When I was in high school, my grandfather was critically ill and spent weeks in the hospital. I spent many anxious days and nights at his bedside feeling scared and helpless, waiting and hoping that he would recover. Now, almost ten years later, I can still recall the thoughtfulness and compassion that his nurses - and one in particular - showed my family. She showed a genuine concern for us and provided a ray of hope and comfort at a very difficult time. It was then that I found nursing as my calling. I realized that nursing is a profession where you can really help people, and I wanted to be a part of that. Because nursing offers so many different career paths and great job security, people go into the field for different reasons. I think the common thread is that we all want to help people, to make a real difference in people's lives. Make no mistake - nursing school is very demanding, perhaps even more so for students like me in accelerated programs. Aside from the intense academic curriculum, I am challenged physically and emotionally. But since my peers are going through the same experience, we provide a strong support mechanism for each other. We're a very tight-knit group with a strong sense of camaraderie, which is something I didn't expect from nursing school. I'm convinced that whatever challenges we face will make us not only better nurses but better people.