Life experience with daughter's death prepares a West Fargo woman for a career in nursingFergus Falls, Minn. (WDAY TV) - When Abigail Vetter of West Fargo graduated from college with a degree in Geology and a Masters in Space Studies, whoever thought the environmental engineer would wind up back in the classroom. But then again, whoever knew Abigail would care for and hold her young daughter as she died.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
It is sometimes easier to pan for gold than start an IV. Ask any student nurse.
“Don't want to get the blood gushing everywhere.”
Today, Abigail Vetter and others at M-State Fergus Falls going thru testing in their nursing program here. Every day Abigail, with her children still in school, drives to Fergus Falls to pursue her dream job.
“Hope this relieves some of the discomfort.”
But the journey here started with a heart wrenching story.
“I realized that that is where I needed to be.”
It was three years ago, we first told you about little Caroline Ruby, a 5-year old full of spunk, robbed of life by a genetic disease. Caroline's mother Abigail, then an engineer, cared for her at home 24/7.
ABIGAIL VETTERGoing into Nursing: “When it first started out we did not have nurses at home to take care of her so my husband and I had to step up and be her nurses and take care of her and be there because we were at her bedside 24 hours a day.”
It is that care giving then that led Abigail back to the classroom, to nursing.
“Nursing is a holistic practice. You are taking care of families and the whole situation. You take care of them mind, body, and soul. That is what attracted me and there is so much fulfillment at the end of the day and knowing I did something good for someone else.”
Abigail is not only hands on in the classroom but working with patients at Lake Region Hospital in Fergus Falls.
TRACY MORSTAD, RN - MSTATE NURSING INSTRUCTOR: “It is invaluable information. We not only get her medical experience, but what it is like to be the parent and the patient. And that is important to us.”
Caroline's signature duck travels on Abigail's stethoscope, a reminder of a little girl, who three years after her death, still is making a difference.
“I do believe that it is the experiences that we have that shape who we are and the futures we are supposed to lead and there is a reason she was sent to us. I will always have an angel on my shoulder.”
Abigail will graduate with an RN-degree this spring. She hopes to work at hospital here in Fargo.
Abigail's story helped her earn a scholarship from the Fergus Falls based Communicating for Agriculture Foundation.
Milt and Bea Smedsrud set up a nursing scholarship program at M-State Fergus Falls, as a way to inspire and reward those wanting to pursue the nursing profession. More than 15-thousand dollars and at least five scholarships helped students get through this year's nursing program.
BEN SCHIERERCommunicating for America: “When you get an opportunity to meet these young people who have been effective and you see not just their lives affected but how many lives they can impact, it is really cool.”
More than a hundred students are enrolled in M-State's practical and RN programs.