Dakota Arms, RN,BSN attended Oklahoma City Community College for his Associates in Applied Science degree in Nursing.

Located in southwest Oklahoma City, is Esperanza Elementary School, home of the Esperanza Foxes. With Pre-K through 4th grade, you will find Dakota Arms, RN,BSN, school nurse. This is Dakota’s fourth year as an RN and third year as a school nurse at Esperanza.
Growing up in Moore, OK, Dakota wanted to be a paleontologist when he was little. “I really liked dinosaurs and always wanted to find a velociraptor in my backyard,” he said with a smile.
As time changed, he focused on the medical field, attending Oklahoma City Community College for his Associates in Applied Science degree in Nursing, and then Southwestern Oklahoma State University for his Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
“I enjoy being a school nurse,” Dakota said. “I am a nurse because I wanted a career to advocate for others and I have a passion for learning about how I can nurse people back to health. The reason I pursued school nursing is that I really enjoy the patient population and I know that I am making a difference in their lives. Children are so inquisitive, so it makes it very easy to teach those foundational levels of health literacy that can shape their lives going forward,” he commented.
A typical day for Dakota varies from seeing thirteen children a day or as many as thirty-five, but roughly seventy to eighty per week. The day usually begins by checking his email from leadership and then, children begin making their way into his office with a variety of complaints. There’s pink eye, fever, headaches, tummy aches, coughs, sore throat, etc. Then screening for vision and hearing and whoever needs to be referred. Certain children have a daily medication, along with using an inhaler. Assessments and charting is done on all students.
Throughout the day he never knows what lies beyond his clinic door; broken arms, big lacerations to the head, items in ears and noses, bee stings and all sorts of rashes. That includes the ongoing emergencies of scraped knees, limping, teary eyes or just a Band-Aid to magically heal the invisible scrape. No matter what it is, the children leave smiling and walking just fine. The children are fortunate to have such a caring nurse to take care of them.
Asking Dakota what his greatest reward as a school nurse is, he replied, ”Watching the students thrive after giving them the proper resources to do so. As a school nurse, I have a lot of impact on their education even though it is a different way than a traditional teacher. It might be referring a child to get glasses that is having difficulty in seeing the board, or it could be lending a listening ear to a student who may need time to express themselves to be heard, or a child with a chronic health condition managing their disease at school. All of these can impact a child’s education and it’s very rewarding to be able to help in any way that I can.”
Dakota’s advice to someone thinking about going into the medical field, would be to SHADOW. He finds shadowing is a great way to find exactly what you want to do. Another word of advice is to LISTEN. He would also encourage them to continue to seek knowledge, never quit learning and be an advocator for yourself and others.
Dakota attributes his decision to pursue a career in healthcare to the influence of his aunt, who was a nurse at the time and later, became a PA. During his high school years, he realized his passion for the medical field and looked up to his aunt as a guiding light. She served as his mentor instilling in him the desire to follow in her footsteps. Another influential figure in Dakota’s journey is nurse Patty Currey who oversees the school nurses at OKCPS. She also stands out as one of the sweetest, funniest people Dakota has ever met.
Listing a few personal qualities about himself, Dakota said, “I am a smart, funny, kind-hearted, consistent person and I enjoy laughing, having fun and bringing a smile to others.”
Dakota’s hobbies include reading, shooting hoops and watching NBA basketball. He also volunteers for the Oklahoma Regional Food bank.