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A Nurse’s Story: Never too old to go back to school

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 3:00pm

By Melodie Clark

(Student in the LPN-ASN Bridge program and the RN-BSN program)  

I have worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs since Dec. 26, 1989, holding several positions throughout the facility. 

I was selected for an upper-mobility program for Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN), which I completed in 2001 through the School District of the City of Erie.

Currently, I am working as an LPN in the VA’s primary care outpatient clinic. I am certified for IVs, telemetry and phlebotomy and my nursing experience includes hospice, palliative care, rehabilitation and medical surgery.  I have had the pleasure of working with some exceptional staff members who have provided an outstanding learning environment for me.  

I feel that nursing is an ongoing learning process with the constant changes in protocol and processes based on evidence-based studies. Over the years, several people have tried to convince me to go back to school and get my Registered Nurse (RN) degree.  My first thought was that I am too old to go to college. My second thought was that pursuing an RN degree online would not be an option as I have always been in a classroom setting. My third thought was the cost of tuition. In fall 2015, I told my husband that I would like to inquire about the LPN to RN Bridge Program at Mercyhurst North East, and I ultimately enrolled.

Thanks to modern technology, the teaching and learning processes are different today compared to when I was in school. With patience, support and assistance from others, I have adapted. 

Overall my experience in the college setting has been very positive and rewarding and I plan to continue my college experience to pursue my RN degree. I would probably not be where I am today if it wasn’t for all the positive people in my life that have influenced me to continue my education. I hope that when I complete my journey, I will be a role model for others. A special thank you to my husband, Mark, who has been with me every step of the way.

The nursing profession is very rewarding as I enjoy continuously acquiring new knowledge and skills to provide quality care to the veterans.