Winners named in SDSU nursing essay contest


BROOKINGS – Highmore-Harrold Elementary School student Destiny McCauley has been named this year’s winner of the “Why I Want to be a Nurse” contest sponsored by the South Dakota State University College of Nursing.

All South Dakota fifth graders are invited to write a 150-word essay answering that question. The winner receives $100 with $75 to second place. Both receive College of Nursing T-shirts and other items. Awards are normally presented at the winner’s school in May during National Nursing Week, but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed that tradition.

McCauley, now a sixth grader, has wanted to be a nurse since learning what a nurse did in second or third grade.

While she hasn’t had personal experiences with nurses beyond regular checkups, McCauley wrote, “Nurses have a variety of duties based on their specialty and area of the hospital or clinic they work in. All of them help people by taking their vitals, getting their personal information, preparing them to see the doctor and comforting them.

“I want to be a nurse because I want to help people feel better when they are sick. Nurses are usually the first people you see when going to see the doctor. I want to be that kind, caring, helpful person that helps make someone feel better!”

McCauley also has been influenced by her sister, Dani, who is a college junior pursuing a nursing degree.

She is the daughter of Samie and Jim McCauley of Highmore.

Contest runner-up was Madalynn Lorang of Mt. Vernon. She is the daughter of Shelly and Nick Lorang.

Commenting on both essays, Mary Anne Krogh, dean of the College of Nursing, said, “Your essays clearly showed us your deep desire for and understanding of nursing as a profession. We need visionary thinkers like you to help solve the health care needs of the future. You are to be commended for your hard work.”

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