When I went to college, I wanted to become a physical therapist. My college offered 2 options to start a physical therapist degree: physical education and nursing. I was an athlete and loved sports and I wanted to go the physical education route, but my mother wanted me to go the nursing route. At first, this was difficult for me because I loved sports. One of my nursing instructors sat me down one day and said, “Choose basketball or nursing, and basketball is not a career.” I chose nursing.

As a nurse, I engange in constant learning that is very stimulating, but the ability to talk with patients and their families, to hold their hand, and to make them smile is one of the most satisfying aspects of nursing. Chatting with a 96-year-old woman who reminisces about her childhood, hearing a mother talk...

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