Guest Post | Inside Scoop

Inspiring the Next Generation for a Career in Nursing

Guest Author: Nikki Colgrove 

May 04, 2021
inspiring the next generation for a career in nursing

What inspires a child to pursue a career in nursing? For me, it was being ill as a child. I had many encounters in and out of hospitals with nurses who supported and cared for me. I was comfortable in a hospital – it became a familiar, safe place for me. 

From those experiences when I was young, it compelled me to want to take care of people. 

Although I was unsure at the time of what I wanted to become when I grew up, I knew that caring for others was where I was meant to be; it came naturally. 

However, I didn’t know any nurses personally that I wanted to emulate, but surely my illness couldn’t be the only inspiration. Right? 

What inspires the child of a nurse to pursue a career in nursing? Or does being the child of a nurse, discourage them?  

What inspires their friends? Where will the next generation come from? 

Knowing all that you know today, after wherever your career has taken you, would you encourage a child to follow in your footsteps with a career in nursing? 

According to the American Nurses Association, more registered nurse jobs will be available through 2022 (and probably beyond) than any other profession in the United States. Nearly 11 million more nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage.  

Shocking, right?  

For me, I believe stability and guaranteed employment are driving factors that motivate us to encourage our youth to find careers.  

However, with a career in nursing, there are several aspects within the field that might not suit everyone – and that is okay! As the saying goes, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” 

Being a nurse means that you must be prepared to care for those who are enduring some of the worst pain, illness, or heartbreak they’ve ever experienced. 

On top of this, you must remember a tremendous amount of knowledge, have an ability to think quickly while on your feet, and make critical last-minute decisions during emergent situations 

You must push your body beyond its capacity time and time again. 

If you can accept these truths, providing care for others is absolutely magical, and we can share this magic to inspire our youth! 

When you talk to children about your career in nursing, explain that some days are incredibly hard and break your heart, but others are so rewarding that years later you will still replay those moments and feel that same joy.  

Share with them why became a nurse, and why you are still are one. Think about how you carry yourself, and how they watch you.  

You ARE a role model.  

As a mom myself, I am always impressed with my teenager, her friends, and their more practical outlook on pursuing higher education and future employment opportunities 

Your children watch you every day, they know the struggles you face with your career in nursing some days, and the happiness you feel on the others. 

They are our hope to address the future nursing shortage, and it’s our responsibility to encourage and inspire them. 

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