On finding her path
When Eileen Stough started her freshman year at UNC, she knew she wanted to do something in the health care field. Her interests changed several times, and so did her major, until she decided on nursing. “But once I was in the nursing program, I knew that I’d found my calling,” she says.
On difficult days
Treating a student means working closely with their family. “Some families cannot always access much-needed resources, or school resources can be limited at times,” but Eileen makes it her mission to work with every family to address their child’s individual needs.
On being a school nurse
“Each school nurse has his or her own way of managing their school within the parameters allowed.” Eileen enjoys working both autonomously at Seawell Elementary and interacting with other school nurses in the district. “We rely on each other for support and advice.”
The school environment also enables a unique bond to form between Eileen and the students and families she works with. “I see them often, not only for an illness or injury, so we can really get to know one another.”
On why she loves her job
“School nursing allows me to interact with students, families and staff in various settings,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to know that you’ve made a difference in lives by caring and helping individuals and their families, sometimes in their most vulnerable times.”
On a career in nursing
“It’s a rewarding career that provides one with many different opportunities in various environments and fields. There is a field for any type of nursing one is interested in. For example, I became a NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] RN straight out of college and then went and got my master’s as a FNP [family nurse practitioner]. But then my husband and I decided to start a family, so I continued working as a staff RN and arranged my work schedule so that we didn’t have to put our kids in daycare (night shift, weekends only). Once they started playing youth sports, the position here came open, and here I am. There’s always a nursing job that can accommodate and allow one to have both a family and a career.”
On her free time
“I attend my kids’ sporting events (high school and college) and take action pictures of them and [their] teams so that occupies a lot of the year. I enjoy going out with friends for lunch and dinner or drinks when able.”