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December 2017: Nursing major and great-grandmother graduate from GC a century apart

Naomi Bennett Workman graduated from Georgia Normal & Industrial College in 1917. Exactly 100 years later her great grandson Daniel Schnaak will graduate in December with a degree in nursing.

Naomi Bennett Workman, GN&IC Class of 1917

Things were very different in the early 1900s. At that time, Workman was the first woman in her family to go to college. She departed from Camilla, Georgia, by train to attend Georgia College. Mules met the students arriving by train to carry their luggage to the dorms.

Upon graduating, Workman entered the workforce, and said she “was treated like royalty.” All the graduates, including Workman, were heavily recruited into the workforce, where she became a teacher in Marietta, Georgia.

Several decades later, her great-grandson is set to experience his profession in the ever-advancing field of health care, and Daniel Schnaak wants to ride that wave of change.

“I believe that health care will radically change in the next few decades as new types medicine and technology are being discovered every day, and nurses will be at the forefront to implement all these new changes,” he said. “So, naturally, I want to apart of this exciting time in health care.”

Schnaak’s exposure to nursing began early. His friends and family were nurses. Through the years he learned of their experiences and stories and realized nursing would be a good fit for him. And, he was right. His favorite classes were anatomy and physiology.

“The human body is crazy cool,” he said. 

Daniel Schnaak will receive his BSN in December.

Schnaak’s already got a sample of how grueling his schedule can be. He works in a nearby hospital his senior year and, at the same time, is studying for the state nursing board exam. 

“We work with a preceptor during their shifts at the hospital, and when we’re not doing that, we’re studying for the [National Council Licensure Examination] NCLEX exam,” he said. “The goal is to get indoctrinated into the hospital life-style (12-hour shifts) and create a solid base of understanding before jumping into your career.”

During his time at Georgia College, Schnaak has discovered the key to his advancement.

“I’ve certainly grown into a more well-rounded individual through my time at GC,” he said. “In my opinion, staying uncomfortable and pushing yourself towards new horizons is the key to fulfillment.”

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