NATICK — Barbara Singer knew since the age of nine that she wanted to be a nurse, a career she's pursued for the last 27 years. Now, her dedication to her profession is being recognized.
Singer, who has been a nurse at the Bennett-Hemenway Elementary School in Natick, been honored with the 2013 William P. Doran Foundation's Excellence in Nursing Award.
Recipients of the award are Massachusetts school nurses who make significant contributions to the health of children, while maintaing high standards of professional and personal integrity, according to the foundation.
"I'm one of the lucky ones," Singer said. "I've known since I was 9-years-old that I've wanted to be a nurse."
Singer said that was when a sibling suffered a serious injury, and was bedridden for months.
"I saw all the work that the nurses did, and I knew that's what I wanted to do," she said.
Singer, who had previously worked as a critical care nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she has worked in Natick schools for the last 10 years.
School nursing, she said, goes far beyond just giving out bandages. Singer said it's become a field that addresses a wide array of health and wellness needs of children.
"It's really evolved into a specialized area of nursing," she said. "I love it. I love working with children, with kids with special needs. I work in an elementary program where the kids are at the school for five years. It's so rewarding to see them develop and grow."
Singer said she was grateful to be nominated and honored to have won the award.
"There is an incredible group of school nurses in Natick," Singer said. "I want people to know that they (the nurses) are an important part of the school district."
The Doran Award includes a paid trip to the annual meeting of the National Association of School Nurses, or $2,000 for tuition of an educational program of Singer's choice.
The award was presented at the spring meeting of the Massachusetts School Nurse Organization April 6 in Marlborough. The Natick School Committee recognized Singer's accomplishment at their April 22 meeting.