This is my fifth year as a school nurse and I spent 16 years in the ER. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love school nursing. I just love it so much. I get choked up just talking about it.
Even though it’s very much the same as an ER it’s very much different. You never know what’s going to come through the door, but getting to know these kids – like they’re your own kids – is so different than working in the hospital. I get to know them, their families, their parents, their siblings and their friends. I get to know what sports teams they’re on and what kind of food they like to eat. It’s something that I wasn’t prepared for – to have this connection with the kids, and that’s what I love most about school nursing.
It’s more than just nursing skills – those I’ve had for a long time. It’s the other stuff that goes along with it – the coaching, the mentoring, being their biggest fan and their friend and their fashion consultant and their shoe cobbler. Just being somebody who can acknowledge that they don’t feel good that day. Sometimes that’s all they need to be able to turn back around and face the day again. Because sometimes they don’t have their mom or dad here right now, so I consider the school nurse as an extension of mom and dad. I’ve found that this is the most rewarding part of my nursing career and I just plan to be here until I retire.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love the beach. School nursing – you can’t beat that schedule with summers off, and I’m learning how to paddle board. I like watching sunrises and sunsets. They’re my favorite thing on earth. They’re constantly changing. They’re beautiful. I like that they just represent so much – the beginning, the end. I don’t know why I like them. I just do. I can’t look away.