Luray resident Angela Goebel’s nursing journey began three decades ago – before her daughter Rachael was even born – but Angela likes to joke she’s following in Rachael’s footsteps.
“I have been a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for 28 years,” says Angela, who began her nursing training at Prince William County School of Practical Nursing during her senior year at Brentsville District High School in Nokesville.
Wanting to immediately become a registered nurse (R.N.), she enrolled in correspondence classes at Northern Virginia Community College after graduating from high school and marrying her husband, Christian, who runs his family’s company, Shenandoah River Outfitters, and owns On Wings as Eagles Aviation.
The couple soon had Rachael. Two more children followed shortly thereafter, and a fourth was eventually born.
“With four kids, it was just too much to continue my education,” Angela says.
So, she worked as an LPN at various places, including Page Memorial Hospital, a multi-specialty clinic and an allergy and asthma practice. Plus, Angela spent 12 years homeschooling her children.
With her youngest child, Maria, graduating from Luray High School this month, Angela started classes at the LFCC Middletown Campus in January as part of the LPN to RN transition program. In addition to being a full-time student, she has a part-time job with Weight Watchers and also runs the family business, Cast-a-Way Cabins.
“I eventually want to be a nurse practitioner,” she says.
Angela’s daughter Rachael, is a captain in the U.S. Air Force and an RN studying for her doctoral degree in nursing practice (DNP).
“When I graduate with my R.N., she will receive her DNP,” says Angela. “I joke with people that I’m following in my daughter’s footsteps.”
She’s actually following in all four children’s footsteps since each was a dual-enrolled LFCC student while in high school.
“My desire is to treat endocrine disorders and obesity, which is really known as a chronic health disease because it causes so many other health issues,” Angela says.
She has experienced her own long-term health issues after a very serious case of Lyme disease, which she contracted in 1999, and which she says nearly killed her.
“I wasn’t driving anymore,” Angela says. “I was literally dying of Lyme disease. Everything was shutting down, and I had a head-to-toe miracle. I had a full-body warmth come over me and I went from not driving, to literally not sleeping the next few days because I was so excited. It was over Easter weekend in 2005.”
While she comes to the Middletown Campus for her nursing classes, Angela appreciates the convenience of the Luray-Page County Center where she has had some tests proctored.
“I really like LFCC’s nursing program,” she says. “I’ve had several friends that have graduated from it. I love that it’s affordable and a good, solid program. I really like the instructors, and appreciate being able to come in as an LPN and be able to transition to an RN.”
At 47, Angela is surrounded by students of all ages, some older, and some younger than she is.
“In a way, it makes you feel young again, sitting in a classroom with 20-year-olds,” she observes. “Everybody makes you feel welcome and you become like a family.”