Redefining Nursing Boundaries- From Passion to Profit!

How do you answer the question, why did you become a nurse? 

Your answer may vary depending on how long you have been in nursing, but typically your response may include phrases such as ‘because I want to help people’, or “because I care’ or ‘because it’s a noble profession’. I have used all of those phrases before as well, not only because I thought those were the anticipated answers but because I truly care about people and want to help them but that was not my underlying reason. 

A few years ago, I was being interviewed for a patient experience position - ‘my dream job’! Then came the question: why did you become a nurse?

The interviewers couldn't hide shock on their faces as I answered the question. In my fresh prince theme song tone, my answer went like this! 

'Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down

And I'd like to take a minute, so just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became the nurse sitting here'...

Okay, I didn’t actually do hindsight I probably should have though! So how did I answer the question? I did not use the typical answer. At that point in my nursing career, I had experienced ‘the’ shift in patient-centered care, one that no longer allowed for nurses to establish or maintain humane connection with patients. I was physically, emotionally and professionally drained, so I just spilled it.

I became a nurse because nursing was the most viable chance to break the cycle of poverty during my childhood in Jamaica. It was an opportunity for me to reach beyond the boundaries that defined my childhood, my mother’s childhood and my grandmother’s childhood.

The cycle was broken, it was extremely surreal one night as I watched the snow fall while I was at work in British Columbia, Canada. While living and working in three different countries, it was evident that nursing burnout and hardship is global. My career was not purpose-filled anymore. I wanted an opportunity to truly make a difference in people’s lives without giving up mine.

Our family was thriving financially, but we were broken inside. We wanted to do more as a family and to reach our community, but we were ‘imprisoned’ by our jobs. It’s impossible to give if you don’t have anything to give. 

So like Florence Nightingale, Hildegard Peplau or Virgina Henderson, when a problem is identified, nurses should be ready to create solutions to remedy the situation. 

A few months after transitioning from the Emergency Room to working as a Case Manager, two issues became more and more apparent each day. First, our healthcare system is fragmented, and our patients are often caught in the middle. Secondly, it’s imperative that every individual understands how access to care is directly influenced by their health insurance coverage, network restrictions etc., to avoid costly mistakes. 

The opportunity to help patients and families proactively plan for their healthcare needs is rewarding not only emotionally but financially as well, while bridging the gap between healthcare and insurance.

I also work with healthcare professionals who are ready to break their cycle, to build their own brand using their greatest assets - their skills, education and experience. Don’t let fear hold you back, you have what it takes to discover your purpose-filled life!

Meredith Xiimines-Mullings MSN, RN, CEN

Medicare Insurance Coordinator

CEO, Advent Choice Insurance and Consulting

Email: [email protected]

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