I was an at-home mom of three children when I chose to go to nursing school. I took classes when the children were in school, and five years later, at the age of 37, I became an RN. I was immediately hired for a full-time position in an intensive care unit of a community hospital. This year was the hardest year of my life. I expected people to be sick, but I was not prepared to handle it when they died. The hardest part of my new job was to learn how to approach the families of acutely ill patients and to counsel them. I was forced to examine my own feelings about life and death. Over the next six years, I obtained my critical care certification, trained other new nurses to work in intensive care, and became charge on the unit. My family somehow survived my transition from full-time mom to full-time RN. When we relocated to the South Jersey area, my experience and certification in critical care made it easier for us all. I was hired almost immediately for a position in a local post recovery anesthesia unit. For the last three years, I have worked part time in PACU and I maintain my critical care skills by working one day a week in ICU for a local medical center. Nursing has provided me with autonomy, personal satisfaction, and the knowledge that the skill I have learned will provide me with employment for years to come in whatever nursing field I choose.