R.N. Q&A #10: Should I be a nurse?

life coach nurses robb hillman self care

Dear Robb,

I need help.

I'm currently in school for nursing. But seeing what I'm seeing, I'm not at all sure this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But I can't figure out what else I would want to do either! How do you figure it out? How do you just pick something and be like 'this is what I was meant to do, this is what I LOVE to do'?????? Gahhhhhh. I feel like my life has no direction at the moment.


Dear Margaret,

I hope you know you aren’t alone in asking these questions, and in wanting to know that you are taking actions that are going to make you happy. We all do at one point or another, because we want to make smart moves that lead us to happiness and the job of our dreams.

Often we trick ourselves into thinking there is a RIGHT answer, a RIGHT choice, and if we don’t find it in time then anything else we do is just going to be wrong and we will pay the price for it with unhappiness. 

But here is the weird thing - finding your dream job is simply a choice. How do you pick the right thing? You pick a thing and decide that it is right! The heavens don’t open. A fairy godmother doesn’t appear in a puff of sparkles to wave her wand and make you happy. We don’t get a letter from our future selves to congratulate us on making such a good choice.

The very good news - and this really is the most amazing good news - is that all that happens is that we make the choice that we are happy. We decide that we love what we do and are happy with what we have. I certainly can’t tell you what you are going to love. Your boss can’t, your friends can’t, your mother can’t. You just decide that you love something or that you don’t. The choice does not happen outside of you. 

For some strange quirk of humanity we simply LOVE to pretend that there is some romantic thing out there, one job that is just going to fill us up and float our boat and make us delirious with joy. But really, all that happens is that we do something, and then we decide that we made the right choice. And we choose to be happy about it. 

Or not.

Anyway, I say all this just to say this: you are perfectly normal. Nothing has gone wrong here. And what I would offer you is that going forward on your journey, if you want to be happy, stop waiting to be happy. Stop waiting for someone or something outside of you to validate your choices. Not because doing so is wrong, but just because, why wait to have something that you can have right now?

If you want to be a nurse, be a nurse! I promise you that you can be happy and satisfied and fulfilled being a nurse. You could also be all of those things doing something else. THERE IS NO WRONG ANSWER.

If you want to know if nursing is a right answer, ask yourself this: do you want nursing to be the right answer? If so, then great, all you have to do is decide that it is, and then work on dealing with all of the challenges that come up. 

If you don’t, or if you aren’t sure, then ask yourself, why? What are you afraid of? What is stopping you from deciding to love it? Are you willing to work on overcoming those obstacles or do you want to want something easier? (I promise you nursing can be fulfilling and awesome, but I won’t promise it will ever be easy.)

Whatever your choice, make it with pride. This is your life, and you get to do whatever you want with it. I suggest loving it. I suggest being happy and having adventures and not wasting time and energy second guessing ourselves. Doubt is so boring! ;-) 

Good luck. I know you will figure it out. I hope you have fun doing it. 


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