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What to include: why i want to be a nurse essay.

Why do you want to be a nurse? What is your reason for entering the nursing profession? What drives you?

You will face these questions multiple times throughout your career, but there are two occasions in which answering them could actually define your career.

The first is when you apply to nursing school. You may be asked to complete an essay outlining why you want to become a nurse.

The second time is when you apply for a nursing position and answer that question as part of the interview process.

Whether you're applying for a nursing program or job, it's important to know how to address this question and what sort of answers work best.

What To Include In Your Nursing Essay

To create the perfect nursing essay, one that can help you get into nursing school or find your first job, follow the steps below:

Plan Your Nurse Essay

Before you start writing your nursing essay, think about what you want to include.

Jot down ideas that express your passion for the nursing profession, as well as any personal or familiar experience that led you to take this step.

Be honest. Be open. Summarize your story, highlight your goals, and think about what the nursing profession means to you.

All of these things will be important when structuring your essay.

Show an Emotional Connection to the Profession

Do you have any family members that worked as nurses or doctors? Did you care for a loved one during an illness? Did you require a lot of care at some point in your life?

If so, this should be your lead, and it's probably the most important part of your essay.

Nursing is a lucrative career. You can make a decent salary, enter numerous specialties, and even progress to opening your own practice. There is also a national nursing shortage, so you'll also have plenty of opportunities if you're willing to learn and work. But interviewers don't want to hear that you became a nurse to earn good money and pick up lots of overtime.

Think of it in the context of a talent show. We know that the contestants are there to get famous and make lots of money. But when they stand in front of the camera and appeal for votes, they talk about deceased parents/grandparents, changing their family's life for the better, and making a difference in the world.

It's easy to sympathize with someone who wants to follow in the footsteps of a beloved mother or make a grandparent proud. It's not as easy to sympathize with someone who just wants to drive a Bugatti and wear a Rolex.

Examples  :

"My mother is a nurse practitioner. I can see how happy the role makes her and how much it has changed her. I have looked up to her throughout my life and have always wanted to follow in her footsteps."

"I cared for my father when he was ill. I was able to comfort him and assist him in his time of need, and while it was very challenging, it always felt right to me and it's something I would love to do as a career."

Show That You Care

Like all health care workers, nurses are devoted to healing the sick. If you're not a people person, it's probably not the profession for you.

Make it clear that you're a caring person and are willing to devote your life to healing sick people. A good nurse also knows how to comfort distraught family members, so you may want to include this in your essay as well.

If you have any examples of times when you have helped others, include them. This is a good time to talk about volunteer work, as well as other occasions in which you have devoted your time to helping strangers.

"I feel a great sense of pride working with families and patients through difficult times. I like to know that I am making a difference in the lives of others."

"I want to become a nurse so that I can help others in their time of need. I chose nursing as a profession because I feel a great sense of accomplishment when helping others".

Share Your Aspirations

What are your goals for your nursing career? Do you want to become a nurse practitioner? Do you want to specialize as a nurse anesthetist, a critical care nurse, or focus more on pediatrics?

Nurses work across a range of specialties, and it's important to show that you are interested in continuing your education and developing to your full potential.

The goal is to show that you are determined. You are driven to succeed and to better yourself.

If you're just taking your first steps as a nursing student, now is a good time to research into specialties and get an idea of how you want your career to progress.

"I have always been drawn to the nursing profession because it's challenging, demanding, and interesting. I want to push myself every day, engaging my academic interests and satisfying my need to learn and improve as a person."

Describe Your Nursing Skills and Qualifications

If you're applying for an accelerated nursing program or a new nursing job, the interviewer will have access to your qualifications. But they won't know what those qualifications mean to you, what you learned from them, and how you can use them in your career.

It's about problem-solving skills, as well as academic work. It's about experience and personal growth, as well as knowledge acquisition.

This is a good time to talk about internships.

How Do You Write an Introduction to a Nurse Essay?

Starting is always the hardest part, but it's best not to overthink it.

Just start writing about why you want to become a nurse. Don't overthink it. Don't worry too much about the first word or sentence. Everything can be edited, and if you spend too long thinking about those first words, you'll never finish the essay.

Keep it simple, check your work, and edit it until it's perfect and says exactly what you want it to say.

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How To Answer “Why Do You Want To Be A Nurse?” (With Examples)

  • Cover Letter
  • Registered Nurse Interview Questions
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  • Why Did You Choose Nursing?

When you’re in a nursing interview, you’ll hear the common question “Why do you want to be a nurse ?”, so it’s essential to know how to answer it. Your answer should reflect on what it was that drew you to nursing and tell a story about it, such as the moment it was clear that you wanted to be a nurse.

Whether you want to be a pediatric nurse , emergency department nurse, or travel nurse, we’ll go over how to answer “Why did you choose nursing as a career?”, why interviewers ask this question, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.

Key Takeaways:

Try to think of a story or a moment that made it clear that a nursing career was right for you.

Interviewers ask “Why do you want to become a nurse?” so you can highlight your passion for nursing and what got you interested in the field.

Avoid saying anything negative because it can often be a red flag for interviewers.

How to answer why do you want to be a nurse.

How to answer “Why do you want to be a nurse?”

Example answers to “why do you want to be a nurse”, why interviewers ask this interview question, common mistakes to avoid when answering, interview tips for answering this question, possible follow-up questions:, nurse career path faq, final thoughts.

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To answer “Why do you want to be a nurse?” you should first ask yourself questions as to why you want to be a nurse, start at the root, and tell your interviewer a story. Below is a more detailed list of how to answer this interview question .

As yourself questions. Before the interview, ask yourself, putting money and career goals aside, why do YOU want to be a nurse? Consider the following questions to better understand your reasoning:

Do you want to help people?

Does the medical field excite you?

Do you have certain skills, such as communication or concentration under duress, that naturally fit the position?

Do you thrive when you get to build relationships with people?

Do you love both science and working with people?

Focus on these aspects of yourself when you are asked why you are choosing nursing as a career.

Start at the root. If you’ve wanted to be a nurse since you were a kid, start there. If you got into medicine thanks to an impactful college professor , make that your starting point.

Tell a story. Most interviewers prefer narratives over bullet point facts — especially with a personal question like this. Don’t feel like you have to make up some great tale about how a nurse saved the day when you were a child, but bring in real moments when it became clear that nursing was the career for you.

Talk about people and experiences. Nursing is all about building relationships, so your answer should touch on your empathy and ability to form bonds with the people you work with and serve. In this way, your answer will show that you want to be a nurse because you truly enjoy the process of nursing.

Bring it to the future. Close your answer with a nod to the future and what you’d like to accomplish in your brilliant new nursing career. Bringing your answer from the past to the future shows that you’re forward-thinking and determined enough to make your dreams a reality.

Below are example answers to “Why do you want to be a nurse?” for different scenarios such as pediatric or emergency room nursing. Remember to tailor your answers to your specific needs when you answer in your interview.

Pediatric nurse example answer

“I have wanted to get into nursing since I was very young. One of my earliest memories is of a nurse taking care of me when I had to go to the hospital for stitches. She was so kind and gentle with me that I didn’t even cry or panic. I remember leaving thinking that was the kind of person I wanted to be when I grew up. Ever since then, everything I have done has been working towards becoming a nurse.”

Emergency room nurse example answer

“When I was in college I took a course on basic first aid and found it super interesting. I started signing up for volunteer first aid positions and some of my fellow volunteers were nurses. I was curious about their job and the more I learned about what they did the more I found myself excited by the prospect of helping people in medical situations. I made friends with these nurses and they helped guide me through the application process.”

Travel nurse example answer

“Medicine is such an exciting field, and one of the biggest joys of nursing is that I’m always learning new things. I know people who dread getting their necessary CEUs every year, but for me, it’s a perk of the career. “For instance, just last year I completed my certification from the Wilderness Medical Society and can now serve as medical staff on the Appalachian Trail. But from Diabetes for APRNs to Nursing for Infertility courses, I’m always able to maintain my passion for nursing through continuous discovery and wonder at the medical field.”

Critical care nurse example answer

“I believe in helping people, especially in times of extreme need. When I worked as an EMT I was always the one asked to facilitate information between any involved party. I want to expand this skill and I think nursing is a good fit for me. My interests and experience with medical professionals are good for this job.”

Nurse midwife example answer

“I want to be a nurse because I am deeply committed to providing compassionate healthcare to women during one of the most significant and transformative moments of their life. Being a nurse midwife will allow me to empower women by advocating their choices and preferences during childbirth. “Being a nurse midwife will also allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of women and their families. I will be able to provide personalized care, emotional support , and educational resources to help ensure a smooth and empowering birthing experience for my patients.”

Oncology nurse example answer

“I want to be an oncology nurse because this field is driven by a profound desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those fighting cancer. I am committed to providing compassionate care to patients during their cancer journey. “Working as an oncology nurse also has the opportunities to be part of cutting-edge research and advancements in cancer treatments. I want to be at the forefront of innovation and help contribute to the improvement of cancer care outcomes.”

The interviewer will ask why you want to be a nurse to know how serious you are about the position. This isn’t a career to take lightly because there are many challenges.

Nursing is a profession with a prerequisite for assisting others in potentially high-stress environments. So by answering this question, you are given the opportunity to highlight not only your skills but more importantly, your passion for nursing and ability to keep cool under pressure.

Additionally, interviewers hope to learn why you got interested in the field in the first place. Telling a story about an impactful experience with a medical professional or about the sense of satisfaction you feel when helping a patient can help illustrate that you’re not only skillful but also have deep compassion for the people you’ll be working with.

You should avoid saying anything negative because it can be a red flag for the interviewer. Here are some other common mistakes you should avoid when answering:

Saying anything negative. A negative response will be a red flag for the interviewer. If you are one to complain or see the worse in a situation, this will make you a difficult coworker in an already difficult field.

Focusing on money or self-serving reasons. Even if the wages are an attractive feature of the profession, mentioning this as a reason will hurt you. The interviewer is looking for an answer that goes beyond your own needs.

Unrelated anecdotes. Don’t get caught up in telling stories about nursing that have nothing to do with you or the job. Remember to keep things relevant and concise.

Your answer should be positive and you should use a personal experience to help you answer and tell a story. Here are some more tips to keep in mind when answering this question:

Be positive. Nothing will concern an interviewer more if you are cynical and negative in an interview where the job requires a strong sense of empathy and selflessness. This does not mean you can’t, nor should, ignore the challenges of the profession. If you can reframe these difficulties with a positive mindset and a “can do” attitude, you will strengthen your impact in the interview.

Be concise. A long-winded, rambling answer may give the impression that you have not considered the question ahead of time. That said, if you rush through your words, you may concern the interviewer as well. So, don’t be afraid to take breaths or have moments of silence, but choose your words carefully and effectively. Concise communication is a huge part of the nursing profession so here is an opportunity to highlight that skill.

Use personal experience. When answering the question “Why did you choose nursing as a career?” it can really help to bring in a personal touch to the response. This creates a unique answer that can help you stand out among other candidates. The personal experience may also reveal a moment of inspiration pointing towards why you chose nursing as a career.

Remember the job description. Use the skills required in the job description and apply them to yourself as you explain your interest in the field. Integrate them with care, you are not trying to restate your resume . Instead, consider how your skills have developed over time and how that relates to your interest in nursing. Remember, skills are developed through some kind of interest too.

Research the organization/department. Wherever you are applying to is going to have unique characteristics. Perhaps the organization focuses on low-income individuals or the elderly or intensive care patients. You may be able to bring this into your answer. Even if you do not, it is still good to give you context. By understanding where you’re applying to, you strengthen the explanation of why you are applying.

Practice your answer. Before the interview, practice this answer, preferably with someone else who can give you feedback such as a friend or family member. However, if you do not have that opportunity, practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, record yourself on your phone and listen back to what you said. In the end, you want to “train” for this question by giving yourself the opportunity to run through it a couple of times with the chance to tweak your response.

After the question “Why did you choose a nursing career?” there will most likely be follow-up questions. Here are some examples of other common interview questions and some tips on how to answer them. This will help you prepare yourself for the direction the interview may take.

What do you think is most difficult about being a nurse? Why?

Be aware of certain challenges of nursing ahead of time. Do some research . The worst thing you can do for yourself is be caught off guard by this question.

How are you at handling stress?

Consider what techniques you use for reducing stress. It is going to be important to show your competency. Consider answering in a way that reveals you to be a team player and aware of the stresses of your coworkers as well.

What are your long-term career goals?

The interviewer is going to be gauging your seriousness in becoming a nurse. It is not a profession that you can just “try-out”, so give an answer that shows sincere consideration for a long-term medical profession. Note: This does not necessarily tie you strictly to nursing. Many managers and hospital administrators come from nursing backgrounds.

Why do you want to work here?

Many interviewers will want to hear about not only your passion for nursing as a career but also how your passions align with their organization.

Look up the mission and vision of the facility before your interview and talk about how that resonates with you, or give an example of how you’ve seen them in action and want to be a part of that.

What drove your interest in this specialty?

Not every nurse fits well in every nursing role, so your interviewers will likely ask you why you want this particular job.

Whether this is the specialty you’ve always worked in or you’re trying something new, structure your answer similarly to your answer to the “Why do you want to be a nurse?” question.

Why would one want to be a nurse?

Many people want to be a nurse because it gives them an opportunity to help people in a meaningful way. Nurses not only perform specialized tasks that are vital to a person’s well-being, but they also get to emotionally support people who are going through an incredibly difficult time.

This can be as simple as being a calm, friendly presence or advocating for them with the rest of the medical staff, but it makes a huge impact on people’s lives.

In addition to this, many people choose to become nurses over another occupation that helps people because they love science and medicine or love the fast-paced, challenging work environment.

What is a good weakness to say in a nursing interview?

A good weakness to say in a nursing interview is a weakness that you’re actively working on. Whether your greatest weakness is that you’re too detailed with your paperwork or say yes to too many people and requests, always follow it up by explaining the steps you’re taking to overcome that weakness.

Hiring managers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to be self-aware and take the initiative to minimize the impact of your weak spots.

What are the 6 C’s of nursing?

The 6 C’s of nursing are care, compassion, communication, courage, and commitment. These are principles taught to many nurses to help them learn how to give excellent care to patients.

They also help to set cultural expectations at medical facilities, since all of the nurses are upheld to this standard, no matter what their educational background or specialty.

What are some common nursing interview questions?

Some common nursing interview questions include:

What skills do you think are important for nurses to possess?

Describe your experience as a nurse and what you’ve learned from it.

How would you manage an uncooperative patient?

How well do you thrive in a fast-paced environment?

There are so many nursing jobs out there and nurses are in high demand. You will want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you are asked at the interview what brings you to the field.

Knowledge is power, so knowing your response to “Why did you choose a nursing career?” is crucial for success. This is your moment to shine and show why you are the best candidate for the job.

Those who are able to answer with sincerity and empathy are the types of nurses all organizations will want. So get yourself ready and figure out ahead of time why you want to be a nurse.

Nightingale College – How To Ace Your Nursing Job Interview: Questions, Answers & Tips

The College of St. Scholastica – Why do you want to be a nurse? Students share their sentiments

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Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.

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“Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?” Nursing School Interview Question

Why Do You Want To Be A Nurse

Preparing your “Why do you want to be a nurse” answer for an interview is key. The question will always be asked in a nursing school interview, which is why you must strategically plan out your answer, and take some time to reflect on this difficult question.

Not everybody puts thought into the “why” behind this question. Some people seem to act entirely on instinct, but you can’t afford to do so with your career – your future. Not to mention the fact that you need to have a professional, snappy, and thoughtful response to any (and every) question brought forward in an admissions interview.

Some nursing school interview questions are a chore to get through, but with some careful consideration, the question of why will be so foundational that you’ll never regret having explored it. This isn’t just something you have to answer, this is a question you want – even need – to answer.

In this article, you will find different answer samples to the “Why do you want to be a nurse” question, how to find a personal answer unique to you, and how to structure your answer to create an amazing impression on the interview day. 

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 10 min read

Why are you asked this question.

Having an answer to this question is more than important, it’s necessary. It’s necessary for your interview, but it’s also necessary for yourself.

Imagine being the interviewer for a moment and seeing a candidate who looks great on paper, with strong academic record, a great nursing school personal statement , good letters of reference, and a demonstrable track record of excellence all-around demonstrated in their nursing school application resume . But in the interview, that candidate responds with, “I don’t know,” to the question of why they are selecting the career that they are. The interviewer’s likeliest response? Complete dismissal. If this question isn’t answered properly, it will corrupt the entire interview, and possibly even destroy the application altogether.

That’s why they ask the question. Would you select a candidate who didn’t know why they were even applying to nursing?

Of course not. If you were generous, you’d take the candidate aside and advise them to take more time to think about their future.

Which presents another reason why you need to answer the question: you owe it to yourself. This is who you want to be, after all. Make sure you put some thought into it. What the interviewer is asking of you is to not just explain why you’re a good candidate, but why nursing is important to you. So the main thing is to put your connection to the profession on display.

This question really is for the admissions committee to understand whether you fit with this career path. Your “why” will demonstrate whether you will be a positive addition to this profession.

Before you start composing your answer to this question, it’s important to reflect on your own reasons for pursuing this career. There are thousands of potential reasons and each one is legitimate in its own way. We have compiled a list of suggestions that may help you pinpoint your own “why” behind your decision.

Patient Care

One of the most common reasons that nurses give for “why nursing?” is to care for patients. Nurses spend more time with patients than any other medical professionals . They spend close to twice as long with patients as personal visitors (more than friends and family) and almost three times as many minutes with patients as other medical staff (physicians, physician assistants, and medical students).

Directly caring for patients is the biggest part of nursing, and an excellent potential aspect of your answer to the question of “why” you want to be a nurse. If you love working with patients, it could be an ideal entry into your answer to this question.

\u201cHuman connection has always been important to me. Nursing is an opportunity for me to help people at their most vulnerable.\u201d  ","label":"Example statement","title":"Example statement"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

Heat of a Team

Nurses work together as a team to care for their patients. Although each nurse is assigned certain patients, they will help each other out. Being part of a team is exciting for a lot of people, and perhaps this is one aspect of the profession that excites you. Knowing that somebody has your back, and you have theirs, is a big plus in any career.

Not just part of a nursing team, healthcare requires many specialists across disciplines, and nurses are a part of that team.

\u201cI love working with other people and knowing that I\u2019m part of a work-family. Nurses come together to share their workload in a way that I find encouraging. I would love to be the kind of person who can be counted on by my colleagues, and who has a good support network as part of the job.\u201d ","label":"Example Statement","title":"Example Statement"}]" code="tab2" template="BlogArticle">

Physically, mentally, and emotionally, nursing is a challenge. The profession demands excellence and endurance from all aspects of life. Many people find challenges exciting and rewarding, and it might be beneficial to let an interviewer see that hardworking, never-back-down side to your character.

\u201cI am someone who rises to a challenge, who doesn\u2019t quit, and who won\u2019t back down from hardship. If I fail, I try again. I know that nursing is tough, but that toughness is something I admire in others and in the profession, and I think I would be ideally suited for a place where I can be challenged. ","label":"Example Statement","title":"Example Statement"}]" code="tab3" template="BlogArticle">

Constant Learning

You’re a curious mind who loves to experience new things? Nursing is perfect.

Nursing is a multi-facetted profession, and there is always more to learn and explore. Whether travel nursing, working with children, or with the elderly, you can find something (or everything) within the field.

One of the most interesting areas to learn is in pure medical knowledge. Nurses have to deal with many different areas of medical science, so the opportunities for educational growth are exponential.

Although less altruistic than some other answers, it can be beneficial to let an interviewer know that you will love a career in nursing for these rewarding aspects as well. 

\u201cLife is a journey, and an adventure, and nursing provides a place to be a kind of adventurer. There is so much this profession offers, so many different ways to learn and grow, and I look forward to a life of, not just helping people, but exploration.\u201d ","label":"Example Statement","title":"Example Statement"}]" code="tab4" template="BlogArticle">

Nursing exposes a person to a wide variety of medical experiences, and that can lead to excellent insights into the field at large and lead to other, perhaps unexpected, career paths.

There are a lot of growth opportunities within the nursing field. A nurse might strive to become a nurse practitioner – very similar to an R.N. or R.P.N., but with some powers granted and further responsibilities. They can diagnose illnesses, order tests, or give prescriptions, for example. It’s like a halfway point between nurse and doctor. If this is your ambition, do not hesitate to express that you want a career where you will be able to grow, learn, and advance as a professional!

Nurses may also explore other medical professions. While you may be hesitant to express your desire to go from nurse to doctor , you should know that these kinds of transitions are not rare. Nurses who transition to being physicians or other medical professional have a huge advantage in terms of experience and clinical knowledge! You should feel free to express your dedication and commitment to nursing, as well as your aspirations for other professional avenues. Whether you want to grow within nursing or beyond, admissions committees like applicants who show ambition.

\u201cI want to experience the medical field in its fullest, and I believe there is no better first step on that journey than nursing.\u201d ","label":"Example Statement","title":"Example Statement"}]" code="tab5" template="BlogArticle">

Want help preparing for your nursing school application and interview?

How to Plan Your Answer

All of the reasons we list above are good. But you need more than just a parroted reason. Reason without passion is just an excuse.

There is a deeper reason for entering this field. Use this question to display that depth and your passion for nursing.

The personal why is about how the profession connects with you. There was a point in your life when you knew you wanted this for yourself. Maybe a family member was a nurse? Maybe somebody you knew was hospitalized, but the nursing staff at their hospital made their recovery infinitely better. Maybe that person was you: sick or injured, your life and health, improved by the nurses who cared for you.

Start with a good, captivating opening statement. Make it short, to the point, and formulate it in such a way that you will set up the rest of your answer. A good attention-grabbing statement might be a cataclysmic life event, a profound quote, or a statement that generates intrigue. Think of the beginnings of your favorite books or films. They start with something that grabs attention (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” for instance). You want to ensnare an audience, not just say, “I always wanted to be a nurse.”

For example: “We were miles from help, cell phones dead or no bars, and blood was everywhere. I was holding onto my belt, pulling it tight enough to stop the flow, talking my friend back to a state of calmness, and hoping like heck that my lack of belt wouldn’t mean my pants would fall down imminently. I didn’t know it at the time, but being the calm one in a crisis, remembering my first aid knowledge, and making it through all that trauma was what would lead me to become a nurse.”

Keep to one or two main examples as to why you are pursuing nursing, show your connection to nursing beyond just, “it’s a job”, and throw in personal flair to accent your statement. Outlining one or two examples or reasons will allow you to include interesting details and expand on these reasons in more depth.

The personal connection is a good place to start. When did you realize you wanted to be a nurse? Why do you love it? Those catalyst points in your life that made you choose nursing are a great start.

A concluding statement – as short and punchy as your opening line – is the best way to wrap things up. You might let the interviewer know your career goals and how their program will help you get to where you want to go.

Make sure to keep your answer to 1 or 2 minutes long. You do not want to ramble on and on, thus losing the attention of your interviewers.

How to Practice Your “Why Do You Want to Be a Nurse?” Answer

Once you have an experience or two to focus on, spend some time thinking about how you want to present these talking points. Once you have an idea, start practicing. Remember, you do not want to memorize your answer, but you also want to have a clearly laid out format for your response. One of the worst things you can do is come to the interview unprepared, saying something like this, for example:

“I like helping people. I was once hurt and the nurses at the hospital helped me.”

That’s no good. Put effort, details, stories, and energy into the answer. This is the reason why you’re entering your next stage of life, so allow your excitement to shine through. Make a mini-story out of it.

It will help you a lot to practice your answer in mock interviews, making sure that your answer sounds natural, thorough, and professional.

“Why Do You Wat to Be a Nurse?” Sample Answer #1

“I have always needed to help people. As a kid, if my younger siblings got a scrape on the knee, I was right there with my mom, helping to bandage them up. I think I was just mostly in the way.

But that need to care and heal never went away. When I was older, I took first-aid classes and loved it. I loved learning how to help, knowing that if there was a problem I could be right there making things better.

The day that I knew specifically I wanted to be a nurse was after applying my first-aid knowledge directly. A friend of mine got hurt at school, slipped and had a bad fall down some stairs. I used my first-aid to keep them calm and check for any breaks or other issues before helping get them to the school nurse. While I was in the nurse's office, I felt like I was part of something already. Later, I spoke with the school nurse about my career path, and she was helpful, thoughtful, and encouraging.

Nursing is perfect for me. More than any other profession, nursing will give me an opportunity to care for people. It lets me do more than just give medicine, it connects me to people, and make a real difference in their lives.

That human element, making small differences day-to-day, and really helping people – all of that is deeply connected to who I am, who I want to be, and to nursing. Nursing and me are a perfect fit.”

“Nursing is a one-hundred percent career, and I am a one-hundred percent person.

Challenge is exciting to me. Rock climbing is a hobby of mine, and I love it because it’s active and requires commitment. I’ve always been passionate like that.

Another thing I’m deeply passionate about is going where I’m needed. I remember my aunt talking one time about being a nurse, and about the struggles that she and the other nurses went through. I remember her being really upset about it, but I also remember thinking, ‘Oh, they need people.’ And, as I said, I go where I’m needed.

From there I started learning as much as I could about nursing, taking elective classes in school, reading about the profession, and talking to my aunt about the job. The more I learned, the more I knew this was my path.

Nursing is a place where I can make a difference, be needed, and be challenged, and I am looking forward to all of that – one-hundred percent.”

The answer to this question is as personal as it is imperative. Really think about why you want to be a nurse above all else, and you’ll have your answer. Once you know the “why”, you might get thrashed a lot on your journey, but you will always have sight of your destination.

You also have the perfect answer for your interview. But with all that incredible insight into your life and who you want to be, that’s almost a by-product, isn’t it?

An in-depth answer, one that properly communicates your connection to nursing, is going to take up more than a couple sentences. Keep your answer to 1 or 2 minutes long.

No, and in fact, we strongly discourage memorization. Memorizing your answer comes off as disingenuous. Additionally, you run the risk of messing up your script and freezing in the middle of your answer. Instead, just focus on remembering your talking points.

Do plan out your answer carefully before your interview, practice it, but from that point on, just worry about holding the main points in your head. You don’t need to memorize the whole thing.

Everybody has a different approach to their writing processes, but one fast, fairly simple way to deal with writer’s block is to give yourself permission to take five minutes and free associate. You could use pen and paper, word processors, or record yourself talking aloud, but through whichever method you choose, just start getting out ideas about nursing and why you’re interested in it.

Another approach would be to think about the first time you considered nursing as a career and why. Those memories will give you excellent insight and a good starting place to plan your answer.

We recommend sticking to one or two events or reasons that led to your decision.

Since you don’t have time to get into every facet of every aspect of why you want to be a nurse, you’re going to want to stick to one or two primary reasons. You will weaken your statement if you have too many points.

To have a strong answer, you need to incorporate personal or professional events or experiences that led you to pursue nursing. Why did you decide to pursue this career? What interests you about it? What events took place to lead you to apply to nursing school? These events do not necessarily need to be related to nursing directly, but you can connect them to nursing. For example, maybe your volunteer or work experiences demonstrate exceptional communication and interpersonal skills? Whatever it is, make sure you can connect your passion for nursing, and your experiences in your answer.

Chronologically is probably clearest. It will let you, and the interviewer, track the story better.

Keep in mind classical story structure, with a beginning, middle, and end, and use that as a rough guide.

Just pause, take a breath, and remember the first thing your wanted to say. Since you’ll have practiced beforehand, the rest will come back to you. Since you’ve arranged your answer as a small story, the structure helps with remembering as well, and because you haven’t scripted anything, it doesn’t need to be exactly as you’ve rehearsed it.

You need to go back to your story and really look at it with a critical eye. Ask yourself if there are any details you’re including that aren’t really necessary. Try to weed it out.

What is extraneous to your story will pop out if you reconsider that story structure of beginning-middle-end. If you’ve started talking about a certain event in childhood that led to another event that led to your deciding to be a nurse, are you taking any digressions along the way? Including any anecdotes that, while nice, don’t support your main story?

If you’re having trouble sticking to two minutes, be ruthless in your editing.

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why nursing career essay

Interview Question: "Why Did You Choose Nursing as a Career?"

  • What the Interviewer Wants to Know
  • How to Answer Question

Examples of the Best Answers

Tips for giving the best answer, what not to say, possible follow-up questions.

When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it’s helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is, "What made you choose  nursing as a career ?"

If you have an interview for a  nursing position , you want to arrive confident and prepared for your interview. Reviewing questions that interviewers might ask will help you do that.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

When an interviewer for a nursing position asks you questions about why you became a nurse, he or she is trying to learn the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse. This question is also posed in order to gauge your enthusiasm for the profession.

The interviewer will seek to identify, from your response, what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do.

Your answers should provide the basis for a discussion about your  passion for nursing , your qualifications, and your skill set.

How to Answer the Interview Question “Why Did You Choose Nursing as a Career?”

Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as what strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job.

You will likely be asked  questions relating specifically to nursing , as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you would like to answer them.

Don’t try to memorize an answer, but do jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths.

4 Ways to Answer: Why Did You Choose Nursing as a Career?

Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.

I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people's lives daily. In the nursing profession, you deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in the routine.

Why It Works: The interviewer will be pleased to know that the candidate wants to make a difference in people’s lives. The candidate also makes a point to mention that patient care is a priority.

Dealing with patients and their families and helping them through what is often a difficult time for them is extremely satisfying for me.

Why It Works:  This works because the candidate is letting the interviewer know that working with patients is of primary importance.

My mother is a nurse and seeing the satisfaction she feels every day by helping people in her job inspired my own interest in the field. I knew from the time that I was very young that nursing was something I wanted to do with my life.

Why It Works:  This is a good answer because it shows the candidate’s passion for the nursing profession along with a family history of working in the nursing field.

Throughout college and nursing school, my interest in nursing and my commitment to the field became even stronger as I found that I also had an aptitude for the work. I believe my ability to communicate with people and to explain things clearly in both a technical and non-technical way is one of the things that makes me a good nurse.

Why It Works:  This is a very good answer that demonstrates to the interviewer the candidate’s confidence and awareness of the strengths she possesses that enhance her candidacy.

I chose nursing as a career because I love learning new things. As a nurse, I am always challenging myself to keep current on medical trends and training so that I can provide the best care to my patients. Every day as a nurse, I learn something new from my colleagues and patients, which inspires me to explore a deeper knowledge of the techniques and procedures I use.

Why It Works:  This works because the candidate shows a willingness to keep current on skills and education necessary in the medical field.

Analyze the Job Posting:  It’s a good idea to look carefully at the job posting, as well as the hospital website, to get a feel for what they are specifically looking for in the person who fills the open position, as well as the general culture of the hospital.

Share Your Skill Set:  Be prepared to discuss your clinical skill set, as well as your personal qualities, that make you qualified for the job. The interviewer may ask you to provide examples of situations where you applied those skills. You should have a  list of your nursing skills  with you, preferably on a copy of your resume.

Discuss Patient Scenarios:  You will be asked about challenges you have met and problems which you have solved in  patient care contexts . Be ready to share specific patient scenarios where you intervened with difficult cases and individuals to help generate positive outcomes.

Show You're a Team Player:  Nurses must be effective team members and get along with challenging personalities. Be prepared to share examples of how you have dealt with difficult colleagues.

Practice Your Answer:  Prepare a response to this question and then practice your answer, either in front of a friend or the mirror.

Avoid Negativity:  Don’t complain about difficult patients, other nurses you’ve known, doctors, or other hospitals.

Avoid Physical Complaints:  Don’t complain about the grueling physical aspects of the nursing profession. You chose this career and are applying for this job.

  • How do you handle the stress that comes with a nurse’s job?  Best Answers
  • Why do you want to work here?  Best Answers
  • Are you organized? Best Answers

Key Takeaways

Prepare for the Interview. Be prepared to discuss both your clinical skill set and personal characteristics that make you a good nurse.

Be Ready to Share Examples. Have some sample patient scenarios and why they were challenging in mind.

Keep it Positive. Don’t complain about past jobs, patients, people, the nature of the work, or anything else.

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Writing an Outstanding Application Nursing Essay


Embarking on the path to a nursing career involves navigating through various challenges and significant moments, with the nursing application essay standing out as a key component. This essential part of your application transcends mere formality; it presents a special chance for you to highlight your character, commitment, and aptitude for the nursing profession. In this detailed guide, we aim to explore the intricacies of creating a standout nursing application essay. Whether you’re just starting to explore the nursing field or are ready to submit your application, this article is your roadmap to success.

Understanding the Purpose of the Essay

What do nursing schools seek in your essay.

Nursing schools are looking for candidates with the academic qualifications and personal qualities essential for nursing. Your essay should reflect your compassion, empathy, commitment to the profession, and understanding of the nursing role.

The Essay’s Role in Your Application

Your application essay is your voice in the admission process. It’s where you can speak directly to the admissions committee, tell your story, and explain why you are drawn to the nursing field. This essay can be the deciding factor in your application, setting you apart from other candidates.

Preparing to Write

  • Research: Aligning with the School’s Values

Prior to beginning your essay, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fundamental ideals and beliefs of the nursing school you’re applying to. Spend time browsing their website, absorbing their mission statement, and comprehending their perspective on nursing education. This crucial insight will help you tailor your essay to resonate with the school’s philosophy. This research will help you tailor your essay to resonate with their ethos.

  • Self-reflection: Your Nursing Journey

Reflect on your experiences and why you chose nursing. Think about moments in your life that led you to pursue this career. These reflections will help you create an authentic and personal narrative.

  • Brainstorming: Crafting Your Story

Take time to brainstorm ideas for your essay. Think about your strengths, experiences, and what aspects of nursing excite you. Make sure to note down these key points; they will be the essential framework for your essay.

Structuring Your Essay

  • Introduction: Making a Strong First Impression

The introduction of your essay is your first chance to capture the reader’s attention. Begin with an engaging story, a meaningful personal experience, or a statement that makes the reader think. This approach will offer a window into your personality and highlight your enthusiasm for nursing.

  • Body: Building Your Narrative

Organize the body of your essay around a few key experiences or ideas. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your journey or a particular quality you possess. Use examples from your life to demonstrate your commitment, compassion, and ability to overcome challenges.

  • Conclusion: Leaving a Lasting Impression

Your conclusion should wrap up your essay by summarizing the key points and reaffirming your interest and readiness for a nursing career. This is your final chance to remind the admissions committee why you are a suitable candidate.

Writing Tips and Best Practices

  • Clarity and Conciseness

Keep your writing clear and concise. Avoid unnecessary jargon and be direct in your storytelling. Remember, the admissions committee reads many essays, so getting your point across quickly is crucial.

  • Authenticity: Be Yourself

Your essay should reflect your true self. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Honesty and sincerity will resonate more than trying to fit a certain mold you think the school wants.

  • Using Specific Examples

Provide specific life examples rather than general statements about your passion for nursing. This might include volunteering, personal experiences with healthcare, or moments of inspiration from other nurses.

  • Attention to Technical Details

Proofread your essay multiple times for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Also, adhere to the nursing school’s formatting guidelines, such as word count and font size.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Steering Clear of Clichés and Generalities

Clichés and overused phrases can make your essay sound generic. Instead, focus on providing unique insights and personal experiences that highlight individuality.

  • Directly Answering the Essay Prompt

It’s crucial to stay on topic and answer the essay prompt directly. Deviating from the prompt can lead the admissions committee to question your attention to detail and ability to follow instructions.

  • Avoiding Excessive Jargon

Revising and Refining Your Essay

  • The Importance of Drafts and Revisions

Your first draft is just the beginning. Be prepared to revise and refine your essay several times. This process helps fine-tune your message and improve the overall flow and clarity.

  • Seeking Feedback

Get feedback on your essay from mentors, teachers, or peers. They can provide valuable insights and suggest improvements you might not have considered.

  • Final Proofreading

Before submitting your essay, do a thorough proofreading. Check for grammatical errors or typos, and ensure your essay adheres to the specified word limit and formatting requirements.

Crafting your nursing application essay is an opportunity for self-reflection and a chance to convey your zeal for nursing. It’s important to remain authentic, be truthful in your narrative, and allow your sincere passion for nursing to be evident. With careful preparation, thoughtful structure, and attention to detail, your essay can prove your readiness for a nursing career.

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Nursing Essays!

Precision, Passion, & Professionalism in Every Page.

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  • December 27, 2022

How to Write: Why I Want to Be a Nurse Essay

The Why I Want to Be a Nurse essay is one of the most common components on nursing school applications. There are tons of reasons to become a nurse, but yours are unique – a good nursing essay will stand out and be remembered by those who read it. In addition to general admission, this could even be your ticket to some scholarships for nursing school!

Let’s dive into how to write your Why I Want to Be a Nurse essay and get you into nursing school!

Planning Your Nursing Essay

why i want to be a nurse essay

Before you get into writing anything, you should always complete your pre-writing phase of brainstorming and planning for what you want to write about. Only then can you start considering your structure and details that you want to include.

Step 1: Brainstorm an event or a list of moments that began your interest in nursing.

If this is a lifelong dream, then maybe you can’t remember when you first became interested in nursing. But what moments have helped you continue down this path?

Some people may not have a specific healthcare related experience that inspired them to take this path. That’s okay! You can think broadly and consider times you were satisfied by helping someone with a task or volunteered.

Haven’t taken a writing class in a hot minute? Here are some effective strategies for brainstorming your ideas.

Step 2: Consider what you did to learn more about nursing.

Think about when you began researching nursing as a viable career option. What made nursing more appealing than a different career?

Step 3: Write down what made you decide to choose nursing as a career path.

If you can boil your reasoning down to a sentence or two, then that will be the thesis for your Why I Chose Nursing essay.

What to Include: Why I Want to Be a Nurse Essay

Introduction: your hook and story.

introduction for nursing essay

Your test scores and transcripts tell the story of your technical aptitude. But your essay is an opportunity to give your application an emotional route. What experiences have made you passionate about nursing? Have you cared for sick loved ones before? Are there nurses in your family?

Your introduction is where you’ll explain the stake that you have in this. You want the admissions team to understand that you belong in the program. Not just that you have the academic qualifications, but that you’ll be an asset to the entire nursing profession.

In kindergarten, there was an accident while my family was camping. A pot of boiling water tipped over onto my leg. The burns were so bad that I had to be airlifted to a regional hospital. I don’t remember much of the incident itself today, but I remember the nurses who helped me recover. They turned a frightening experience into something much kinder. I want to be able to give that to a child by working as a pediatric nurse.

Paragraph 1: Detail the event or moment you became interested in nursing.

This is a paragraph where you really want to reel the reader in. You’ve hooked them with the broad overview of your story: what sets you apart, why you’re so interested in the nursing profession. Now you can detail a specific moment.

Pick one moment and capture it in as much detail as you can. For example, maybe you remember waiting in a hospital for news about a loved one. Perhaps it was the kindness of a nurse who treated you. Or, in contrast, it was a time that a nurse wasn’t kind, and it made you want to do better for a patient in need.

Despite spending several weeks in the hospital, I didn’t immediately develop a desire to become a nurse. Growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. Then in my sophomore year of high school, my neighbor’s son got sick. He was about the same age as I had been when I was in the hospital. When I babysat him, we would swap hospital stories — the good and the bad! And suddenly it dawned on me that if I was a nurse, I could help make those bad stories a little less painful.

Paragraph 2-3: Show how you have used that experience to build your foundation towards nursing school.

Here is where you’ll take your personal experiences into account. Nursing school requires more than just empathy. You will need to have core science credits and an ability to understand the human body. The best nurses are adaptable in the workplace and always willing to learn. You can browse a list of skills nurses need to thrive in the workplace.

I spent a lot of time researching my neighbor’s son’s condition. Though his illness wasn’t terminal, it was degenerative. He began to lose his hearing a few months after his diagnosis. I joined his father in learning sign language to communicate better. During that time period, I spent a lot of time thinking about how so many people have to struggle so hard to communicate.

I want to be a nurse who can give relief to the most vulnerable patients. Every person’s needs are different. A child’s needs are different from a developmentally disabled adult’s, which are different from the needs of someone hard of hearing, and so forth. I’ve seen firsthand the frustration that occurs when communication isn’t easy. So I’ve focused on learning adaptable communication methods and educating myself about the groups that are most overlooked in hospital settings.

Paragraphs 4-5: Detail how you will use your strengths and skills in your nursing career.

This is the point at which you can start to talk about your specific skills, similar to a job interview. You want to highlight any particularly unique aspects, then make sure to solidly establish your core competency. A dream of becoming a nurse can’t just be a dream; you need detail to back it up.

If you know where you want to place your specific focus as a nurse, mention it! Talk about your career goals and how you want to work with your patients and what you hope to learn in doing so.

I think it’s so important for patients to have a nurse that listens to them, and that goes doubly for patients with communication struggles. During my career, I want to continue practicing and using ASL with my patients. I want to improve the quality of care for chronically ill people, especially because so many report anxiety around healthcare settings.

It’s also important to me to keep learning and adapting constantly. I never want to stop learning new skills and refreshing my knowledge. Understanding a patient’s vital signs and demeanor could mean the difference between life and death. In the high-pressure environment of nursing, I strive to have the answers to the questions my patients have – I’ll never stop seeking knowledge.

Conclusion: Reiterate your skills and qualifications, saying why they’d make you a great fit for the program.

The conclusion is fairly straightforward. You’ve provided your thesis: why you want to be a nurse. You’ve explained when the desire started, what experiences support it, and what you plan for the future. Now you just need to tie those things together in a neat summary. Remind the admissions team of why you’re a unique candidate to fit this role.

A long stay in the hospital as a child doesn’t qualify me to be a nurse by itself. But that experience has laid the foundation for my desire to work in healthcare settings. There are a thousand careers that help people, but nursing is personal and dear to me. I want to make sure that any vulnerable patient has access to the care they need, and I can use my adaptability and communication skills to do that.

Related: Stay Organized for the School Year with These Nursing School Planners

Do’s and Don’t’s for Nursing School Essays

dos and donts of nursing school essays

Do: Show that you care about people.

Illustrate that you want to help people and have compassion for their suffering. It helps to talk about specific people or groups of people that you care for.

Do: Explain the qualifications that will make you a good fit as a nurse.

Talk about your adaptability, your desire to learn, your interest in the healthcare field, your prior experience – anything that will serve you during your career.

Do: Tell admissions why you want to be a part of their program.

Find a unique aspect of the program to highlight, showing why you want to study there specifically. For example, maybe there’s a school that connects students to underserved rural areas and this is a mission that you are on board with. Spend some time researching the nursing program to be confident in what they offer.

Do: Ask someone to proofread.

You’ll miss typos in your work if you read it a thousand times, so ask for a fresh pair of eyes. It also helps to change the essay to a different font for editing. Here are some more tips to consider offering to your proofreader.

Don’t: Pay for a writing service.

Write your own paper. If you’re worried about your skills, have a peer take a look at your draft, rather than using someone else’s work.

Don’t: Make false claims.

Tell the truth about your motivations, goals, strengths, and driving factors. Don’t make up a backstory or pretend to have skills you don’t.

Don’t: Disregard instructions or criteria.

Pay careful attention to the essay prompt and the criteria. Sometimes you’re expected to answer in less than 300 words, or there are more specific prompts to follow.

Related: Can Nurses Have Tattoos?

Why I Want To Be a Nurse Essay – FAQ

What should i include in a short essay on why i want to be a nurse.

A short essay should still include the main points made here – a short story or introduction, why you became interested in nursing and how that experience has propelled you into nursing, and the skills and experience you will bring to the program.

Should I give more than one reason on why I want to be a nurse?

You should aim to stick with one or two main reasons why you chose nursing – too many reasons will lead to a less effective essay due to a difficulty in following along with your main points.

What do I do if I don’t have a personal story that inspired me to want to become a nurse?

Even if your inspiration is not specific to nursing, you should be ready to tie that into why it’s related to a nursing career. Focus on experiences that required interpersonal skills, great communication skills, or show care for others.

The Why I Want to Be a Nurse essay is your chance to stand out from the crowd. You can show your dedication, compassion, and willingness to learn all through being honest. Just make sure you have your essay proofread before you send it!

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Why I Love Being a Nurse

Group of ethnically diverse nurses standing and smiling in blue scrubs with other healthcare professionals

This blog has been updated on March 22, 2023.

Learn more about Carson-Newman's online FNP nursing programs .

Nursing is one of the most professionally, personally, and spiritually rewarding careers there is.

People are driven to a career in nursing for a variety of reasons. Carson-Newman wanted to better understand and document some of these reasons, which is why we reached out to 15 registered nurses, including three of our own FNP students, to get their perspectives on a simple question: What do you find most rewarding about a career in nursing ?

Read on to discover some of the responses we received and compare these answers to your own experience.

Earn Your MSN-FNP Part-Time For Less than $30k

Nancy brook, rn, msn, cfnp.

'One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in nursing is the ability to connect with our patients on such an intimate level. While we often meet under very difficult circumstances—being present as people face serious health challenges or injuries, witnessing the moment of birth or the end of life—we get to know our patients very quickly and have the opportunity to play an important role in their lives.

"I became a nurse so that I could have an impact on the lives of others and have a career that felt very meaningful . After 25 years of helping patients and their families navigate cancer and mentoring new nurses, I believe that at the end of the day, no matter how challenging, I have impacted someone’s life for the better."

Catherine Burger, RN, MS, MSOL, NEA-BC

"What I find to be the most rewarding about being a nurse is the numerous career paths that are available within the profession. For example, in my nearly 30-year career I have been blessed to work in labor and delivery, the Intensive Care Unit, home health, informatics, leadership, clinical practice, and ambulatory care. As a contributing writer for, I now get to educate my colleagues and future nurses on current events and issues.

"I initially chose a nursing career just out of high school as I wanted to work in the field of medicine, and I knew I could complete the degree within two years. After many years and many advanced degrees, I still love being of help to people at all stages of life. I am very proud of my nursing profession and I love that nurses are still the most trusted profession to the public: a responsibility we should never take for granted."

Elizabeth Mason, RN, MSN - Carson-Newman FNP Student

Elizabeth Mason, PMC-FNP Student

"After working for a while, I went back to school and became a nursing instructor in the classroom and clinical. It is the perfect balance of hands-on patient care and teaching the next generation of nurses. I love [when] my students have that “ah-ha” moment as they put together the big picture of the patient, their diagnosis, medications, and treatment plans. I love seeing the growth of new nursing students to their preceptorship. It is always a blessing to see them in the hospital later as nurses succeeding at their calling."

Sandy Griffin, LPN, CHPLN

"I really love going to bed knowing I made a difference. As an LPN at a hospice, that difference is usually making sure our patients are as comfortable as possible, but we often have the opportunity to help the patients’ families too. It’s satisfying to know they feel more at ease after they see the care we provide.

"I chose a nursing career partially because I loved biology and anatomy and partially to have a career with which I could support myself and be independent. The further I got into my nursing education, I realized how rewarding it was to be able to make people who are sick and uncomfortable feel better, even if it’s just a little. Treating people with kindness and respect goes a long way. I found my nursing career home in hospice. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it.

"I have loved empowering and supporting patients and families to know that they are able to get through anything. Working for a hospice agency, I have been able to help patients have dignity at some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. Being with patients and their families at the end of life is a privilege. It has been an honor to have been with so many at that time.

"I also love the pride I feel in my work. Being a nurse is one of the most challenging jobs someone could do. It’s physically and mentally demanding at times. However, at the end of the day, you feel amazing satisfaction and pride. Being able to help those in need for a living is unlike any other profession."

MaryAnn Ciambriello, RN, BSN

"The most rewarding thing about being a nurse is making a difference in the lives of others. It may be your patients, their families, or your students. Nursing offers us so many arenas to practice in. As an RN, I have worked in the delivery room, in home care, in a prison, as a high school nurse, and as the director of nurses in assisted living facilities. Now, I am the owner of a few businesses.

"What motivated me to be an RN? My dad chose my profession for me. I was studying business in college and he thought that I should become an RN. So, like any good daughter, I dropped my business studies and became an RN; however, I did go back to complete two business degrees.

"What do I love about nursing? I love that this profession allows us the opportunity to work in so many diverse areas. We are not pigeonholed into just the hospital—the sky's the limit in this profession.

"In nursing, you just have to follow your passion and purpose and stay true to yourself. Always remember to have empathy and to give the best care possible."

Shantay Carter, RN, BSN

Shantay Carter, RN, BSN

"Knowing that my care, touch, voice, and time can help a patient make it through the night is one of the most rewarding feelings. Sometimes, it's the little things that you do for your patient that make a difference. The nursing profession has opened so many doors for me. It has allowed me to become an author and run a successful non-profit organization that addresses the needs in my community. My specialty is orthopedics and trauma, and I love working in this area."

Lauren Mochizuki, RN, BSN

"What I find most rewarding about my career as a nurse is that I have the opportunity to help people in their most vulnerable, and unexpected, moments. For some, coming to the emergency department can be one of the worst days of their lives. As their nurse, my job is to make them feel safe, comfortable, and cared for.

"There are many things that motivated me to choose nursing as a career. First, I love people. I love chatting with them, being around them, and taking care of them—it is very fulfilling to my soul. The second reason is that the schedule is wonderful for being a mother. I now have the opportunity to work per diem and work around my husband's schedule so I can spend lots of time with our children.

"Lastly, I love that it provides great compensation so that I can contribute to my family financially. Five years ago, my husband and I paid off $266,000 of debt, and I am so thankful for my various nursing jobs that allowed me to work to reach this goal. I also love the culture of nursing in my emergency department. It feels like we understand each other, like we can look at each other in a certain way and know what we are thinking. We can sense when something is wrong in each other or celebrate our personal victories. I have the privilege to work among great nurses and that makes the entire shift more enjoyable."

Cynthia Attaway, RN, MSN - Carson-Newman FNP Student

Cynthia Attaway, PMC-FNP Student

"I am a part time nursing instructor for a community college, and the first to be allowed in the acute hospital setting. The human connection cannot be experienced in simulation and observing the science of human caring was emotional during the pandemic.

"Nursing is the best—high technology, and high touch."

Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C

"As a nurse, I have a flexible career that allows me to pursue my passions while also having a significant positive impact on patients at need. I was initially attracted to the nursing profession as I loved working with the elderly and had a strong interest in human physiology. There were flexible nursing programs in my local area that were affordably priced, so it was easy for me to start my RN program. I was also very excited by the opportunities to obtain advanced practice certifications and licenses through distanced-based programs that were flexible and could work around my personal commitments.

"Throughout my nursing career, I’ve had the great opportunity to work in many different fields including long-term care, psychiatric nursing, urgent care, labor relations, and nursing informatics. As you work in different specialties, your knowledge continues to grow and your ability to think outside the box increases. As an advanced practice nurse (FNP-C), I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the health care system, which had a significant contribution in leading me to success in my most recent venture-backed technology startup. I’ve been able to take this knowledge and create a system that focuses on allowing nurses to work a flexible schedule via their mobile app, while also helping to address the staffing shortage crises experienced in long-term care facilities.

"Over the past three years, I’ve had over 10,000 nursing professionals join my organization to pick up shifts on the side. With almost unlimited opportunities, I continue to recommend the nursing profession to countless numbers of family members, friends, and acquaintances. I’ve yet to find another career choice that allows the flexibility and options that nursing does."

Tina Baxter, APRN, GNP-BC

Tina Baxter, APRN, GNP-BC

"As a nurse, I have the privilege of helping others when they are the most vulnerable. I witness some of their greatest triumphs and their greatest defeats. There is nothing better than attending a birth, holding the hand of someone who is dying, or helping someone achieve a better life through improving their health. It is a legacy that will live on long after you are gone. The patients and families will remember your warm smile, your gentle touch, the knowledge you shared, and the fact that you cared for them.

"As a student in health care, I realized I was more concerned about how a person got ill and how to prevent it, rather than just how to treat it. I wanted to understand how I could help a person not only get healthy but stay healthy. That’s what nurses do. We teach our patients to take care of themselves and to optimize their health.

"One of the things I love about being a nurse is that this career is flexible . I have been a bedside nurse, a nursing professor, a mentor, a supervisor/manager/charge nurse, an entrepreneur, a nurse scientist, a nurse educator, a legal nurse consultant, a wellness practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and coming soon, a nurse author with my first book. I would say that being a nurse is pretty fabulous."

Andrea Tran, RN, IBCLC

"The most rewarding thing I have found about being a nurse is the personal connection that I am able to make with patients. No matter how long it has been, a patient remembers their nurse. They may or may not remember the nurse’s name, but they remember if they were kind and compassionate. A good nurse always is.

"I became a nurse in response to nothing short of “a calling.” I was visiting my grandmother with my mother. She had gone into another room to visit with someone else she knew, and I went to get her. I noticed that the other patient in the room was in a lot of pain, and I had such a strong and deep desire to help them. I decided then and there that I would become a nurse.

"I have spent my entire career with women during the childbearing period. It is mostly wonderful, but when it is not, it is terrible.

"Getting to share in the joy of a new family creates so much happiness. Helping new parents step into their new world with education and support puts me in my happy place."

Nancy Congleton, RN, Author

Nancy Congleton, RN, Author

"What initially motivated me to become a nurse was that my husband and I were sinking financially. We both worked full time, our home was small and affordable, our vehicles were not brand new, and yet we were barely making it. At a young age I found myself intrigued by the medical profession and, after discovering that I could have my associate’s degree in nursing and become an RN in approximately three years, I went for it. What started as a financial necessity has become so much more. I thoroughly enjoy caring for my patients and love mentoring new nurses.

"The things I love most about being a nurse include the variety of areas to practice in, the constant opportunities to focus on others, and those 12-hour shifts! If I had to go back to a Monday–Friday schedule, I don't know if I'd survive!"

Megan McHatten, RN, BSN, CNOR

"As an operating room nurse at a trauma center, there are times that can be pretty stressful and fast paced. Recently, a trauma was called and about six of us rushed to the OR to set up. All we typically know during these events are the very basics, and in this case, a motor vehicle accident had occurred, and we needed to do an exploratory laparotomy. Within about two minutes, we had the supplies and instruments opened, scrub techs were setting up, and anesthesia was getting ready. I looked around and was so proud to be a part of a team that could, within minutes, be ready to potentially save someone's life. Those are times when I am proud to be a perioperative nurse and I find them especially rewarding.

"What motivated me to choose this career? High demand, good pay, multiple specialties to work in, the ability to move forward with my career if I choose (i.e. nurse practitioner, administration) and the feeling of making a difference.

"I love the feeling when our team has a great surgical case, and everyone is working together like a well-oiled machine. I love knowing that many of my patients will begin their healing journey in my OR. I love the endless amount of learning and science that the health care field offers."

Maria Kindrai, RN, MSN - Carson-Newman FNP Student

Maria Kindrai, PMC-FNP Student

"As a nurse, I have learned to appreciate every moment spent at the bedside of a patient.  Caring for others has always been a priority but during a pandemic it has been heightened.  This one on one time with someone is certainly time when both the patient and the nurse have the opportunity for growth and to learn from one another."

Donna Mathezing, RN

"30 years of being a nurse and I have never had a regret about my career choice. I knew when I was five years old that helping people and talking with them was what I was meant to do.

"I have worked in all critical care areas from emergency to the cardiovascular ICU to the general systems ICU; I now work in the post-operative care unit and have 10 years of experience flying with our air ambulance service in a helicopter. I get to make a profound difference every single day. That profound difference is different for every patient, depending on what they need from me at their time of need. That could be something simple like holding a hand, letting them cry on my shoulder, giving pain medications so their loved one is comfortable, or just reassuring them that we will take care of them!

"Being with people at what is sometimes the worst moments of their lives or the best moments (diagnosis is negative or the birth of a baby) is a privilege and one I take very seriously. Being with a family as their loved one is passing away is the ultimate compliment for a nurse. Death is a sacred and scary time for many, and to be allowed within that sacred circle to offer support and comfort is what is rewarding about nursing.

"If I can walk away after my shift knowing that I have eased a person’s worry or fear and brought some sort of peace to them, then my day is fulfilled. And the best part of that is that I get many opportunities every day that I work."

Learn more about Carson-Newman's online nursing programs for registered nurses with their bachelor's or master's.

Request your free program brochure, about carson-newman’s online fnp programs.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a nationally ranked Christian liberal arts university. An online, yet personal, learning environment connects you with fellow students, faculty, and staff. Faith and learning are combined to create evidence-based online graduate nursing programs designed to transform you into a more autonomous caregiver.

Through its online program and student-centric curriculum, Carson-Newman provides a life-changing education where students come first. Designed for working nurses, Carson-Newman’s affordable FNP programs feature 100% online coursework with no mandatory log-in times, clinical placement service, and exceptional individualized support that prepare graduates to pass the FNP licensure exam.

If you’re ready for the next step in your nursing career, consider the online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner offered by Carson-Newman University and accredited by the CCNE.

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Essay Sample on Why I Want to Be A Nurse

Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career that has the power to make a real difference in people’s lives. Whether your motivation is to help others, attain financial freedom, or both, writing a “Why I Want To Be A Nurse” essay is an excellent opportunity to express your passion and commitment to the field.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why you might want to become a nurse and provide you with helpful tips and inspiration for writing a powerful and persuasive essay .

Why I Want to Be A Nurse (Free Essay Sample)

Nursing is a career that offers a unique combination of hands-on care and emotional support to those in need. There are many reasons why someone might choose to become a nurse, including:

The Empathy and Altruism of Nursing

I have a strong desire to help people and hope to become a nurse. I think nursing is the best way for me to make a difference in other people’s lives because it combines my natural empathy and desire to help people. Nursing gives me a chance to positively touch people’s lives, which has always attracted me to the thought of doing so.

I saw the beneficial effects that nurses may have on people’s life as a child. I have always been moved by the kindness and concern they have for their patients. The small gestures of kindness, like holding a patient’s hand or speaking encouraging words, have always touched me. I think nurses have a special power to change people’s lives and leave a lasting impression, and I want to contribute to that.

Additionally, I think that becoming a nurse is a great and selfless job. To provide for their patients and ensure they are secure and comfortable, nurses put their own needs on hold. I absolutely respect this kind of dedication to helping others, and I aim to exhibit it in my own nursing career.

The Economic Benefits of Nursing

The financial stability that comes with being a nurse is one of the reasons I wish to pursue this career. Nursing is a field that is in high demand, which translates to a wealth of job opportunities and competitive salaries.  This profession offers the chance for a stable income, which makes it a good choice for people who want to secure their financial future.

Nursing not only gives economic freedom but also a flexible work schedule that promotes a healthy work-life balance. Many nurses can choose to work part-time or in a variety of places, such as clinics, hospitals, and schools..

A Love for the Science and Art of Nursing

To succeed in the unique field of nursing, one must have both artistic talent and scientific knowledge. This mix is what initially drew me to the thought of becoming a nurse. The human body and its mechanisms have always captivated me, and I enjoy learning about the science that underpins healthcare. But nursing requires more than just a scientific knowledge of the body. It also requires an artistic understanding of the patient and their needs.. Nursing is a demanding and fulfilling job since it combines science and art, which is why I’m drawn to it.

I saw as a child the effect nurses had on patients and their families. Their compassion and understanding have motivated me to seek a profession in nursing because they frequently offer comfort and help in the hardest of situations. My enthusiasm for the science and art of nursing will undoubtedly help me to have a good influence on other people’s lives. I want to work as a nurse and improve the lives of the people I take care of, whether it be by giving medication, educating patients, or just being a reassuring presence.

Continuous Professional Development in Nursing

I think the nursing industry is dynamic and always changing, which gives people a lot of chances to learn and grow. I would have the chance to continuously advance my knowledge and abilities in this sector if I choose to become a nurse. In turn, this would enable me to better care for my patients and stay abreast of professional developments.

There are several different nursing specialties available as well. There are many options, including critical care, pediatrics, gerontology, and surgical nursing. Because of the variety of disciplines available, nurses have the chance to develop their interests and find their niche. 

I am certain that a career in nursing will provide me the chance to pursue my passion for healthcare while also allowing me to grow professionally.

Nursing is a fulfilling and noble career that offers a mix of hands-on care, emotional support, and professional growth. I am inspired by the positive impact nurses have on patients and their families and aim to offer my own empathy and compassion. The nursing industry is constantly changing, providing ample opportunities for growth and job prospects with financial stability. The ultimate reward in a nursing career is the satisfaction of making a difference in people’s lives.

Tips for Writing A Compelling Why I Want To Be A Nurse Essay

Now that you understand the reasons why someone might want to become a nurse, it’s time to learn how to write a compelling essay. Here are some tips and strategies to help you get started:

Create an Outline

Before you start writing, it’s important to identify the main points you’ll discuss in your essay. This will help you stay organized and make your essay easier to read.

Start with an Attention-grabbing Introduction

Your introduction is your chance to make a good first impression and engage the reader. Start with a hook that captures the reader’s attention, such as a surprising statistic or personal story .

Be Specific and Personal

Rather than making general statements about why you want to become a nurse, be specific and personal. Share your own experiences, motivations, and passions, and explain why nursing is the right career choice for you.

Highlight your Skills and Qualifications

Nursing is a demanding and complex profession that requires a wide range of skills and qualifications. Be sure to highlight your relevant skills, such as compassion, communication, and problem-solving, and explain how they make you a good fit for the nursing field.

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Ask a Nurse: Why Did You Become a Nurse?

portrait of Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN

Gayle Morris

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Published April 11, 2023 · 4 Min Read

why nursing career essay

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

In our Ask a Nurse series, experienced nurses provide an insider look at the nursing profession by answering your questions about nursing careers, degrees, and resources.

Question: Why did you become a nurse?

"I became a nurse because of my caring and compassionate spirit. [However], I also have always loved to teach others. I found beauty in the nursing profession when I was able to combine caring, compassion, and education together."

— Sheniqua Johnson, RN, Author, Motivational Speaker, Health/Life Coach

Nursing: Passion Driven vs. Mission Driven

Nurses sometimes choose their careers based on a passion or because they believe that nursing is their mission in life. However, both passion-driven and mission-driven individuals choose nursing as a career.

Nursing as a Passion-Driven Career Choice

A career that is passion driven helps you stay focused on the love you have for what you do, not profit. For example, a nurse may be passionate about helping vulnerable populations. This can be expressed in a variety of jobs, like bedside nursing, volunteering, administration, or a nurse entrepreneurial endeavor .

Passion is a deep interest in something that triggers powerful feelings and drives consistent action. Mission-driven career development can have the same results, but the driving force is different.

Nursing as a Mission-Driven Career Choice

Mission-driven nurses may choose this career as a means to end. For example, if a nurse's personal mission is to offer deaf children the best opportunities in life, they may choose the career as a foundation to gain experience with the population before developing an organization to address the needs of this population.

Sheniqua Johnson is a nurse, author, empowerment specialist, and motivational speaker. After working as a registered nurse for 21 years, she vividly remembers her first days as a graduate nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. She packed her bags and left her parent's home to start her new life. But, when she didn't pass her state boards, she was crushed.

Johnson recalls that moment in her life:

"I learned a very important lesson during that traumatic event in my life. It truly taught me to focus on why I wanted to be a nurse in the first place. Passing the exam became less about me and more about how hard I was willing to work to have the opportunity to do what I believe I was called to do."

Johnson is a mission-driven nurse who believes she is called to be an educator; her nursing career was a means to that end. Nursing is often painted as a profession of passion-driven professionals whose reward and satisfaction are derived solely from patient care.

While passion is important, it's not the only reason to become a nurse. Some people become nurses as a stepping stone to achieve their ultimate goal, which may be far from the bedside. Nursing administration , nursing informatics , logistics, and legal consultants are all nursing positions that use information from other professions to improve healthcare and patient outcomes.

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Becoming a Nurse for Growth Opportunities

Nursing is a unique profession; nearly all nurses enter their careers in much the same place — as bedside nurses. However, the significant number of growth opportunities means that many of those same nurses will have unique experiences throughout their career.

The foundation of nursing is to provide and coordinate patient care and educate communities about health conditions and prevention. With a growing aging population and a nursing shortage in many states , there is an increasing demand for registered nurses. In recent years, the profession has also enjoyed an expansion of opportunities for nurses at different levels.

For example, there are well over 30 specialty careers for nurses who choose to advance their education and complete a master of science in nursing . Nurses have the opportunity to work in ambulatory care, hospitals, prison systems, public health, schools, emergency rooms, and critical care to name just a few.

Nursing education and background also can support an entrepreneurial spirit for nurses who choose to open brick-and-mortar stores or, as Johnson has, an online platform. Johnson uses her online platform to encourage and empower nurses.

"Throughout my 21-year journey as a nurse, I have been blessed to provide care in the hospital on med-surg, orthopedic, and geriatric units. I have worked as a homecare community health

nurse, and then I found my true passion as a nurse educator," she says. "I even had the opportunity to serve as a college professor at my alma mater, teaching med-surg to over 500 aspiring nurses in a baccalaureate program."

As Johnson's career demonstrates, she worked in hospitals and home care before finding her true passion as an educator. One of the core responsibilities nurses have to their patients and the community is teaching and education.

Many nurse specialty careers embody those core responsibilities. Nurse practitioners , nurse educators , legal nurse consultants , informatics nurses, and school nurses all must use different strategies and skills to be strong teachers and educators.

"I became a nurse because of my caring and compassionate spirit. I also have always loved to teach others. I found beauty in the nursing profession when I was able to combine caring, compassion, and education together," Johnson says. "It brings me great joy to teach people how to become better self-managers over their minds and bodies. This is why I became a nurse, and over the years I have learned how to do that outside of the four walls of a facility."

Advice for Nurses Looking for a Change

Change can be challenging. You may not have considered leaving your current position only because you don't like change. Yet, change is necessary for growth to occur. Adapting to change is no small feat and requires tools and resources to be successful.

It is important to realize that nurses who want a change in job direction do not have to leave their nursing career. There are many choices for nurses that don't involve patient care if that's the motivating factor to change. Nurses are valued employees in the insurance industry, as health coaches, and risk managers.

"My advice to anyone thinking about entering the profession and to those pondering about staying in this career, would be the same advice, and that is to examine your why! Why do you want to become a nurse? Why did you become a nurse?" Johnson advises. "If you did it for reasons that will fade, like for the money, you won't last in the profession. The monetary compensation will never match what nurses truly bring to the world."

You will face disappointment in any career you choose or job you take. Nursing is not different. Yet, nurses often find that the rewards and satisfaction far outweigh the disappointments. No matter what career path you choose as a nurse, the foundation of what you do will be giving back to the community in a way that uniquely supports your mission and passion.

"As nurses, we are beacons of hope! Your longevity in this field will only survive if you have a deeper and greater understanding of your unique role as a nurse," Johnson shares. "I have learned that and it has given me greater satisfaction that outweighs any disappointments faced. Always search your heart. If you are called to be a nurse, then a nurse you will be. It is my hope that if you do choose nursing as your pathway in life, that you will find an enriching passion that will keep you evolving as a nurse over your lifetime."

In Summary:

  • Nurses may choose to enter the career because they are driven by passion or have a mission to fulfill.
  • Nursing offers growth opportunities that may or may not involve patient care, such as legal consultant, informatics, and administration.
  • Nearly all nurses enter their careers in much the same place — as a bedside nurse. But most end their careers having experienced unique opportunities within different organizations and with different patient populations.
  • There are well over 30 specialty careers for nurses who choose to advance their education and many diverse workplace environments to get a job, such as schools, camps, correctional facilities, community centers, outpatient clinics, homecare, emergency vehicles, military bases, or your own office.

Meet Our Contributor

Portrait of Sheniqua Johnson, RN

Sheniqua Johnson, RN

Sheniqua Johnson is a registered nurse by profession and an encourager by nature. She is the author of several motivational and inspirational books. Her first book titled "I Didn't Know My Own Strength: How My Faith Moved My Mountains" is a self-help book that encourages readers to discover their inner strength. She is also the co-author of "Reach Your Greatness" with James Malinchak from ABC's "Secret Millionaires." In this book, Johnson shares tips on how to be successful in life.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Nurse — My Passion For Helping People: Why I Want to be a Nurse


My Passion for Helping People: Why I Want to Be a Nurse

  • Categories: Career Goals Nurse

About this sample


Words: 819 |

Published: Apr 2, 2020

Words: 819 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

Hook Examples for Nursing Essay

  • A Personal Revelation: One day, amidst the chaos of a busy hospital, I had a moment of clarity. It was in that instant that I realized my calling—to be a nurse. Join me on my journey to understand the profound reasons behind my unwavering passion for helping others.
  • An Inspiring Anecdote: As I held the hand of a patient in pain, I felt a deep connection that transcended the medical procedures. Let me share this transformative experience and how it fueled my desire to pursue a career in nursing.
  • A Guiding Philosophy: Florence Nightingale once said, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” Explore with me how Nightingale’s dedication to care and compassion resonates with my own passion for nursing.
  • A Lifelong Dream: Since childhood, I’ve envisioned myself in the white coat of a nurse, tending to those in need. Discover the roots of this dream and how it has evolved into a burning passion that drives me toward this noble profession.
  • An Empathetic Reflection: Mark Twain once wrote, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Join me as I explore how my passion for nursing is deeply rooted in the language of kindness, empathy, and a relentless desire to alleviate suffering.

Works Cited

  • American Nurses Association. (2021). What is nursing? Retrieved from
  • Royal College of Nursing. (2021). Why become a nurse? Retrieved from
  • Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2018). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management (8th ed.). Elsevier.
  • Drennan, J. (2018). What makes a good nurse? Why the virtues are important for nursing. Nursing Philosophy, 19(1), e12203. doi:10.1111/nup.12203
  • International Council of Nurses. (2019). Nurses: A voice to lead – Health for all. Retrieved from
  • Halcomb, E. J., Davidson, P. M., & Daly, J. (2006). Lifelong learning in nursing: A Delphi study. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 37(2), 74-80. doi:10.3928/0022-0124-20060301-09
  • Yoder-Wise, P. S. (2019). Leading and managing in nursing (7th ed.). Elsevier.
  • UK Council of Deans of Health. (2021). Studying nursing in the UK. Retrieved from
  • British Council. (n.d.). Study in the UK: The complete guide for international students. Retrieved from
  • London South Bank University. (n.d.). School of Health and Social Care. Retrieved from

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why nursing career essay

why nursing career essay

How to write a Nursing Career Plan Essay (Plus Example)

why nursing career essay

The nursing profession is an essential part of the healthcare system. It is the glue that holds the healthcare journey together. For this reason, any person aspiring to join this magnificent but challenging profession must acquire extensive knowledge, education, and the necessary skills before practicing as a nurse. But before entering nursing school , you must show the college reviewers that you are up for the task by writing a career plan essay.

A nursing career plan is an essential document that serves as a roadmap for aspiring nurses. It outlines the goals, aspirations, and strategies for professional development for students aspiring to be nurses. You must, therefore, clearly state why you are passionate about the profession.

In this comprehensive guide, we will define what a nursing career plan is and show you how to write one that articulates your vision,

What is a Nursing Career Plan?

A nursing career plan is an important document that ranges between 300- 500 words outlining your goals, dreams, aspirations, and experiences .

It is a necessary document required before being enrolled in a nursing program. Depending on the nursing college or university of choice, you will be asked to write a nursing career plan essay explaining why you should be given a chance to pursue the program and the value you will bring to the institution. It is part of an institution’s competitive application process. For this reason, you must know how to write one.

A career plan essay is essential to helping you figure out what you want at the end of the program. While it is easy to state your dreams and aspirations, putting them down on paper is something else.

What Does a Career Plan Include?

A nursing career plan outlines how you intend to use the nursing degree after school. So, the essay's primary focus should be your goals and the necessary information that distinguishes you from other applicants. Some additional information that you should consider adding to your career plan essay is:

  • Personal stories that show what drives you to pursue the career.
  • Short-term goals that highlight your plans and identify the steps you will take.
  • Long-term goals for your career- This could be academic and professional.
  • Desired nursing environment. The nursing environment showcases what type of environment you wish to work. This will help the admissions board make an informed decision about which nursing program is right for you.
  • Academic qualifications. Nursing schools require your educational qualifications.  
  • Skills and experiences. Add information about your skills and experiences that are relevant to the program.

Steps for Writing a Great Nursing Career Plan

Follow these steps to write an effective nursing career plan essay.

Plan Your Essay

Before writing a career plan essay, you need to develop a plan for writing the content. Start thinking about what you wish to include in the document. This could be things like your qualifications, what sets you apart, and why you are passionate about it. As you do this, you might also consider the following:

  • Who is your audience?
  • Why are you applying for the nursing program?
  • Key character traits that set you apart and make you ideal for nursing?
  • Why should the admissions board consider your application?
  • What kind of steps are you taking to achieve the goals?

Answering these questions will help you write an impactful nursing career plan essay.

What Your Motivation

Think about your motivations for choosing nursing as a career of choice. Consider what inspired your interest in a healthcare career. Is it a desire to help those around you? A personal experience that sparked your interest? Or your fascination with the healthcare industry. Keep in mind that nursing is a career that demands a lot from an individual. You may have to sacrifice a lot, including some relationships and personal time, to earn that degree. Your motivation will guide you through all the hurdles. Therefore, clearly state your reasons and how they align with your values and aspirations. By doing this in your essay, you will demonstrate to the recruiters that you are passionate and committed to the profession.

Define Your Goals

You must identify both short- and long-term goals for your nursing career, no matter how small you think they are. For instance, your short-term goals could be finishing assignments and submitting them on time, attending class early, gaining practical experience through clinical rotations, and procuring specific nursing certifications. On the other hand, long-term goals could be choosing a specialization, for instance, working in pediatrics, geriatrics, or critical care. Or maybe you wish to take up leadership roles or research opportunities? Define these goals clearly, ensuring they align with your passions and aspirations.

If you have no clue about your long-term goals. Consider conducting relevant research on nursing programs to comprehensively understand the different career paths, specialties, and available opportunities. Carefully explore the different roles and determine which areas align most with your interests and goals. Doing this will help you tailor your career plan essay and make an informed decision about the desired nursing path.

Please remember, as you set your goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Goal setting is an effective way to monitor your progress in school and your profession.

Assess Your Skills and Knowledge

Conduct an honest self-assessment of your skills and knowledge to determine what you have to offer. Break down your skills into the following categories: knowledge-based skills, transferable skills, and soft skills.

  • Knowledge-based skills are those that you have acquired from your previous education or job experience.
  • Transferable skills can be incorporated into various roles, including leadership, communication, problem-solving, and analysis.
  • Soft skills involve personality. These traits include a positive work ethic, adaptability, and being a team player.

Ensure you identify areas where you excel and those that require further development. Once you have broken down your skills into the above categories, you will be able to identify the necessary steps to enhance them and fill any knowledge gaps. This will then ensure that you are well-prepared for a career in nursing.

Create a Timeline

You must show the admissions board that you have goals and aspirations and the commitment to achieving them. State all the strategies that you will use to accomplish these plans. This could involve furthering your education, attending healthcare conferences, participating in professional organizations related to nursing, and seeking mentorship from experienced nurses. Highlight any steps you plan to enhance your skills, knowledge, and expertise in your chosen nursing specialty.

Come up with a timeline that outlines your milestones and deadlines for achieving plans. This timeline will keep you focused and motivated throughout your education and nursing career. Please ensure that the timeline is realistic. Allow some flexibility for unexpected situations that could arise during this time.

Highlight Your Commitment to Patent Care

Since this is a nursing program, you must show the admissions board that you are committed to patient care; that's what the whole career is based on. Explain what values and ethical principles you will embrace during your practice. Additionally emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity, advocating for patients’ rights and interest, and evidence-based care. Share relevant personal experiences or stories that prove your dedication to delivering high-quality, patient-centred care.

Organize Your Work

Trying to figure out how to write a nursing career plan essay is challenging when your thoughts are disorganized. For this reason, you must create an outline highlighting all the points you will cover in the paper. An outline will also help you develop an excellent nursing career plan essay that impresses your target audience. It will also help you identify areas for improvement that add essential information to the essay.

A good outline must have the following:

  • An introduction - This is the first paragraph of your essay, which outlines why you are writing the career goal essay.
  • Body paragraphs -explain the main idea behind your essay. It must state your goals and how you intend to achieve them.
  • Conclusion - As the last paragraph of your essay, a conclusion should summarize what you have discussed throughout the essay.

Come up with a Great Title

Like all other academic essays, a nursing career plan must have a great title that accurately tells readers what you will discuss. Ensure the title suits the essay's purpose and highly resonates with your target audience. So, highlight qualities the admission board will likely appreciate, like professionalism and originality.

Consider writing the title after you are done writing the rest of the essay when you know what information to add that will capture the context of the paper.  

Write a Captivating Introduction

Now that you have everything you need to write a good nursing career plan essay, write a great introduction. A great introduction that grabs the readers' attention will go a long way in encouraging the admissions board to rest the paper. It tells them that it is not just an essay they are used to reading. Remember that these people go through thousands of career plan essays, so you must ensure you stand out.

After writing a good introduction, end with a thesis statement highlighting your motivation for choosing the nursing program. Remember that the essay aims to show your goals for the nursing program. So, apart from outlining the theme of the essay, it should also show your “why.”

Many students find the introduction the most challenging part of writing a career plan essay. So, you may have to consider writing it last if you want it to reflect everything you have talked about in the body part.

Write the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs should mention all the essential details about your goals and ambitions. Explain why these goals are essential and why the nursing program means so much to you. Then, clarify all the actions you would take to achieve these goals.

Finish with a Great Conclusion

As with any academic essay, your conclusion must summarize everything you have discussed in the essay. Don’t add anything new; it will tell readers you have not cohesively written your essay. Mention the goals again and state why you wish to study the program in the particular school.

Tips for Writing a Nursing Career Goal Essay

Use these tips to help improve your nursing career goal essay.

Cite Your Sources

Ensure you cite everything that is not your own in the essay. This tells your readers you value and respect other authors by giving them credit for their work. It also demonstrates that you are well-versed with essay writing standards. Additionally, if you state that you have worked in a healthcare setting and acquired relevant nursing skills, provide evidence about your experience there.

Ensure you provide a list of references at the end of the paper. This will show that you have researched the work.

Use the Proper Structure

Since this is a formal document, it must follow the appropriate structure, especially if you are trying to get admission into a nursing school. So, ensure that you have structured it well, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. It should also meet all the requirements needed in a career plan and those that apply to a formal essay. If there is a specific structure that the institution wants you to use, make sure you follow it to the letter.

Use Your Unique Voice

Make sure you use your own unique and creative voice throughout the essay. Write about your aspirations and goals in a way that reflects your personality. Use a language that is easy to understand and fits your personality experience. Just because you are writing to an admission board does mean you should use complex vocabulary. Your writing should be communicated consistently throughout the essay. This will tell your target audience that you are taking the nursing career very seriously.

Sharing a little backstory about yourself is a great tip to show your personality. This could be a unique experience that shaped your desire for the nursing profession. Clearly explain why you chose this profession amongst others. Share any pivotal moment in your life that made you make this step.

Proofread Your Essay

Before you submit the nursing career plan essay, ensure that it has no errors. Follow the editing and proofreading tips to evaluate your essay for mechanical correctness. Proofread after you have finished writing.

Follow the Word Length Given 

You must follow all the instructions given, especially in word length. Going above the word count will distract from the intended message and tell your readers that you are not really keen on following instructions. So, check the word count periodically to ensure you stay on the limit.

Sample of a Nursing Career Plan Essay

Nursing is a great and noble career that provides more room for professional advancement ((Waddell et al., 2008). Nurses perform various functions in healthcare settings. They work with doctors, pharmacists, therapists, social workers, and other professionals to save lives and alleviate patients' suffering. I want to join the program and help those in need.  My long-term goal is to be a leader serving an entire health institute ward. However, I do understand that to get there, I must first have a solid academic foundation. For this reason, I wish to join a nursing program and become a registered nurse within four years. I understand nursing can be challenging, so I intend to work hard and work the required hours to finish my degree program.  I was drawn into the program because the career requires being close to another person to understand their needs. One has to be involved with a patient's key moments, including birth and death. I have had an opportunity to work closely with elderly people in a nursing home, which enabled me to acquire patient care skills, including helping patients maintain oral hygiene and take their medications. Action Steps  I must complete a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Nursing to attain the leadership role . During my studies, I intend to join an internship program to demonstrate the knowledge acquired in class and gain technical skills and experience. This experience will be sufficient when working in the Nation Health Service. For my short-term goals, I intend to improve my skills throughout my time in school continuously. I'll join various group discussions to improve my oral and presentation skills. Professional Development I intend to gain more skills and focus on my studies for the remaining two years of education. I will focus more on my weaknesses to ensure I become the best I can be, especially in mastering drugs and professional patient observation. Conclusion Nurses have a fundamental role to play in the hospital setting. This is why there is a need for constant professional improvement and new skills to ensure they are in a better position to care for their patients. Therefore, one must have a plan on how they intend to achieve these goals by doing a self-assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop their career plans. References Waddell, J., Donner, G. J., & Wheeler, M. M. (2008). Building Your Nursing Career: A Guide for Students. Mosby.

The above sample is intended to give you a general idea of how to write a nursing career sample.

What to Avoid When Writing a Nursing Career Goal Essay

Your career goals essay should be as straightforward as possible. The following are some things you must avoid when writing the essay.

Weak Statements

Every word, phrase, and statement should be specific to your experience. For instance, a sentence like the following, I want to study nursing because it will allow me to get a well-paying job after graduation , doesn’t communicate why you are passionate about the profession. You must be specific about your goals and ambitions and clearly state your reasons for applying to the nursing school.

Talking About Finances

A career plan essay aims to show your short- and long-term goals about the nursing program. So, the admissions board wants to see your passion for the career in your essay. Sure, a career in nursing could be lucrative, but you don't have to show it in your essay. Focusing on fiancées shows that you are not focused on longevity in your career.

Starting Blandly

Don’t begin your essay with lackluster statements such as, ‘my career goal in nursing is…’ behind with a captivating story that is impactful to your career goal essay. Inject something exciting about your life by sharing an anecdote to set the stage for your career aspirations.

Failing to Connect Your Goals with the Nursing

Clearly state what drove you to choose the nursing program and why you want to pursue it as a career. Thus, share specific examples to demonstrate your motivation and clarify the goals for the program.

Final Word on Writing a Nursing Career Plan Essay

A nursing career plan essay is a vital document that you can use to showcase your goals and aspirations for a nursing career. Writing the essay is a proactive approach to professional success. While setting these goals is important, remember to be flexible and adaptable to navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape.

At , we understand that writing a nursing career plan essay is challenging, so we are ready to walk with you every step of the way. As experts in nursing assignments, our writers will write exemplary career plan essays that capture every required detail. Just place an order and let us help you.

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Why I chose Nursing as a Career Path

Profile image of Briannah Stephens

Why I Chose Nursing as a Career Path Throughout my four years of high school I never knew what I really wanted to be in life, which college to attend, or which career I was interested in. I was confused on deciding whether if I wanted to be an architect or a nurse. I use to always want to design houses and buildings to make people happy. But I was more interested in making families happy to leave the hospital with there healthy new born baby. I chose nursing as my career path because I see myself becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner in the future. Being a neonatal nurse practitioner are advanced practice nurses that care for premature and sick newborns in the NICU, emergency rooms, delivery rooms, or specialty clinics. (Retrieved by 2015 from The minimum degree I will need to practice to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, I must be a

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Background: Several factors influence the pre-university students to choose healthcare profession as their career. This in turn will have effect on their theoretical, clinical knowledge, and academic performance. It also influences the psycho-motor and problem-solving skills, which are crucial in providing better care to patients. The aim of the study was to assess the healthcare perspectives of first year B.Sc. nursing students and the factors influencing their choice for healthcare profession. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among the B.Sc. nursing first year students at the nursing college associated with Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), affiliated to Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRUHS), in north Telangana during April 2017. A self administered semi structured questionnaire was used for data collection after obtaining an informed verbal consent. 91 students participated in the study. Data was analysed by calculating the percentages and applying the chi square test. Results: Out of 91 students, nursing profession to serve the community was noted to be the first choice 66 (72.5%). Only 17(18.7%) students joined nursing profession by their interest. Majority of the students wanted to pursue post-graduation (54 (59.3%)). 23 (42.6%) students decided to pursue different clinical subjects whereas 31 (57.4%) students had not yet decided post-graduation subject. 59 (64.8%) students were interested to go abroad for a job. Majority of the students 52 (57.1%) opted to work in urban areas whereas 39 (42.9%) preferred to work in rural setup. 74(81.3%) students wish to continue nursing profession and 17 (18.7%) students still had the desire to pursue career in other fields. Conclusion: Serving the community, caring for others, and better earning remains the most common reasons to choose nursing as a profession. Majority of the students wanted to pursue higher education and continue nursing profession in urban areas.

GSTF journal of nursing and health care

In today&#39;s society, young people have many different opportunities for career choices. Nursing is a career that could offer many challenges and rewards to young people, yet most do not choose a career in nursing. This research project aims to explore how young people make career decisions and why young people might choose or reject nursing as a career choice. The literature suggests that the process of decision-making for young people is a complex multi faceted process that is influenced by predisposing factors such as their family, gender, culture and society, their ability to search for career options and the choices available to them. Young people&#39;s career decision-making in relation to nursing also seems to be influenced by these factors. A qualitative descriptive research design was chosen for this research in order to bring the views of the participants to the forefront. Thirty four young people from two local colleges and a church group volunteered to participate in f...

Alison While

Ernest J A C K Bunbury

My father and mother have been working in the teaching and nursing profession, respectively, since I was a child. I have always admired my parents’ passion for their work and the way they are impacting lives through their careers. After a long introspection, I saw it fit to choose a field that combined healthcare and teaching. Consequently, I considered nurse education as my best choice. Becoming a nurse educator aligns with my interests and belief in functional education and will enable me to acquire, share, and expand healthcare knowledge, and secure sustainable employment in an ever-expanding and noble profession

Nursing Career Essay Sample

Nursing is one of the most rewarding professions out there. It doesn’t matter if you are a nurse in private practice or at a hospital, your work will make an impact on people’s lives every day. Check out this essay sample to see how you can write about what makes nursing so great!

Essay Sample On Nursing Career

  • Thesis Statement – Nursing Career Essay
  • Introduction – Nursing Career Essay
  • How the Career of a Nurse is growing rapidly in Modern Times?
  • Major challenges that are haunting students to opt for Nursing as a career?
  • Important Improvements that are needed in the Career of a Nurse
  • Conclusion – Nursing Career Essay
Thesis Statement – Nursing Career Essay Nursing career is full of challenges as they have to handle the various case before the doctor visit at the same time a hegemony of the doctors is always maintained on them. Introduction – Nursing Career Essay A nursing career is considered one of the most desirable professions in modern times by students. But those who are already in this profession understand the nuisances and challenges of this field very well. This is because long duty hours and supremacy of the doctors are not handled by every second person. You must have to be very much patient with your job profile. Here in this essay, we are going to talk about the problems of nurses that are faced by them every other day like back-to-back double duty, handling various unique cases, and many more in the list. Also, some suggestions for the changes will be added at the end of the essay. Get Non-Plagiarized Custom Essay on Nursing Career in USA Order Now Main Body- Nursing Career Essay Nursing career and its pros or cons are given in the following part of the essay. So have a look at them and make your own ideology for this issue of the nursing career. How the Career of a Nurse is growing rapidly in Modern Times? The massive increase in the number of diseases as we move towards a technology-driven world is very obvious. That is why the number of nurses required in comparison to the previous time is very high. That is why there are so many scopes of students in this career. But at the same time, we cannot say that every person who is pursuing nursing as his career is going to secure a good job for him. This is because not everyone is that efficient in his duties and only those students are kept by the hospitals who know the nursing skills very well. Major challenges that are haunting students to opt for Nursing as a career? As a career nursing field is considered as apt for both the male and female. But at the same time, certain challenges put the professionals of this arena into trouble especially when it comes to do double duties and bear the hegemony of those who are senior to you that is doctors. Even you do not have a personal life if you plunged to this arena once as you could be asked to perform your duty in the day or midnight as well. So make sure that you are choosing your career very wisely by keeping positive and well as negative aspects in mind always. Important Improvements that are needed in the Career of a Nurse A nurse must be free from the supremacy of the doctors and she is not obliged to his duty. A doctor always keeps on giving a feeling of inferiority to the nurses and as a result of which they lose their self-esteem in this process. Certain strict rules must be there which can maintain equality in the performance of the duties irrespective of the fact that superiority is exerted by the doctors on their nurses. After all, they are not their legacy to whom they can use in any way. Certain important initiatives in this field can save the plights of nurses in modern times. Conclusion – Nursing Career Essay The condition of nurses in modern times is very poor as they are being treated as objects by the doctors. Even many doctors do not talk to them politely which must be changed to bring equality in society. Buy Customized Essay on Nursing Career At Cheapest Price Order Now

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What to expect in US healthcare in 2024 and beyond

The acute strain from labor shortages, inflation, and endemic COVID-19 on the healthcare industry’s financial health in 2022 is easing. Much of the improvement is the result of transformation efforts undertaken over the last year or two by healthcare delivery players, with healthcare payers acting more recently. Even so, health-system margins are lagging behind their financial performance relative to prepandemic levels. Skilled nursing and long-term-care profit pools continue to weaken. Eligibility redeterminations in a strong employment economy have hurt payers’ financial performance in the Medicaid segment. But Medicare Advantage and individual segment economics have held up well for payers.

As we look to 2027, the growth of the managed care duals population (individuals who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare) presents one of the most substantial opportunities for payers. On the healthcare delivery side, financial performance will continue to rebound as transformation efforts, M&A, and revenue diversification bear fruit. Powered by adoption of technology, healthcare services and technology (HST) businesses, particularly those that offer measurable near-term improvements for their customers, will continue to grow, as will pharmacy services players, especially those with a focus on specialty pharmacy.

Below, we provide a perspective on how these changes have affected payers, health systems, healthcare services and technology, and pharmacy services, and what to expect in 2024 and beyond.

The fastest growth in healthcare may occur in several segments

We estimate that healthcare profit pools will grow at a 7 percent CAGR, from $583 billion in 2022 to $819 billion in 2027. Profit pools continued under pressure in 2023 due to high inflation rates and labor shortages; however, we expect a recovery beginning in 2024, spurred by margin and cost optimization and reimbursement-rate increases.

Several segments can expect higher growth in profit pools:

  • Within payer, Medicare Advantage, spurred by the rapid increase in the duals population; the group business, due to recovery of margins post-COVID-19 pandemic; and individual
  • Within health systems, outpatient care settings such as physician offices and ambulatory surgery centers, driven by site-of-care shifts
  • Within HST, the software and platforms businesses (for example, patient engagement and clinical decision support)
  • Within pharmacy services, with specialty pharmacy continuing to experience rapid growth

On the other hand, some segments will continue to see slow growth, including general acute care and post-acute care within health systems, and Medicaid within payers (Exhibit 1).

Several factors will likely influence shifts in profit pools. Two of these are:

Change in payer mix. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage, and particularly the duals population, will continue to grow. Medicare Advantage enrollment has grown historically by 9 percent annually from 2019 to 2022; however, we estimate the growth rate will reduce to 5 percent annually from 2022 to 2027, in line with the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enrollment data. 1 Congressional Budget Office Baseline Projections, May 2023; Medicare Advantage penetration was increasing by less than 2 percent annually from 2016 to 2019 but increased by about 3 percent annually in 2020 and 2021—for further information, see “Medicare Advantage/Part D contract and enrollment data,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, US Government. Finally, the duals population enrolled in managed care is estimated to grow at more than a 9 percent CAGR from 2022 through 2027.

We also estimate commercial segment profit pools to rebound as EBITDA margins likely return to historical averages by 2027. Growth is likely to be partially offset by enrollment changes in the segment, prompted by a shift from fully insured to self-insured businesses that could accelerate as employers seek to cut costs if the economy slows. Individual segment profit pools are estimated to expand at a 27 percent CAGR from 2022 to 2027 as enrollment rises, propelled by enhanced subsidies, Medicaid redeterminations, and other potential favorable factors (for example, employer conversions through the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement offered by the Affordable Care Act); EBITDA margins are estimated to improve from 2 percent in 2022 to 5 to 7 percent in 2027. On the other hand, Medicaid enrollment could decline by about ten million lives over the next five years based on our estimates, given recent legislation allowing states to begin eligibility redeterminations (which were paused during the federal public health emergency declared at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 2 Meghana Ammula and Jennifer Tolbert, “10 things to know about the unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment requirement,” Kaiser Family Foundation, October 25, 2022. ).

Accelerating value-based care (VBC). Based on our estimates, 90 million lives will be in VBC models by 2027, from 43 million in 2022. This expansion will be fueled by an increase in commercial VBC adoption, greater penetration of Medicare Advantage, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) model in Medicare fee-for-service. Also, substantial growth is expected in the specialty VBC model, where penetration in areas like orthopedics and nephrology could more than double in the next five years.

VBC models are undergoing changes as CMS updates its risk adjustment methodology and as models continue to expand beyond primary care to other specialties (for example, nephrology, oncology, and orthopedics). We expect established models that offer improvements in cost and quality to continue to thrive. The transformation of VBC business models in response to pressures from the current changes could likely deliver outsized improvement in cost and quality outcomes. The penetration of VBC business models is likely to lead to shifts in health delivery profit pools, from acute-care settings to other sites of care such as ambulatory surgical centers, physician offices, and home settings.

Payers: Government segments are expected to be 65 percent larger than commercial segments by 2027

In 2022, overall payer profit pools were $60 billion. Looking ahead, we estimate EBITDA to grow to $78 billion by 2027, a 5 percent CAGR, as the market recovers and approaches historical trends. Drivers are likely to be margin recovery of the commercial segment, inflation-driven incremental premium rate rises, and increased participation in managed care by the duals population. This is likely to be partially offset by margin compression in Medicare Advantage due to regulatory pressures (for example, risk adjustment, decline in the Stars bonus, and technical updates) and membership decline in Medicaid resulting from the expiration of the public health emergency.

We estimate increased labor costs and administrative expenses to reduce payer EBITDA by about 60 basis points in 2023. In addition, health systems are likely to push for reimbursement rate increases (up to about 350 to 400 basis-point incremental rate increases from 2023 to 2027 for the commercial segment and about 200 to 250 basis points for the government segment), according to McKinsey analysis and interviews with external experts. 3 For further information on the government segment, see “Medicare Payment Advisory Commission public meeting,” Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, December 8, 2022.

Our estimates also suggest that the mix of payer profit pools is likely to shift further toward the government segment (Exhibit 2). Overall, the profit pools for this segment are estimated to be about 65 percent greater than the commercial segment by 2027 ($36 billion compared with $21 billion). This shift would be a result of increasing Medicare Advantage penetration, estimated to reach 52 percent in 2027, and likely continued growth in the duals segment, expanding EBITDA from $7 billion in 2022 to $12 billion in 2027.

Profit pools for the commercial segment declined from $18 billion in 2019 to $15 billion in 2022. We now estimate the commercial segment’s EBITDA margins to regain historical levels by 2027, and profit pools to reach $21 billion, growing at a 7 percent CAGR from 2022 to 2027. Within this segment, a shift from fully insured to self-insured businesses could accelerate in the event of an economic slowdown, which prompts employers to pay greater attention to costs. The fully insured group enrollment could drop from 50 million in 2022 to 46 million in 2027, while the self-insured segment could increase from 108 million to 113 million during the same period.

Health systems: Transformation efforts help accelerate EBITDA recovery

In 2023, health-system profit pools continued to face substantial pressure due to inflation and labor shortages. Estimated growth was less than 5 percent from 2022 to 2023, remaining below prepandemic levels. Health systems have undertaken major transformation and cost containment efforts, particularly within the labor force, helping EBITDA margins recover by up to 100 basis points; some of this recovery was also volume-driven.

Looking ahead, we estimate an 11 percent CAGR from 2023 to 2027, or total EBITDA of $366 billion by 2027 (Exhibit 3). This reflects a rebound from below the long-term historical average in 2023, spurred by transformation efforts and potentially higher reimbursement rates. We anticipate that health systems will likely seek reimbursement increases in the high single digits or higher upon contract renewals (or more than 300 basis points above previous levels) in response to cost inflation in recent years.

Measures to tackle rising costs include improving labor productivity and the application of technological innovation across both administration and care delivery workflows (for example, further process standardization and outsourcing, increased use of digital care, and early adoption of AI within administrative workflows such as revenue cycle management). Despite these measures, 2027 industry EBITDA margins are estimated to be 50 to 100 basis points lower than in 2019, unless there is material acceleration in performance transformation efforts.

There are some meaningful exceptions to this overall outlook for health systems. Although post-acute-care profit pools could be severely affected by labor shortages (particularly nurses), other sites of care might grow (for example, non-acute and outpatient sites such as physician offices and ambulatory surgery centers). We expect accelerated adoption of VBC to drive growth.

HST profit pools will grow in technology-based segments

HST is estimated to be the fastest-growing sector in healthcare. In 2021, we estimated HST profit pools to be $51 billion. In 2022, according to our estimates, the HST profit pool shrank to $49 billion, reflecting a contracting market, wage inflation pressure, and the drag of fixed-technology investment that had not yet fulfilled its potential. Looking ahead, we estimate a 12 percent CAGR in 2022–27 due to the long-term underlying growth trend and rebound from the pandemic-related decline (Exhibit 4). With the continuing technology adoption in healthcare, the greatest acceleration is likely to happen in software and platforms as well as data and analytics, with 15 percent and 22 percent CAGRs, respectively.

In 2023, we observed an initial recovery in the HST market, supported by lower HST wage pressure and continued adoption of technology by payers and health systems searching for ways to become more efficient (for example, through automation and outsourcing).

Three factors account for the anticipated recovery and growth in HST. First, we expect continued demand from payers and health systems searching to improve efficiency, address labor challenges, and implement new technologies (for example, generative AI). Second, payers and health systems are likely to accept vendor price increases for solutions delivering measurable improvements. Third, we expect HST companies to make operational changes that will improve HST efficiency through better technology deployment and automation across services.

Pharmacy services will continue to grow

The pharmacy market has undergone major changes in recent years, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the establishment of partnerships across the value chain, and an evolving regulatory environment. Total pharmacy dispensing revenue continues to increase, growing by 9 percent to $550 billion in 2022, 4 This metric excludes rebates and discounts paid by manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers and plan sponsors; it includes pharmacy benefit drugs only. with projections of a 5 percent CAGR, reaching $700 billion in 2027. 5 Adam J. Fein, “The 2023 economic report on US pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers,” Drug Channels Institute, 2023. Specialty pharmacy is one of the fastest growing subsegments within pharmacy services and accounts for 40 percent of prescription revenue 6 This figure excludes rebates and does not represent payers' net spending. ; this subsegment is expected to reach nearly 50 percent of prescription revenue in 2027 (Exhibit 5). We attribute its 8 percent CAGR in revenue growth to increases in utilization and pricing as well as the continued expansion of pipeline therapies (for example, cell and gene therapies and oncology and rare disease therapies) and expect that the revenue growth will be partially offset by reimbursement pressures, specialty generics, and increased adoption of biosimilars. Specialty pharmacy dispensers are also facing an evolving landscape with increased manufacturer contract pharmacy pressures related to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. With restrictions related to size and location of contract pharmacies that covered entities can use, the specialty pharmacy subsegment has seen accelerated investment in hospital-owned pharmacies.

Retail and mail pharmacies continue to face margin pressure and a contraction of profit pools due to reimbursement pressure, labor shortages, inflation, and a plateauing of generic dispensing rates. 7 ” Meeting changing consumer needs: The US retail pharmacy of the future ,” McKinsey, March 17, 2023. Many chains have recently announced 8 Pamela N. Danziger, “Drugstore downsizing: CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid to close nearly 1,500 stores,” Forbes, September 27, 2023; Jin Yu Young, “Rite Aid is closing 154 stores as it starts to shed debt,” New York Times, October 19, 2023. efforts to rationalize store footprints while continuing to augment additional services, including the provision of healthcare services.

Over the past year, there has also been increased attention to broad-population drugs such as GLP-1s (indicated for diabetes and obesity). The number of patients meeting clinical eligibility criteria for these drugs is among the largest of any new drug class in the past 20 to 30 years. The increased focus on these drugs has amplified conversations about care and coverage decisions, including considerations around demonstrated adherence to therapy, utilization management measures, and prescriber access points (for example, digital and telehealth services). As we look ahead, patient affordability, cost containment, and predictability of spending will likely remain key themes in the sector. The Inflation Reduction Act is poised to change the Medicare prescription Part D benefit, with a focus on reducing beneficiary out-of-pocket spending, negotiating prices for select drugs, and incentivizing better management of high-cost drugs. These changes, coupled with increased attention to broad-population drugs and the potential of high-cost therapies (such as cell and gene therapies), have set the stage for a shift in care and financing models.

The US healthcare industry faced demanding conditions in 2023, including continuing high inflation rates, labor shortages, and endemic COVID-19. However, the industry has adapted. We expect accelerated improvement efforts to help the industry address its challenges in 2024 and beyond, leading to an eventual return to historical-average profit margins.

Neha Patel is a partner in McKinsey’s New York office, and Shubham Singhal is the global leader of McKinsey’s Social, Healthcare, and Public Entities (SHaPE) Practice in the Detroit office.

The authors wish to thank Shahed Al-Haque, Maciej Biernacki, Claudia Castelino, Zachary Greenberg, Scott Heim, Ankit Jain, Gaurav Kohli, and Siddharth Manot for their contributions to this article.

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