ELIZABETH SIMMERER HAS TACKLED MANY OBSTACLES IN PATH TO ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSING, NOW READY TO TAKE ON BACHELOR’S DEGREE
Elizabeth Simmerer is ready to take her career in health care to the next level, now that she has earned an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) from Lorain County Community College. Simmerer, of North Royalton, will graduate on May 18 from the program. Simmerer earned her degree through the LCCC satellite program in Medina.
“LCCC accepted my science credits that were several years old. That allowed me to take advantage of this great program that’s close to my home,” she said.
Simmerer currently works for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the Home Care office. With her new credentials, she hopes to soon work in the intensive care unit or in an operating room at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Simmerer began by taking one course at a time, while balancing her full-time job and her family responsibilities. On the way to her degree, Simmerer dealt with a barrage of family health issues – including her own battle with breast cancer. Shortly after beginning the program, Simmerer was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy in 2006, followed by additional surgeries.
Prior to her own cancer diagnosis, Simmerer’s father-in-law passed away from lung cancer. Her family moved in with her mother-in-law to help in the difficult time. By 2008, Simmerer’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and soon required round-the-clock care. By adjusting her work schedule and carefully scheduling classes, Simmerer was able to stay on track toward her degree while also providing care for her mother-in-law. Sadly, her mother-in-law passed away in August, right about the time when Simmerer began clinicals.
Throughout all her trials, Simmerer occasionally took time off from school to handle her family matters. However, she was committed to staying the course and eventually earning an ADN degree. She credits her husband with helping her stay on course.
“I am married to a wonderful man who has sacrificed himself and put up with me during these crazy days. He has done everything from laundry, cooking, and paying bills while working as well. He has kept the house a float while I was unable to. I thank God for him every day,” she said.
She also stayed on track to serve as a role model to her son, Seth.
“It has been a long journey and I am almost finished. I look forward to my new career and have LCCC to thank for it,” she said.
Simmerer plans to continue her education to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The University of Akron.