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Your Community. Your College.

Making a Difference in Her Community

"I love knowing that I make a difference every day. In somebody's life, every day. It just fulfills me," says Christy Georgeson of New Lisbon, Wis." 'It' is a career in nursing, something Christy has dreamt about since junior high school.

Nursing, she says, is in her blood. Despite being out of school for 12 years, and with five children and a husband, she decided in 2001 it was "do or die" time for her to get her degree. Not that it was easy. Going back to college is hard when you have little kids, especially, she says, "but as they get older, they're more vocal about your absence." "They want you at home. They tell you you're missing things." That's one of the reasons why she decided that Western Technical College in Mauston would fit her needs. "It was close to home," she says. "So I said, 'let's check it out, see what they have to offer.' I was very pleased."

Christy completed most of her general studies classes and many of her prerequisites in Mauston. She could also take many of her Nursing program classes in Mauston. She came to the La Crosse Campus two or three times a week, rather than daily, which saved a lot of time. In addition to her studies and raising a family, she also worked full-time as a nurse's aide on the night shift at Crestview Nursing Home in New Lisbon.

She loved the Mauston Campus, with its small size and close-knit community. "The outlying campuses, being smaller, allow you the opportunity to get close with all of your classmates," she says. "It was like one big family, really." That feeling extended to both staff and instructors. "The staff is so wonderful. They were always so involved in whatever we were doing," she says. "And the instructors are phenomenal." In fact, she says, she misses many of them and could not have achieved her dream without the tremendous support of her family, Western instructors and staff, and her fellow classmates.

In 2005, she began working at Hess Memorial Hospital as a nurse technician, where she stayed after her 2006 graduation. She notes, "I appreciate the fact that there are so many facets to the nursing profession and I can continue to expand my horizons." Christy now works in the Medical-Surgical unit, and in Obstetrics. She has taught classes for childbirth education and also been a clinical coach for new nurses entering the profession. "Coaching new nurses keeps you humble and reminds you where you started. You never stop learning. I always take time to assist students as well," she says. And she loves it. "Being at a rural hospital has that small town, neighborly feeling and the college was the exact same way," she says. "It's so nice to be building relationships with people in your own community."