Reflection on Father’s Day: One Dad’s Nursing Journey
reflect upon the significance of Father’s Day, I am reminded of why I decided
to pursue nursing in the first place. The birth of my daughter reaffirms my
commitment to the path I have chosen every day.
I have come to realize is that these two jobs, fatherhood and nursing, are one in
the same. Both require sacrifice; putting the needs of someone else before your
own. I want to give care to a patient in the same way I would want my family to
be cared for.
many nurses will tell you they had always dreamed of becoming a nurse, I did
not grow up with this dream. My passion for helping and caring for others grew long
before I realized nursing would be my chosen career path. Eventually, this
passion motivated me to make a drastic career change.
after 9/11, I decided to enroll in the U.S. Army and in May 2002, I was
enlisted in the infantry. I deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,
Afghanistan in 2004. After being honorably discharged in 2005 I moved to Las
Vegas and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to eventually earn my bachelor’s degree in business management. I
was soon involuntarily recalled to Afghanistan.
temporarily left everything behind, I was able to return to Las Vegas, where I finished
my degree and started a defense contracting business. Unfortunately, the
economy soon plummeted, and the government cut back its spending. Eventually, I
was forced to close down the business.
these changing circumstances and a desire to be close to family, my wife and I
made the decision to move back to our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I started
working odds-and-ends sales jobs, mainly providing business-related services, and
tried to utilize my business management degree. Each job lacked a feeling of internal
satisfaction that I desired.
As I thought
back to my time in the Army, I remembered the strong feeling of accomplishment
I felt. I had made a difference every day and I felt established. I was on the
front lines patrolling the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan and experienced
the rush of combat, but I also helped to build schools and aided sick children.
As I reflected on these times, I realized how much I missed the rewarding
feeling you get when you are a part of something greater than yourself.
at this point in my life, as I was going back and forth between sales jobs,
feeling completely unsatisfied, that I decided to make a career change and
become a nurse, despite the fact that others could not picture me in such a
April 2013, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Science
in Nursing (BSN) degree program at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Cleveland campus. I decided to make
this career change to nursing because I wanted to make a difference again, I
wanted to feel a bigger sense of accomplishment in my life than just holding a
job for financial gain.
year, my daughter Rose was born. During our stay at the hospital, our nurses
were always there, providing me and my wife with support and guidance. They
were always checking in on us, ready to help us with the nerve-racking
questions all new parents face: How should we feed her? How should we bath her?
Will she be too warm in this blanket?
last day, as we were about to leave the hospital, I joked with the nurse,
asking if she would come home with us. The interactions my wife and I had with
the nurses made me more comfortable caring for my daughter once we left the
safety of the hospital.
start my journey of fatherhood and continue my education to earn my BSN, I hope
that being good at one will help me succeed with the other. I hope to secure a
better future for myself and my family through becoming a nurse. As a father I
want to give my daughter a reason to be proud of me. I want to teach her that
there are many important aspects of life that can be realized through your
career and that careers can offer more meaning than the simple satisfaction of
became a nurse not only to fulfill a personal calling of
wanting to help and care for others, but to show my daughter the power of helping
your fellow people, the people you live with in your community. I want to teach
her that doing so will provide her with a greater sense of completeness than any
pursuit made simply for financial gain.
is an incredibly honorable profession. I hope that one day I can show my
daughter the profound influence she has had on my life and commitment to
becoming a nurse.
Helstein is a student in the
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, Chamberlain College of Nursing’s