CLEVELAND, Wis. (NBC 26) — Right after she graduated high school, Jennifer Muckerheide pursued a career in nursing.
But she decided to pivot to business after having kids. And in 2020, Muckerheide lost her job of 20 years.
"My husband's like 'well, do you want to find something else or do you ever want to go back to school for nursing and finish that nursing degree?" she said.
Now, Muckerheide is doing just that at Lakeshore Technical College, all while she works as a certified nursing assistant with Aurora in Sheboygan.
"By December, I was completely enrolled, had all my transcripts over and was signed up for classes for the next semester," she said.
And Muckerheide's not alone. Her daughter Alivia is one semester ahead, also pursuing an associate's degree in nursing at LTC.
"I took to heart what she told me about the mistakes that she made in the past," Alivia said. "So I think that I kind of followed her lead and then she's just catching up."
The mother-daughter duo is motivated by a statewide need.
The latest survey completed by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development projects a registered nursing shortage ranging from 3,000 to almost 23,000 nurses by 2040.
"You get in there and you're like 'oh, I got this... I can do this,'" Muckerheide said.
The DWD also reports an aging employee population of baby boomers poses another threat to the nursing need.
"Working in facilities where we always had a staff shortage, I feel prepared where the idea of it isn't fazing me," Alivia said.
Muckerheide plans to be done in May before becoming a registered nurse.
Alivia plans to finish up in December and pursue her bachelor's degree while working at HSHS St. Nicholas.
"Right now, I'm only working every other weekend because my focus is my school," Muckerheide said. "I wanna be successful and complete it."