Family helps Werner find her way to MSU

MINOT, N.D. – Madi Werner’s connection to family made her take a leap of faith and move 1,175 miles north from Texas Tech to Minot State.

Her time spent in the MSU Nursing Department helped her believe that leap was worth it.

Werner transferred from Texas Tech — the school she had fallen in love with during her high school years — to Minot after her dad moved the family to the Bakken oil field. Even though the Lafyette, Louisiana native liked Texas Tech, something wasn’t quite right.

“My parents and my siblings are, and have always been, the greatest support system that I could ask for and I was not doing well without them,” she said. “My mom, Katherine ’22, decided to go back to school in nursing as well and we thought, why not just do it together. I packed up and moved here and went to school with my mom.”

While some children might feel embarrassed to be in school with a parent, Werner felt right at home taking classes with her mother.

“I tell everyone I think she is kind of embarrassed of me, it should be the opposite,” she said. “I love that woman to pieces, and she is one of the most important people in my life and one of my best friends. I was always trying to get her to take classes with me, but she wouldn’t do it. She said it was because she didn’t want that kind of a class load.”

The duo missed out on graduating together due to Madi Werner’s transfer process.

“She graduated one semester ahead of me,” she said. “We differed a little in study habits, but it was very cool to see her go through the program and graduate. She passed her NCLEX on the first try and is now working in the postpartum floor at the new Trinity Health hospital. It all worked out the way it was intended to.”

When Werner first transferred to MSU, she wasn’t 100% sure it would work out as the culture shock coming from Texas to North Dakota and from an extremely large campus to MSU’s was difficult.

“I’m not going to lie, I struggled at first,” she said. “It was a little rocky. I went from a school where we took buses to get across campus to here. But, once I got in the program, things started clicking. The connections with faculty and peers made a huge difference. I enjoyed the nursing program as much as one can enjoy school because you get the sense — with the smaller class sizes and the faculty — they actually care about you and your success in the program.”

The outstanding faculty in the MSU Nursing Department and the aforementioned support from her family were two areas that helped Werner transition to living in Minot.

The third area isn’t quite so common.

“I’m a competitive power lifter and have been able to travel all over and compete, including a collegiate competition last April where I took first in my weight class,” Werner said. “When people meet me, they are usually confused when I tell them I’m a powerlifter because I’m 4-foot-10 and 115 pounds. But I’m mechanically built to lift a lot of weights.

“I did it in high school after someone said you look strong, you could be good at it. I took fifth at regional without putting much effort into and my dad looked at me and said, ‘dude, you could be really good if you put in any effort,’ and then really got into it.”

After winning a state championship as a senior, she stepped away from the sport following an injury. While at MSU, she decided to get back into the sport.

“It was while I was in school. I finally healed my back and had my ducks in a row mentally, I guess I just decided to go back to the gym,” she said. “I missed it a lot. I got back and started to get strong again. I have high aspirations when it comes to powerlifting and plan to keep lifting and competing.”

Her lifting career will have to fit in with a busy nursing schedule. After earning her degree in May, Werner left for Kansas where her fiancé is stationed in the United States Air Force. She was accepted at a level one trauma center where she will see all levels of emergency patients.

“I see the most gory and worst things that most people wouldn’t be interested in,” she said. “I worked at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch while in school and developed a huge passion for mental health and figured I would go into that field. I’m not saying I won’t end up in that area, but I changed my mind a little about what area I wanted to work in during college. I’m sure it will change again. In the ER, you see all kinds of patients dealing with mental health and will be able to use my skills I learned at the Ranch here.”

The nursing field, however, is something she most likely won’t leave.

“I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field, I was always drawn to it,” Werner said. “For a while, I didn’t know exactly what, maybe a doctor, but the older I got and as I developed a sense of who I was, I knew I wanted to spend time with patients and be a part of their support system as well as their medical treatment.

“That’s exactly what a nurse is.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 07/27/23   

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