In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we talk to Stacey Lynds, a BSN nursing student in Spokane and a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
You’re set to graduate in December – what’s next?
I’m going to be working for the Indian Health Service. I got an IHS scholarship, and part of that includes a service agreement that I work for two years. The clinics are mostly on reservations – they’re pretty remote. It’s a lot of primary care, and almost urgent care too with same-day appointments for tribal members and non-tribal members who live on or around the reservation.
Is rural care your goal?
I’m not a fan of big cities. I grew up in Colville, just off the Colville Indian Reservation. I exercise my tribal hunting rights so if I’m not working on the Rez I’ll be near it.
Why did you choose nursing?
I went through business school first at Eastern Washington University and spent over 10 years working as a general manager. I didn’t enjoy a lot of the stuff I was doing. I wanted to move to health care and nursing appealed to me – it’s more what I’m used to, working directly with people.
What kind of nursing do you want to pursue long-term?
There are so many different things you can do with nursing. If you get tired of one you can go back to school or do a training course and change your specialty. I just found that super appealing. I plan on going back and getting a degree to be a nurse practitioner.
Did you make the right choice?
I absolutely love the WSU program and nursing. It’s just been fantastic. I’m much happier with it than I ever was with business. That’s my advice for any students who are thinking of going back to school – do it.
–Story by Addy Hatch