Ask the nursing expert ... about early career doubts

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Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

I just graduated from nursing school a few months ago and I'm having doubts. How did you find the area of nursing that was right for you? 

My dad loves to tell this story: When I was 17 years old, I asked him for the first time if I could bring a boy home for Thanksgiving dinner, which I had never done before.

I had started working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home a few months prior. I got up early that Thanksgiving morning and left before anyone knew where I was off to. When I returned, my dad was standing on the porch watching for me and my “friend.” (I think he was nervous.) 

We had a large property and I drove my Buick Skylark all the way through the front yard up to the porch. To hear my dad tell the story, he says I got out of the car with a big smile on my face and ran around to the other side of the car and opened the door to help an elderly gentleman out of the car.  

I had gone to the nursing home early that morning and dressed up one of my residents who had no family to visit him on the holidays. Every holiday dinner after that, my family knew to set an extra place for whomever I was going to bring home. I fell in love with the geriatric population! 

I tell you this because you went to nursing school for a reason and there are so many aspects that you can go into, you just have to find your passion, like I did for geriatrics.  

In 2050, the population above 65 years old is projected to be over 88 million. Ten thousand people are turning 65 every day for the next 19 years. This means we will need a lot more nurses. 

Do not give up, stay strong and know that YOU can make a difference. All you have to do is believe in yourself and never ever give up. Your patients are counting on you.