Photo of Nikole PooleNEW PHILADELPHIA – After receiving a liver transplant at 8 years old, Nikole Poole dreamed of becoming a nurse.

On Friday, the 28-year-old Strasburg woman held tight to the associate degree that would make that dream a reality.

The new Kent State University at Tuscarawas graduate is excited to begin her new career, not unlike her fellow 416 graduates receiving their master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees.

Like many of them, Poole wouldn’t forget the many people, especially the nurses, who inspired her.


After two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital and one week at the Ronald McDonald House, Poole headed home, but she wouldn’t be the same. Not only would she grow to be healthy, but she made an important decision.

“I pretty much told my mom I wanted to be a nurse when I was in the hospital,” she said.

Poole told her mother: “I want to be a nurse. I want to help people like they helped me.”

Read the rest of Nikole’s story at the