River Falls mother and daughter start nursing career together

Local News

RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The demand for nurses is growing, and members of one western Wisconsin family are stepping up to help fill the need. A mother and a daughter might be at different points in their lives, but they’re about to take on their next challenge of together. Here’s First News at Nine’s Sarah Winkelmann.

Renee Christensen has been an instructor at CVTC in River Falls for 19 years and she says all her students are special, but two of her current students are a little extra special.

“They are both very professional, very motivated,” said Christensen.

The determined duo is Liz Smith and her daughter, Charlie.

Elizabeth Smith, nursing student said, “We are doing advanced skills like central lines, NG tubes, and super cool stuff like that.”

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 halfway through,” said Smith.

Liz is going into her third semester of the program and her daughter Charlie is a few steps behind.

Charlie Smith said, “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. She knows little tricks so she can help me.”

But it goes both ways. Since Liz discovered her true passion after having giving birth to her kids.

Smith said, “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.”

She waited for all four of her kids to grow up, and then 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,” said Smith.

Her love for the program became infectious to those around her.

“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,” said Charlie.

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,” said Smith.

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