I always wanted to be part of a profession where I could try to "make a difference," but I didn't realize that nursing was the path I would take. During my first attempt at college, I worked as a nursing assistant, and that was it! I was hooked. I started over, this time with a clear goal - an RN after my name. Nursing has given me many careers within one profession. In the clinical area alone, I've practiced on med/surg units, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and gone on to flight nursing and emergency nursing. And I'm not done yet! Today I work at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Dept. of Transportation. I use my clinical and professional knowledge, but have adapted it to move from one-on-one patient care to shaping programs and policies that prevent whole groups of people from becoming injured, and projects that enhance the emergency medical services system. I've been surprised to find so many nurses in government. They contribute invaluable experience and expertise, and receive great respect. I am proud to be among them, and more proud than ever to be a nurse.