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"Why I Want to be a Nurse" Contest

hands writing in notebook

Tell us why you want to be a nurse!

In an effort to keep the spotlight on the nursing shortage, the College of Nursing began sponsoring the "Why I Want to be a Nurse" contest in 2002. All South Dakota fifth graders can submit a 150-word email essay that answers the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” We chose to have students send an email submission because it supports the use of technology in the schools, plus the project gives young students an opportunity to fine-tune their writing skills.

The "Why I want to be a Nurse" Contest provides an opportunity for students to begin thinking about a career in nursing. Fifth-grade students have the opportunity to earn a monetary gift for college tuition while practicing their computer and writing skills. 

The contest is open to all South Dakota 5th-grade students. Students are invited to participate by writing a personal essay responding to the statement, "Why I want to be a Nurse". 

The essay must include the following

  1. The student's own understanding of a nurse's role.
  2. The student's description of the work done by a nurse.
  3. An explanation of why the student wants to be a nurse.

Evaluation criteria

  1. Individual, thoughtful response.
  2. Written using correct grammar, spelling and sentence structure.
  3. Double-spaced, 100 to 125 words in length.

The Prizes

  • 1st Prize | $100
  • 2nd Prize |  $75

All prize recipients will receive a copy of their essay, College of Nursing t-shirt and a certificate of participation. The College of Nursing will recognize recipients and present awards at each student's spring awards assembly during the month of May.


If you have questions about the "Why I Want to Be a Nurse Contest", please contact Sherry Asper.