The September 11 terrorist attacks on our country made me prouder than ever to be a nurse. I was honored to be able to provide nursing care to our rescue workers in New York City. I was able to help them in more ways than I could have ever imagined -- I gave them comfort and an outlet for their feelings, whether it was anger, fear, or frustration. Like my colleagues, I made it easy for the workers to tell their stories, to let them know it was okay to cry, and to support them not just physically, but emotionally, at a time when emotions obviously were very high for all of us. I chose the field of oncology because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who are seriously ill and give them the hope, will, and strength to fight their illness. Even so, nursing is not what I expected. I expected it to just be about taking care of patients to the best of my ability according to nursing policies and procedures. Then I learned there was more -- much more -- to nursing. Nurses are the core of healthcare and the ones to whom patients look to most frequently to take care of their needs. Nursing challenges me to constantly build upon my existing skills by learning new skills and broadening my knowledge base. In particular, the September 11 attacks challenged me to accomplish the goal of providing excellent patient care in a new and very demanding environment. The most fulfilling aspect of nursing is seeing the smiles on the faces of patients who know that I took excellent care of them by really listening to them and addressing their needs. The events of September 11 in no way caused me to question my commitment to nursing -- to the contrary, they helped to solidify them even more.