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A Career in Health Care

Inspired by Nurses

The healthcare field relies on nurses now more than ever to help meet the needs of a growing number of patients. Here, Mindy Sousa, RN, an oncology nurse at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, talks about why she entered the healthcare field.

Why did you want to become a nurse? 

Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to work in health care. I volunteered in a hospital to earn community service hours. I completed a bachelor's degree in medical microbiology and immunology, and worked for a healthcare company for 10 years. Though my job was important to health care, I wanted to be more involved in direct patient care. In 2012, our daughter was born with a rare congenital heart defect. We made the difficult decision that I would stay home to care for her. As her health improved, I was provided an opportunity to return to school and earn my nursing degree.

What are your career goals?

I often say I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. As a new graduate nurse, my goal is to gain as much experience as possible. Through experience, I hope to figure out what interests me most. I've always desired an advanced degree, so I will hopefully pursue a Master of Science in Nursing someday.

Who inspires you?

We had an incredible team of nurses that cared for our daughter during her eight-month hospital stay. Their compassion and genuine care for our entire family inspired me to pursue my nursing degree. I want to have a career where I truly care about what I do and the differences I can make.