude, a desire for lifelong learning (for those who don’t know me, I will be 60 years old in a few years and graduating with a DNP to celebrate), and the ability to think critically in all aspects of my existence.
Do I recommend nursing? It is certainly not for everyone, but if you have made the decision to try it, please open your eyes to this new and fascinating way of seeing the world around you. You will have days when you are bone tired and frustrated, but I promise you, tomorrow will bring new opportunities to change someone’s life. Go for it!