Is there a requirement for a nurse to have a ‘calling’ or to be altruistic in their reasons to become a nurse?
I’ve recently ran across several articles and nursing forum posts related to nurses having a ‘calling’. Something deep seated in their personality or their mind-set, a need or want to ‘help’ others. Something altruistic in their reasoning for becoming a nurse. The argument that I’m seeing repeated over and over is that you ‘have to’ or ‘should’ have a need, want and desire to help others in order to be a good nurse.
I’m going to rant on this…please do not send me ‘hate’ mail. If you would like to have a respectful discussion; I’m open and willing to participate
Confession: I never wanted or desired to be a nurse.
That’s right. I started my nursing career as a career choice and a JOB. There wasn’t any deep seated desire to make a difference in the world. No passion to ‘help others. No ‘calling’ from a higher power. Nursing to me was a stable career with attainable educational requirements, decent pay and job security. I consider myself an altruistic person but that was not my drive to become a nurse.
There are many that will immediately think that I am a bad person or worse yet, a bad nurse for my decision to become a nurse as a means to provide myself and my family a decent lifestyle. To them, I say ‘YOU’RE WRONG’.
So, am I automatically a bad nurse because I chose Nursing based on purely career and stability oriented reasons? Or is it possible that even though my reasons were not altruistic, I am still a good nurse, a patient care-giver and able to provide safe care with positive outcomes?
I want to hear your thoughts. Were your reasons for becoming a nurse altruistic? Do you think it’s a requirement for someone entering the nursing profession to want to ‘help’ people? Are you like me and see nursing as a career and a job to be performed to your best ability?