Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography
Nate Mattson has two uniforms: his track and field jersey, and his scrubs. The senior sprinter has his sights set on becoming a medical professional, and could not be more dedicated to and satisfied with the path he has chosen.
When did you know you wanted to be a nurse?
“I spent the summer at a camp called the Painted Turtle. The Painted Turtle is a camp for chronically ill children. When I was giving back to those kids and providing them daily care…I knew that was exactly what I needed to be doing with the rest of my life.”
Balance being a student athlete?
“Making time is all about choosing priorities. When you know you want to be a successful professional and you know you want to continue with athletics, you find a balance between those two.”
Favorite part about being a nurse?
“Every time that I go into work I know I’ll be changing somebody’s life directly with my own hands. The fact that I get to do that every single time that I walk into work is unmatchable.”
After graduation plans?
“I’d like to eventually end up in a higher nursing role or administration, so wherever the best opportunity presents itself is where I’ll be.”
More school after graduation?
“‘Nurse Nate’ has a better ring to it than ‘Dr. Mattson’ so I’m still sticking with the whole nursing path because the more time you get to develop a relationship with your patients is what I’m looking for in my career.”
Which field of nursing?
“I’d like to go into pediatric critical care and help get the little youngsters back in the playgrounds and out on the fields so maybe one day they can call themselves a student athlete.”
Mattson finished third in the 100-meter dash during the 2013 Outdoor Summit League Championships, running a personal best 10.83.