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  • David Blackwell RN, BSN

How I became a nurse

I always did have a love for science and technology. Although, as a young man, I did not apply myself as I should have. Admittedly, my childhood was quite traumatic and I had a lot of emotional issues that I wrestled with.


I wasn’t the best student, and often the class clown. Needless to say, I got in trouble a lot, and did not apply myself the way I should have. Had I done so, I probably would have gone on to medical school. But I was a late bloomer, so to speak.


Always being a bit on the wild and adventurous side, after a stint in the U.S. Navy and a run-in with the law down in Georgia, I had ventured out to California, to work in the Motion Picture business, as a Screenwriter. So had a million others. Within a year, I found myself working in the oil fields, down in the Gulf of Mexico, as a deep sea commercial hard hat diver. I was actually a ASNT Certified Weld Inspector.


As glamorous and adventurous as it sounds, it was indeed hard work, glorified construction work albeit. It can be dangerous work as well. I saw some men get really messed up out there. I do miss the adventure, and have often thought about going back as a Diving Safety Officer. But I am content now. I have thrown out an anchor, here in the heartland, and do not plan to move.


But as I tell my son all the time, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”


After Hurricane Andrew rolled through, the work slowly began to taper. Oil prices remained low, and there was not a great deal of deep water exploration. Most of the diving was shallow, in waters in which you could not even see your hand, making being cold wet and miserable even more intolerable. In that line of work, your paycheck in effected by oil prices and the weather. It was not a steady paycheck to say the least, and the deep blue diving was at a minimum.


My good friend Ernest had a room mate, Steve, a male Nurse. He always seemed to have spending money, and was driving a nice sports car. I asked him one day, ‘What’s it like being a male nurse?’ He went on to list some pros; he ‘worked in the air conditioning, worse pajamas and tennis shoes to work, and they were always calling him to work overtime.’


The rest is history. I moved in with my grandmother, tried to look after her, and went back to school. Some 25 years later, here I am.


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