Daughter graduates from College of Nursing 12 years after her mom 

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Two women stand side by side in front of a lake. The younger woman on the right wears a graduation gown.
Taylor Gravitt, right, is graduating from Mercer University's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the same school that her mom, Mandy Gravitt, graduated from in 2010. Photo courtesy Taylor Gravitt

Taylor Gravitt was in elementary school when her mom decided to go back to school at Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

“I remember when you got your acceptance letter in the mail,” she said, looking at her mom, Mandy Gravitt, during a joint interview with The Den. “I was sitting in the living room, and you screamed.”

Mandy was a medical assistant at the time, and Taylor watched as she juggled work and school to become a nurse, studying while waiting in the carpool line and scattering textbooks across her bed. Sometimes, if Taylor’s dad wasn’t available, she went with her mom to study groups and class.

In 2010, Mandy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Now, 12 years later, Taylor is following in her mom’s footsteps. On May 15, she too will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mercer.

“I always told myself before I applied to nursing school, ‘Oh my gosh, it would be so cool to go to Mercer because Mom went there,’” Taylor said.

Seeing her mom’s impact on other people is what inspired her to be a nurse, Taylor said.

After graduation, Mandy started working in an intensive care unit, and Taylor saw the satisfaction she got from that. She also noticed that people often approached her mom in public to share the impact she had on them while they or a loved one was in her care.

Taylor said she wanted to have that same impact.

After graduation, she’ll start working as an ICU nurse, just like her mom did. After nine years in ICU, Mandy now works in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Northside Hospital Forsyth. Taylor will be working at Northside Hospital Cherokee.

A woman places a pin on a younger woman wearing a graduation gown
Mandy Gravitt pins her daughter, Taylor Gravitt, with her own pin from nursing school. Photo courtesy Taylor Gravitt

Much was different about Mandy and Taylor’s experiences at the College of Nursing. Mandy was a mom and among the oldest students in her class, while Taylor was a commuter student and dealt with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But much was also the same.

Dr. Linda Streit served as dean during both mother and daughter’s tenures. Taylor’s adviser was one of her mom’s professors, and they both had the same clinical instructor.

“It just made it feel like home to know that these people taught my mom, and now they’re teaching me,” Taylor said.

Mandy said she loved her professors at Mercer.

“I made connections with the professors, and that was one thing that I tried instilling in Taylor,” Mandy said. “You get to know your professors because you’re going to need to lean on them, and I felt like I had that support from them. I had a great experience at Mercer.”

Having a degree from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing made her stand out in her job search, and the education she received gave her a solid foundation for her career, Mandy said.

She is proud that her daughter is graduating from her alma mater, and Taylor feels the same.

“Not many people can say that they have that kind of connection,” she said. “To go into this profession and to be Georgia Baptist graduates together is very cool.”

 

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Jennifer Falk is the director of digital communications at Mercer University and editor-in-chief of The Den. She creates and supervises the development of written and multimedia content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters, including The Den and This Week @ Mercer. In addition, she collaborates with schools and offices to maintain web content and examines data and analytics to drive content creation decisions. She also serves as a member of the University's social media committee.