How my mom inspired me to become a nurse

When I was in third grade, my mom was a single parent and worked nights as a charge nurse at the local hospital. She would take her three girls to work with her because she felt it was safer than leaving us at home alone. She would make things convenient and comfortable for us in the break room. She would make sure we had enough snacks, blankets and things to keep us busy during her 11-7 shift.

Most nights I would not sleep. Being the youngest of the girls, I was pretty attached to my mom. I would get up just to follow her around and watch her take care of the patients. She was such a caring nurse and would go from patient to patient checking to see if they needed anything for pain or if they were comfortable.

I remember very vividly when a patient passed away on my mom’s shift and, being the only RN in charge, she had to prepare the body for the funeral home. I asked if I could help, she asked me if I was sure and I told her yes, I wanted to help.

As I assisted my mom, I watched how caring she was to this patient, and considering the family would be there to see him soon. She cleaned him and treated him with so much dignity and respect that even at that young age all I could think about is I how I wanted to be just like her — a caring nurse and loving mom.

Today, my mom is a retired nurse practitioner. I followed in her footsteps to become the caring nurse I am today. After 25 years, I still enjoy taking care of the patients. As a professor of nursing students, I have passion for paying it forward. All this from the inspiration came from my mom.