Reasons for entering nursing.

All nurses share some similar qualities of character that make them good at their profession. While nurses enter their profession for a variety of reasons, compassion and caring are what keep them there.

Some nurses enter the profession because a family member was a nurse - they remember a mother or aunt tending to the sick and remember the beginnings of a commitment to a nursing career. Phyllis Austman, a long time Saskatchewan nurse, remembers her mother riding the railways from town to town caring for the ill. Her mother's dedication to nursing instilled in Phyllis a desire to enter the profession. Mary Pyne, a nurse from a small town, followed in the footsteps of two of her Aunts; one of whom was a nurse and the other a midwife. One of the aunts, Mary, was always loved well respected as a nurse. Belle, the midwife had learned her skills on the job.

Other nurses realized at a young age that they enjoyed caring for people and realized that nursing would be a way to incorporate this into their working life. Some had cared for aging parents or grandparents, and had simply recognized a desire to help people. Georgiana Chartier received inspiration from her mother: "my mother was -always wanted to be a nurse. As the youngest of the family... and she was supposed to be looking after her parents, so she didn't really have a career. Of course, we're talking 1920s, and it was a whole different world. And I guess she was encouraging me. My grandmother was a diabetic, so I learned to give insulin when I was about eleven. And I guess it just sort of went from there that nursing became my choice. In those the 50s, a lot of your choices were nursing or a teacher, and I decided nursing was for me."