NRHEG Salutatorian picks nursing


FIRM PLAN — From an early age, Amy Thompson knew she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a nurse. Thompson was NRHEG’s Salutatorian for 2012. (Star Eagle photo by Rachel Rietsema)


Staff Writer

Just in case you missed the 411, there’s a recent NRHEG High School graduate who craves the sweet days of scrub fashion.

That alumnus is Amy Thompson, the 2012 Salutatorian.

“When Mr. Stoesz shook my hand in the principal’s office, I was very surprised,” Thompson said. “The last I knew, I was ranked 11th in the class. Then ever since the tenth grade, I had straight A’s.”

Bound for Riverland Community College, Thompson sheds light on why she so badly wants to become a nurse.

“As a little girl, a lady came up to me and told me how my mom saved her baby’s life,” Thompson said. “This made me want to do what she does.”

Her goal is to help as many patients as possible, all within the realm of autistic children.

“I want to learn about their disability and help find a cure or ways to overcome it,” Thompson said.

By summer’s end, she will have a semester’s worth of college courses completed, a jump start made possible by an already fulfilled Certified Nursing Assistant course, and college level English and Government classes.

“For six weeks, I had CNA class right after school from 3:30-10,” Thompson said. “My family was there to keep me going. My mom helped me study whenever I needed it. They all calmed me down and let me vent if I ever needed it.”

As a matter of fact, this tightknit family of hers has been the source of an important life lesson.

“I’ve realized to not take others for granted,” Thompson said. “In these four years, I’ve come to learn who is going to support me with decisions and just anything I do.”

Two years down the road, she hopes to earn her Associates in Nursing and march onward to online classes taken either through Winona State University or Rochester University’s School of Nursing.

“My sister just graduated from nursing two weeks ago,” Thompson said. “It’s a whole family full of nurses.”

Rounding off the nursing trio, she finds that college coupled with a familiar atmosphere is the perfect combination.

“I’m hoping for a nursing group of sorts,” Thompson said. “I also want to be more involved with the community, such as volunteering with local blood drives.”

And yet, despite her enthusiasm for things ahead, she will miss a few things from her high school days, one of which was her involvement with the volleyball team.

“During our game at Gustavus College, we put everything on the line,” Thompson said. “It was a lot of fun, but sad at the same time because we knew it was our last game.”

This National Honor Society student also took a myriad of challenging courses including chemistry, anatomy and physics.

“Physics involved a lot of numbers and equations,” Thompson said. “Eventually, we went to Valleyfair and calculated the speed and height of rollercoasters.”

Piling even more pressure to her already hectic schedule were her shifts at the Perkins restaurant in Albert Lea. There she continues to enjoy the interaction with new guests and co-workers.

“In my spare time, I love to read on my Kindle Fire for Christmas,” Thompson said. “I read all of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult’s novels.”

Textbooks are another favorite of hers.

“I want to go as far as I can in my career and live every day to the fullest,” Thompson said.