Ryan Wood

March 2013


I believe this about nursing… "it is for me!"

I am a bit older than your average student, and in my previous career I was a plumber. I fell into plumbing without it really being a conscious choice of career direction. I am a fourth generation plumber, and actually started working around my father’s plumbing business when I was ten with my main tasks including putting away stock and sweeping up. By the time I was twelve I was working all day during my summer breaks on remodel crews running copper pipes in crawl spaces. They used to call me rat patrol because I was able to fit in the tight crawl spaces the others couldn't due to my smaller size.

When I graduated high school I was initiated into the plumbers union and though I wanted to go to college, my parents would not pay for it so I figured I would get my journeyman’s card first, and then go to college. After all, a journey’s card is a great asset to possess—it would make a great back up profession, and it was a job a computer would never take away (an issue of great concern to many people in the mid 1990’s when computers were just becoming main stream). I finished my apprenticeship and became a journeyman at 22, and at 24 started my own plumbing business in Seattle. I still intended to go to college but as bills and responsibility grew it became tougher. Finally, about five years ago I realized if I kept putting school off it would never happen so I decided to follow through with my goals.

When I started my apprenticeship at eighteen I spent much of the first four years in the Kaiser Hospital system doing repair, tenant improvement, and retrofit work. It was during this time I first got interested in health care, specifically nursing. The nursing profession appealed to me because it provides people with a very rewarding and challenging career, it is an important and much needed service, and I enjoy the opportunity to help people.

Now that I am two-thirds of the way through my ABSN program, I am more than sure I might the right decision to become a nurse. I love showing up to clinical every day, and it makes me feel great I can help others. Based on my experiences the best advice I can give others is to follow your dreams! If nursing is also for you, make it happen!