The rewards of work for Wesley Kuykendall are measured in the smiles on the faces of the children he treats. 

A registered nurse at Clear Lake Regional Hospital in the pediatrics ward, Kuykendall, 35, of League City, cares for patients from newborns to 17-year-olds.
“I like working with kids,” said Kuykendall. “Even when they’re sick, seeing smiles on their faces makes my day better.”
Kuykendall revels in the job that is his passion after 10 years in the restaurant business.
“I think I was stuck,” said Kuykendall. “I’ve always wanted to work in health care.”
Kuykendall determined to make a change and enrolled in the College of the Mainland Associate Degree Nursing Program.
In the rigorous program, Kuykendall learned in classes, labs and clinicals at University of Texas-Medical Branch, Mainland Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
Receiving a COM Foundation scholarship and financial aid assisted him as he worked part-time and attended class full-time.
“My teachers … always pushed me. I had a bond with all of them I feel like,” said Kuykendall.
“When I see them today they still try to push me toward my goals.”
Now as a registered nurse he daily uses skills he learned in the challenging two-year program.
“I don’t know what else I could have done that made me happy,” said Kuykendall. “It was definitely worth it. I can always fall back on my degree. It was the best decision I ever made.”