Nursing family finds a tradition in Newman

By Jack Schafer, Staff Writer

Nursing is a tradition for the Smarsh family, especially when it comes to Newman.

Kelsey Smarsh is the youngest in her family to go to the university for nursing. Her brother is currently a nursing major at Newman, her older sister already graduated from Newman with her degree, and her mother, who is a nurse, went to Newman as well.

So when it came time for Kelsey Smarsh to choose a school, Newman University was the obvious choice.

“My sister and my mom definitely played a role in my decision to come here,” Smarsh said. “My mom got her associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s from Newman and both her and my sister said that if I was going into nursing, Newman is the best place to go.”

But Smarsh's decision to become a nurse came even before that.

“I have always wanted to go into nursing because it’s in the family and all I ever hear is ‘nurse talk’ anyway,” Smarsh said.

Smarsh is currently in her second semester as a nursing major, only one semester behind her brother, Jared, who is set to graduate with his BSN in December 2018. Her mother, Jannelle, originally graduated with her ASN in 1989 while her sister, Erica, just graduated with her BSN in 2014.

Smarsh said when she looked at Newman, she liked how it had smaller classrooms and the well regarded nursing program.

“I don’t think I would do as well in bigger classrooms just because I ask a lot of questions so I like to know my professor,” Smarsh said.

Although she and her brother may follow a similar path, Smarsh said, they definitely have their differences.

“Jared doesn’t have to study for good grades as much as I do so I’ve always been jealous of him for that reason. It just comes easy to him and I have to study really hard for good grades,” Smarsh said.

Kelsey and Jared’s nursing professor, Amy Siple, also taught Erika.

"I have enjoyed having Erika, Jared and Kelsey as students immensely. They are all very bright but vastly different. Erika was a serious scholar, Jared is the light hearted jokester in the class and Kelsey is the shy student who says very little, but surprises you when you get to see her brilliance. I would love to meet their parents and find out what tactics they used to raise such an amazing, compassionate, productive and responsible group of young adults,” Siple said.

Kelsey is a nurse tech now, but has thought about following in her mother’s footsteps of going back to school to be a CRNA eventually. She is scheduled to graduate in May 2018.