I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a child. I would watch "M*A*S*H*" and "Emergency," and then "operate" on my dolls and stuffed animals. I got a good medical education as a medic in the Air Force, then graduated from Spokane Community College School of Nursing. I just finished my first year as a school nurse, where my job is to keep kids healthy so that they can succeed academically. This job entails a lot more than scraped knees and Band-Aids. I see kids with asthma, diabetes, cancer, seizures, heart conditions, and mental health issues. I develop emergency care plans, identify health problems, administer medications, train staff, provide health education for students and staff, and make referrals to health care providers. I identify child abuse, illegal drug abuse, and depression. I insert catheters, monitor blood sugar levels, and counsel girls who worry about pregnancy or STDs. And, yes, I do care for "boo-boos" and give lots of hugs. Sometimes the only love and attention children receive is from school staff, which breaks my heart. To be a nurse, you must truly love people. You must be flexible, have common sense, and always be willing to learn new things. I love working in a rural area. Though we don't have the resources that larger communities enjoy, we get to know people on a more personal level. I try to encourage our high school students to consider nursing as a career choice every chance I get. In this career, if you get tired or bored of one particular field, there are so many others to choose from.