It's hard for me to believe that I have been a nurse for almost 24 years. After being laid off from PanAm, I decided to investigate nursing, as it was recommended to me by my uncle Frank. He had been in and out of hospitals being treated for cancer, and he thought I had the "caring personality" that was needed. I was also exposed to nursing by personal experience with my terminally ill father. He had some wonderful nurses along the way, but it was a less-than-dedicated, indifferent nurse who I met while caring for my father that made me realize that I could do the job and do it with the right attitude and dedication. I looked at several programs, from masters, to baccalaureate, to associate and diploma programs. The diploma program worked best for me at the time, as it made it possible to work and go to school simultaneously. After several years, I attained my associate's degree, and after many more, I have completed by BSN and am now considering my MSN. Along the way, I've had some spectacular experiences and have had the opportunity to be part of many different aspects of nursing, from working with Major League Baseball, to being a technical advisor on a television show featuring nurses, to teaching CPR to flight attendants and working for a law firm doing legal research. Of course, I've simultaneously maintained clinical nursing at the bedside in areas including critical care, emergency/trauma, home hospice, and even case management. I currently work in the emergency department of Massachusetts General Hospital's Level 1 Trauma Unit as a staff and assistant resource nurse. There are about 165 RN's on staff in the emergency department, and we see on average about 200 patients a day. This affords different personalities and challenges, never knowing who is going to come in the door next and with what ailment, injury, or situation.