Mother/Daughter duo start nurse education together

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 5:16 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2020 at 7:11 AM CDT
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RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - A mother and a daughter might be at different points in their life, but Liz and Charlie smith are about to take on their next challenge together. Both are taking classes in the nursing program at Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls.

“Introduce yourself to the patient and tell them what we are doing,” said CVTC instructor, Renee Christensen. She has been an instructor at the River Falls campus for 19 years and says that during that time all of her students are special. “They are excellent students,” Christensen added.

Two of her current students are a little extra special. “They are both very professional, very motivated,” Christensen said. The determined duo is Liz Smith and her daughter, Charlie. “We are doing advanced skills like central lines, NG tubes, and super cool stuff like that,” said Liz Smith, a nursing student and mom.

After spending 25 years working in graphic design, Liz decided to set put away the computer and pick up the stethoscope. “It is so rewarding already and I’m only half way through,” Liz said.

Liz is going into her third semester of the program and her daughter Charlie is a few steps behind. “I kind of have a leg up because she is good at it and she is smart so if I need help for anything like asking her questions and she has resources that she used that she found made it easier so she knows little tricks so she can help me,” said student, Charlie Smith.

The pair helps each other out, since Liz discovered her true passion after having giving birth to her kids. The more I was around the environment the more I wanted to be a part of it and it really made me realize how important nurses are," Liz said.

She waited for all four of her kids to grow up and then decided it was time to listen to her own heart and follow her passion. “I had to wait; I knew it was going to be an intense program and I wanted to really give it my all,” Liz added.

Her love for learning and nursing became infectious to her daughter. “I think it’s inspiring because she is very driven and she obviously excels in the nursing program and it’s something for me to look up to,” Charlie said. Together they are walking into the next adventure in life, side by side. “We are close the way it is but I think it’s just going to bring us closer,” Liz said.

Liz hopes to one day work in a NICU or as a labor and delivery nurse. Her daughter Charlie is still undecided which avenue she will go down in nursing but the good news is, they have each other to help figure it out.

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