The Story I Didn’t Write

All. The. Reasons. I’m no longer a nurse

Ann Litts


We were having lunch. I had known her for nearly 20 years, this lovely woman sitting across from me. Light years ago, when I was a kidney transplant coordinator — she had been my very first patient. The first Human I worked up to donate a kidney. This woman who had been my patient was now my friend.

And she wanted to know my story. What brought me to nursing and what led me to leave a career I had cultivated for nearly 30 years? She urged me to write the story that I had never written.

For you see, she is also a writer. And she understands that we ARE our stories. The fact that she wanted to know more about mine — about me — touched me deeply.

When I was still in high school, I looked at nursing as a potential career choice. However, back in 1976 — when I was a junior — career choices for women were very limited. Nurse, secretary, teacher. And most of those were only just until we managed to get our M.R.S. and start to raise a family. Women’s careers were simply considered us biding time until Our Prince Charming arrived with a glass slipper.

Being a nurse appealed to me simply because of the job security aspect. I wasn’t an empath who wanted to help others. I wasn’t out to become a martyr — I simply wanted to know that I could…