Jazmin Ferrer

February 2013
Class of 2014


 I believe this about nursing... "I am going to be one." 

“Hello, can I help you?”

Those were the words that were said to me by the owner of the company for which I work for. I was in the lobby of our office building waiting until 8 A.M., which is the time the elevators allow you on the floor without having to enter a code. He punched in his code for me and as I rode the elevator up, I realized that he had no idea that I am one of his employees. I worked for this man for over a year and he didn’t know my name! My job at this company consists of ensuring that the amount of money stated on the bank statements matches the amount of money on the company’s books, and I account for any discrepancies. It is because of me that this man has assurance that his money is being accounted for accurately, yet to him I’m a person who was on the wrong floor.

I realized that I didn’t like accounting during my senior year in college. It was too late to change majors again since I had already changed from biology to accounting. I had reached the five year maximum for federal aid and there was no way that I could afford school without financial aid; I was stuck. I finished school and hoped I would like working as an accountant better than learning about accounting. Fast forward nine years and I still feel the same way. My fear in college was that my job would not help people who truly need help. Job after job my fear was realized— accountants keep rich people rich. From the three year old whose taxes I prepared once and discovered that his net worth was greater than both of my parents combined, to the elevator code puncher, I discovered that my career had no meaning.

Growing up I wanted to be a doctor because of my desire to help people and my fascination with the human body. In college, chemistry scared the passion out of me and made me feel that I just had to change my major. All my life I dreamt of being a doctor and had considered nothing else. I wanted to major in something that would make it easy for me to always have a job and never have to resort back to public assistance which my parents used to raise my siblings and myself. My advisor suggested accounting, showing me a classified section of a newspaper with lots of accounting positions so I chose it as my new major. At nineteen years old, a meaningful career did not mean as much to me as just having a job.

This time I needed to find something that I would love and that could make an impact. Remembering my reasons for wanting to be a doctor, I want to help people therefore I have to change to a career serving people. I am still fascinated with the human body so the health field is once again the best of both worlds. Ironically, in college, my work study job was in the nursing education department. It was there, being constantly surrounded by nurses, where I learned that nurses are the people who patients interact with most. As a child I thought doctors had the most interaction with people, but I was wrong. My father’s knee solidified my decision.

The day before his knee replacement, I did some research to find out in detail what my father would go through. I learned what the surgery entailed and explained it to my dad and brothers. I was able to tell him in a way that the doctors were unable to. My father told me that he felt at ease after our conversation. After his surgery I called him and explained how his muscles would hurt and why the physical therapists would require him to exercise his legs as they did. When it came time for the surgery, he said that he knew what to expect because he had gone through it before and he could count on me to explain whatever he could not understand. I felt a feeling that I had never felt before—complete content. My father, the one who had calmed my fears all my life felt safe because I was able to share with him what I knew about his medical condition. No excel spreadsheet could ever give me that feeling. To think that I could embark on a career where a big part of my responsibility will be to teach people about their condition, explain what they may go through, and help them through the toughest and scariest times in their lives, seems like the perfect match for me.

I got through accounting classes because of my fear of failure, fear of welfare, and fear of disappointing my family by dropping out. As an adult who has lived in the real world, I see that my passion to help people has survived through two majors and five accounting jobs so it’s back to a variation of plan A for me. I have already had the job that some people want, now I want the career that all admire. I am hungrier than I have ever been. There is no other way to satisfy this hunger than to become a nurse, the person who I have always wanted to be, the person who helps people, and the person whose job is meaningful. My career change is decided. I am going to become a nurse.