Public Relations and Marketing Communications
By Rebecca Rakoczy
For Latrice Smith, who is graduating this month from Georgia State University Perimeter College, the word embodies the experience of the entire class of 2021.
Smith is one of 40 Perimeter College students earning an associate of science degree in nursing and receiving their pins during a special ceremony Thursday, Dec. 16.
“A lot of that resilience has to do with most of us being millennials — we have a go-getter mentality,” the 31-year-old said. “I think it’s more about proving to ourselves as well as society that we’re up for the challenge.”
Now on the cusp of graduation with three job offers in Atlanta, Smith admits that her resilience was tested, and she was almost sidelined during the pandemic.
“The pandemic hit in the middle of nursing school,” she said. “I was dealing with marital issues and failed a class.”
She missed graduating in May but repeated the class and passed within a few months.
Smith already had both a bachelor’s in biology and master’s in health science when she decided to go into the nursing program. Her first career was as a medical technologist in an Atlanta infertility treatment center.
“I chose nursing school because I knew I wanted more direct patient care,” she said. “Women’s health has always been a passion of mine. I knew it from an early age. Even in third grade, I was the only 8-year-old who knew how to spell obstetrician-gynecologist.”
Smith has already accepted a job at Northside Hospital in labor and delivery, and looks forward to taking the National Council Licensure Examination in January. She has also been accepted into Georgia State’s RN-to BSN (Bachelor of Science Nursing) program and will start in June 2022.
“I hope to go all the way through (the program) to become a nurse-midwife,” she said.
Photo by Bill Roa