What Brought You To Nursing?

For years, I enthusiastically perused the various Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing blogs, trying to capture a glimpse into the lives of the current students. I wondered if I, a right-brained musician who was abominably horrid at high school Chemistry, could ever become one of them. How did they get there? What was the program like? Is Baltimore similar to living on the set of The Wire? And does nursing school honestly force one to rip out one’s hair (“traumatic alopecia”) and dejectedly part ways with the concept of sleep?

saying hello to our friendly mascot
saying hello to our friendly mascot

Well, here I am. I made it. And I still have (most of) my hair.. so far.

Hello to you, dear reader. Perhaps you are a wide-eyed JHUSON hopeful, knee-deep in prerequisite classes, GRE review books and application essays. Hopefully my blog will pull back the curtain and assuage (yeah, I drop that GRE vocab) a few of your fears.

The point of this entry is to explain how I got here. We’ve been doing a lot of the “What brought you to nursing?” assignments lately, so I shall copy and paste the answer I gave to my clinical group:

i started young.
i started young

Growing up in Long Island, NY, my mom was a registered nurse and vascular technologist. I vividly remember on days I didn’t have school, hanging out in her office at the VA hospital. I thought it was the most exciting place ever (probably because I wasn’t in school), but regardless, an environment many found scary and somber, I saw as my playground. As mentioned before, I struggled with science, but I did excel at the arts. So when I turned 17, I attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. I completed a dual major in Film Scoring/Electronic Production & Design and a minor in Pulling All-Nighters. The summer post-freshman year, a week after arriving back home for vacation, my mother unexpectedly suffered a massive heart attack (“myocardial infarction”) and died within a day.

the west coast is definitely the best coast (at least in humidity)
the west coast is definitely the best coast (at least in humidity)

Cut to life after Berklee. I lived in Los Angeles, working 90 hour weeks at a studio writing, orchestrating, and producing background music for primetime television shows and movies. I worked on 5 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (which I promise is NOT what brought me to nursing, although it’s rather ironic), 4 seasons of Raising Hope, scored documentaries, and even sang Japanese vocals for reality television. I fell in love with LA. Explored the cute neighborhoods from Santa Monica to Silverlake, went skydiving, did a lot of of yoga, tried veganism, traveled the world during time off, ran a marathon, found an amazing group of creative people I now call my family, and even met my future husband.

While grateful for the opportunity to make a living with music, however, the hours and work left me exhausted and unfulfilled.  I did some soul searching and began volunteering at Comfort Zone Camp (www.comfortzonecamp.org), a nonprofit bereavement camp for children ages 7-17 who have lost a parent or sibling. It was my “aha” moment. There, I found a fulfillment I never thought possible and decided I would devote the rest of my life to helping others. I volunteered at a few local hospitals when something clicked. Apparently the passion for nursing was in my blood.

first week of school. i'm smiling because I haven't had my first pathophysiology exam
first week of school. I’m smiling because I haven’t had my first pathophysiology exam

Which brings us to today… 3 weeks into the Accelerated Fall ’15 BSN program, 3000 miles away from home, and 3 chocolate SOY Delicious almond-ice cream bars a day to sustain my sanity.

The journey to get here is a long one. And I empathize with you, dear reader. But hang in there. I promise you this place is worth it.

our new home.
our new home.


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