The WellSpan Spotlight

Following in her mom's nursing footsteps

Mother's Day 2024 - Ambyre Pace and Rachel Church

Ambyre Pace is a nurse. She knew her daughter, Rachel, would be a great nurse herself, due to her intelligence, strength, and determination. 

Rachel, however, wasn’t sure she had what it took. But with her mom’s inspiration and encouragement, the young woman who had bandaged her Barbies and drew a picture of her “nurse mom” as a kid, finally enrolled in nursing school.

Then her mom went back to school, too.

Together, the two worked full time, completed their education, and cemented their nursing bond. 

Meet Ambyre 
Ambyre is a nurse practitioner with Neonatology in the Newborn Nursery at WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital. She started her college career majoring in not only nursing, but also in English, and pre-pharmacy. Although she didn’t know what career she wanted at that time, Ambyre was certain of one thing – wanting children of her own. She took a break from her education, got married, and became a stay-at-home mom to her three children.

When her youngest started kindergarten, Ambyre saw this as an opportunity to attend nursing school. Her first job was working as a medical-surgical nurse on tower 3 at WellSpan York Hospital. She has been working with patients of all ages during her career including her favorite; premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her career path changed slightly when she grew interest in becoming a nurse manager after working as a house supervisor. She quickly realized she was happier at the bedside and returned to WellSpan York Hospital’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) while attending nurse practitioner school.
Meet Rachel 

Rachel Church is a registered nurse on tower 3 at WellSpan York Hospital, just like her mom was. For years, Rachel told herself she wasn’t smart enough to become a nurse. Her mom didn’t believe that.

Ambyre saw early signs of Rachel’s fascination for the medical field. As a child, Rachel’s favorite video game was called Trauma Center: Under the Knife, which involved operating on sick patients. She loved to watch medical shows on TV. She doctored her Barbies, covering them with bandages in her doll hospital. And at age 12, Rachel drew Ambyre a picture of her “nurse mom” taking care of “some girl in a car crash.”

“I think I knew in that moment that Rachel was destined to be a nurse,” Ambyre says. “The detail was incredible, and I have it framed in my office to this day.”

Rachel studied cosmetology after high school and became a hair stylist for two years until she realized her love for science and the understanding of treating diseases. To Rachel, cosmetology and nursing seemed similar because they both involve physically caring for others.

“When I realized I could have the best of both worlds, it was a perfect fit,” Rachel says. Her timing, as it turned out, was great.

While her mom was attending school to become a nurse practitioner, Rachel was attending Harrisburg Area Community College’s nursing program. Rachel utilized WellSpan’s forgivable loan program which supported her to continue her education while making her feel like a valued employee. 

Mom, daughter, classmates  

Ambyre and Rachel supported each other through their entire school journeys. From calling each other on their way home from clinical classes, sharing their favorite school supplies, and helping each other navigate the ins and outs of online classes, they constantly taught each other new things. 

In May of 2023, Rachel and Ambyre graduated the same week and were able to attend each other’s ceremonies.

During Rachel’s graduation, all nurse attendees were asked to stand and recite the nurse’s pledge with the graduating class. Rachel found Ambyre in the stands, held her hand, and said they said the pledge together.

“This is my favorite memory of that week by far,” Ambyre says. “I was filled with pride in our profession, love for my girl, and in awe of how hard she worked to accomplish her goal.” 

“There are few words that adequately express how grateful I am for my mom. She is not only my mom, but my best friend,” Rachel says. “People often say that as they age, they become more like their mother. If I became even half the woman she is, I’d consider my life a successful one.” 

We’re driven every day by our mission to improve lives through exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness, and healthy communities. And we couldn’t do it without nurses like Ambyre, Rachel — and you. Join our nursing team by visiting