How to Become a Nurse

My Nursing Journey

By Andrea Reale (RN), Hospice Case Manager Andrea pic 2

“To me, nursing is the opportunity to combine the medical side of healing someone, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of bringing hope and love into someone’s life.”

My name is Andrea, and I have enjoyed being a nurse for the last five years.  I graduated from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  I am SO grateful for having the opportunity to obtain my nursing license.  I do have to mention, the journey wasn’t always the smoothest, but looking back… all of those experiences have shaped both the woman and nurse I am today.  Here is a brief summary of my adventure of how I have become a nurse.

Helping People

I knew growing up, “I just wanted to help people.”  There were numerous occasions that I told my family that I would one day open my very own nursing home.  Lets just say, that goal of mine didn’t directly happen (yet, anyway!), but I would have to say that the compassion and hope that I am able to give to my patients and their family members daily, trumps any idea of owning my own facility.  To me, nursing is the opportunity to combine the medical side of healing someone, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of bringing hope and love into someone’s life.  Nursing was and continues to be the perfect fit for me.  Yes, I have my tough days, but it is in those moments that I have the most rewarding and uplifting experiences with my patients.

“One of the best decisions I made during nursing school was getting my CNA (Certified Nurse Aide.)”

It started with my decision to take on nursing school.  After two long grueling years of prerequisites (and enjoying college a little too much as some would say) I was finally ready to apply to the nursing program.  Wahoo! I made it into nursing school.  It all seemed so perfect on paper.  It wasn’t until the middle of my first semester of nursing school, that it all hit me.  I’ll get right down to it, I almost flunked out of my first semester.  I’ll never forget the day my instructor called me and said, “Andrea, you are literally .5% close to failing out of our program.”  That hit me like a thousand bricks! I was devastated and embarrassed.  However, I picked myself up and used that as fuel, motivation, and determination towards reaching my passion. And I am thankful to have been able to turn it around so quickly!

Get Your CNA First!

One of the best decisions I made during nursing school was getting my CNA (Certified Nurse Aide.)  This solidified everything for me.  Working as an aid, allowed me to work along side RN’s and really grasp what I would be getting into.  Some of the work I do today as an RN, wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t been on the other side of the fence as a CNA.  I truly believe that being a CNA prepared and shaped the RN I am today.

“As a nurse, our opportunities are endless.”

I am currently an RN, Hospice Case Manager for Saint Jude Hospice.  I believe that by God’s good grace, I was able to land in the most perfect nursing roll for me.  I would say it’s more of a “calling” than a job and I feel like more of a “servant” than an employee. That’s the amazing thing about nursing though: there is an angle and path for anyone!  I have worked everywhere, from a hospital neurology floor, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.  And all of that has brought me humbly to where I am today.  As a nurse, our opportunities are endless.

To say the least, I am very thankful and blessed to fulfill the passion I have for serving and comforting others.