I get asked this question a lot, especially in light of the fact that I didn’t dislike my last career. In fact, I loved being an archivist, but for a variety of reasons, I decided for a change.
I wish I could say my decision was completely altruistic, but there was a pragmatic aspect to my decision. Nursing will give me freedom – freedom to move across state lines, freedom with scheduling, just general freedom. I always felt very inhibited by where I could go and my career opportunities within the archival community. Plus, archives and libraries are very competitive and I didn’t think I would thrive in that environment in the long run. I wanted something with more opportunities.
Pragmatism aside, I have always longed to feel like I was helping people. I always will defend the importance of historical records, but I wanted a tangible way to give back to the world around me and I felt like I could really do that in healthcare. I became really passionate about women’s health and that really made me question whether I could find passion in other aspects of healthcare. I would also be lying if I didn’t say I was partially attracted to it because it feels like a way to follow in a professional heritage of some awesome women.
I thought about it for a long time, about two years, and had decided to take the plunge. Then I met Z. and got caught up in falling in love and getting married. I shared with him some of my thoughts and passions, and together we decided that now was the time to make this move. We wanted to get my education completed before we added any other Purols into our household. Add into all this, during this time my grandfather passed away and his death really lacked dignity. I was appalled at the way the healthcare facility he was in treated him, especially when I saw how the facility I was working in treated death with compassion and dignity. It was the final confirmation I needed to make this transition.
It’s been a hard transition. Both academically and personally. But I truly believe it will be worth it, I have to believe it will be worth it, and that will be the topic for next week’s post.