Practical Nursing, IndianapolisFredonia
“I always knew I wanted a family. So I got married young, and by the time I was 25, I had two children. Now I’m close to being married 20 years, and I just turned 40. For years, I was all about my family, my husband and my children. I was a caregiver. I was at home. I home-schooled. I taught vacation Bible school. But I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. It was a dream I never gave up on.
My journey at Brightwood all started when there was a storm and my power went out. I had an appointment to meet with one of the Admissions Representatives, Monique, but my garage door wouldn’t open. I called, but instead of rescheduling, Monique told me about a lever I could pull to get my garage door open. So I gave it a shot and sure enough, it worked. It was in that moment that I decided to go. She could have just rescheduled my appointment and hung up the phone but she didn’t. She had such a positive persistence and didn’t give up on me. That’s how I really got here.
“I know I’m supposed to be a nurse.”
Now look at me! I’ve been in the Licensed Practical Nursing program since October 2016. It’s an accelerated program so it’s only a year, which means I will graduate this fall. After graduating, I see myself working as an LPN but I don’t want to stop there. I want to go back to school and become an RN. That’s my dream. For as long as I can remember, it’s been a drive in me. I know I’m supposed to be a nurse. I’m good at it and it comes effortlessly. It’s what I’m meant to do.
Going back to school at 40 has taught me to appreciate education more than I would have in my 20s. I don’t take it for granted because not everyone can go back to school. So I take that very seriously. I also know what I want, which makes me more focused. I know I may have done it a little differently but that’s okay.
“Going back to school at 40 has taught me to appreciate education more than I would have in my 20s.”
I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family. My kids love that I am in school. They always ask me if I finished my homework and what grade I got on my tests. At dinner, my husband feels like an outcast since he is the only one not in school! He is so cute. He keeps me focused and encourages me to study. On the days where I am so tired, he always asks what he can do to help. This year we aren’t taking a family vacation for spring break because we don’t really have the time with my schedule. So it’s a sacrifice. Everybody is sacrificing for me and I feel so humbled.
Besides my family, the faculty has also been extremely supportive. Some days I come in and am completely overwhelmed with an upcoming test. They always tell me I can do it. I love that the staff push up their sleeves with you. They don’t say, ‘Well this is what you have to do, go get it down.’ It’s always, ‘Let’s knock this out. Let’s understand it.’
If you are someone who is over 40 and wants to go back to school, my advice to you would be don’t think too much about it. Just keep moving forward. I think that if you think too much, you end up talking yourself out of it. Don’t do it. I’m so glad that I didn’t talk myself out of pursuing my dream, and now I can’t wait for graduation. It’s hard work, but I want it.”