Why I gave up Nursing School

Tonight, I decided to take a little break from studying for my finals while I eat my dinner. I’m curled up on the couch with my favorite blanket and a bowl of chili, perfect for this cold rainy night. Earlier today while I was sorting through some notes I came across four little pieces of paper from an exercise one of my professors had us complete earlier in the semester. We were to write our greatest accomplishment, biggest dream, prized possession, and a loved one. One at a time we were to crumple up the piece of paper representing the loss of that dream, accomplishment, object, or person in the order of which we would want to lose them.

Nursing school was my greatest accomplishment and the first paper I crumpled. While I love nursing school and very much feel that this is where the Lord has led me and is sustaining me, it’s not the end all. While some days I feel like this is where my identity is found because of how demanding it is, I try to daily remind myself that my identity is not found in being a nursing student. It’s an easy go to answer when people ask how I am or how my life is going. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of studying, going from clinical to clinical, and in maintaining grades. It’s easy to isolate yourself because your friends and family outside of the program don’t quite understanding how physically and emotionally demanding this whole process is. That’s why I’m giving it up.

In reality this career choice is not for myself. It’s not for my parents. It’s not even for my patients. It’s for my King.

The Lord is the one who has placed this desire in my heart and if He asked me to give it up, I would. While that probably sounds crazy, even to me, I at no point want to be outside of His will for my life. If this isn’t for me, my identity shouldn’t be found in it. My identity should be found in the one who is it for, my King.

So, if you want to know what’s really going on in my life, here it is. I’m a daughter of the King. Loved and cherished by Jesus. I’m growing spiritually. My favorite part of my day is my daily morning quiet time. I’m learning and falling more in love with Jesus daily. I have good and bad days. I have days where I cry and I have days where I dance around my living room while singing to the top of my lungs. I have days where I eat grilled chicken and days where I eat cookies and queso. I have days where I see improvements in my patients and days where I hold their hand while they are dying. I have days where I trust and days where I try to take over.

This semester has changed me. It’s impossible to go through this and not change. It’s changed the way I look at people. It’s changed the way I view life and death. It’s forced me to prioritize family, friends, and school, and sometimes I don’t choose right. It’s teaching me that self care is so important. I’ve gained 10 pounds this semester, yikes. I’m learning to take time for myself, to cook healthy meals, and to take some time away from my books to clear my head. It’s taught me to delight in and stay surrendered to Jesus.

While I’m not dropping out of nursing school (even though I claim I am on a weekly basis), I’m dropping the identity of nursing student. I’m refocusing my mind to my dream, that other’s see Jesus in me. What an incredible opportunity the Lord has given me to be able to show Him to others through nursing; every day being able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the sick and hurting.

I’m not Sarah, a nursing student.

I’m Sarah, chosen daughter of the King, brought to fullness in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)

I encourage you to give up whatever you’re tempted to find your identity in, too. To refocus your heart to live out the calling He has placed on your life, not because that’s where your identity is found, but because that’s where He has placed you to best glorify Himself through you.

“Christ is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” -John Piper






16 thoughts on “Why I gave up Nursing School

  1. This is so beautiful! I’m so happy you have this grasped even while in nursing school and serving. I was actually the president of Fall 2014, and it wasn’t until the Lord called me away from nursing that I saw the nasty idol it had turned into. I am STILL fighting off the remnants of how deeply rooted the idolatry of “success” got rooted in my heart and replaced Jesus despite now being married, expecting a baby, and having most of those “biggest dreams” that I would have had to crumple up at some point during that exercise. “Fix your eyes upon Jesus” as the old hymn says; you are going to be an incredible nurse if the Lord wills! I’m so encouraged by your heart and faith today, and I don’t even know you. Thanks for sharing, and God bless ya, sister 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post – love this. I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years. Unlike you, this wasn’t my career of choice. I wanted to be a teacher but was “talked into” pursuing nursing. It has been a good career and God taught me a lot about compassion and empathy. A few years ago, I was lamenting that I was still “stuck” in nursing and a wise women at church said “did you ever think that is where God wants you.” The lesson is being willing to give up your dream if God asks…or stay, if He also leads. Both are hard – both honor him. Praying for your career – and encouraging you for having your priorities correctly ordered so soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a senior in nursing school in GA and can’t say how much this hit home. I showed it to my best friend (who is in nursing school in SC) and she is literally in tears. Thank you so much for sharing you heart; it was so well said!
    P.S. I also just read your blog on 120 ft. I love Louie G. and that blog was also spot on. Loved the analogies.


    1. Kelly, I am also in school in GA! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and that it was encouraging to your friend as well. God is so good and blowing my mind with the response from this post! Good luck finishing out your senior year! Keep your eyes on Jesus. You will be an incredible nurse!


  4. I don’t frankly see any reason you can’t be both a nurse and a faithful servant. There’s no substantial conflict between the two, and there’s Biblical precedent. Luke was a physician, and nothing is closer to Jesus than to assist in healing.

    (Retired former CNA, then Medical Asst, then Medical Imaging specialist)


  5. This could have been written by any one of my Health Information Management Programs students! Health Care programs are tough but really worth it! I’ve been in this profession 35+ years and a program director for 19. I enjoy each of my students. I’ve been back part time 3 weeks after suffering a stroke mid-August! Congratulations!


  6. There are so many things I can relate to here. It feels like I’ll be writing something similar in some years.

    One thing I learnt this year is just what you said here. God put the desires in us. He will bring us through. And yes, it goes beyond my love for the medical field. It really is all about Jesus.

    Thanks for sharing, Sarah.


  7. As tears stream down my face I’m able to say that I gave up nursing school to the Lord. Its as if we are the same person because everything you said in this post is what im going through in my first year of nursing school. You have such a gift for writing and I love that the Lord so easily flows from you. Thank you Sarah, with all my heart I am grateful for this post.
    Abby Pulliam.


  8. Love this girly. I am a nursing student in arizona, going into my final semester, and it is so easy to get caught up in school and forget about everything else you have going on in life. I have sadly seen some friends get so tied up in school that they’ve honestly lost two years of their lives in books.

    It takes special qualities to be a nurse, and when you’re finally a nurse and out of the field, I think the fact that you are so in touch with yourself and with the Lord’s calling that it will separate you from all the other nurses out there. That is a special thing. I think you’ll touch the lives of many people in your lifetime, you seem like a very special person. I wish you all the luck and the best ❤

    – Briana


  9. I agree although i’m not religious, I totally get how easy it is to lose your identity and become “staff nurse” – and its so hard to get back from that and give yourself the time to be yourself! I quit being “staff nurse” at the start of this year after 2 years as a RN when I realized how much of myself and my family I had sacrificed. Its hard to learn to be a nurse while remaining yourself X


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