Lindsey Fritz is graduating from Madison College with an Associate Degree in Nursing this month, but she already speaks with the authority and confidence of a Fortune 500 CEO. One who has compassion. The two-time Council Scholarship recipient will barely catch her breath after commencement. In February she starts work at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. Then, next fall, she begins work at Edgewood College toward her Master of Science degree in Nursing as well as her certification as a nurse practitioner.
It’s clear talking with Lindsey that she would have found a way to make all this happen even if she didn’t receive scholarship help from the Council. But she’s quick to point out that the boost the Council’s financial support provided allowed an already large wingspan to spread even farther.
“It allowed me to actually take the time to focus on my studies and be able to advocate for other students to get their needs met,” Lindsey says. “Without the scholarship help, I would have had to focus more on my (earning) career than on my education. So, I’m extremely thankful to the Council for that.”
Advocacy is one of the Council’s core functions, and it also happens to be one of Lindsey’s specialties. She advises other nursing students who are blind or visually impaired. And not just at Madison College, but around the country.
“I worked with a young man from Washington, DC,” she says. “This was just last week. He told me about a nursing program he was doing. His faculty is not giving him access to larger print materials. We talked about reaching out to his local National Federation of the Blind. I was able to refer him to a specific person there. There’s no reason they couldn’t send him a digital version of his book,” she says, exasperation in her voice.
Another recent example: A high school student interested in nursing reached out. “An advisor told this high school student they couldn’t do it (go into nursing).” This was a case where Lindsey had to simply provide a heartfelt pep talk based on her own journey as a person with vision loss. “I told him to keep his head up. And don’t stop. Don’t give up.”
Lindsey met her calling with nursing, and it seems clear that the field will benefit from her decision to go all in with the profession. “I always had a predilection to helping people,” she says. “I prefer to work with people one on one. Nursing can do that. Nurses are bedside.”