When I was 15 years old I had a severe anaphylactic reaction to shellfish; I almost lost my airway and required intubation. The nurses who took care of me were phenomenal—they worked quickly and diligently and took the time to comfort, reassure, and educate me and my family. During the remainder of my teens I saw a nurse practitioner who was a great primary care provider. These experiences confirmed my decision to pursue the profession of nursing.

One of the best parts of my job is knowing that I play a vital role in saving lives. It is satisfying to manage unstable critically ill patients with high acuity levels, but it is even more rewarding to see those patients recover. What excites me about being a critical care nurse is having to pay close attention to patients’ rapidly changing vital signs and responding...

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