Missouri nurse finally earns her bachelor’s degree — at 84

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We love a sweet success story–who doesn’t?–and it doesn’t get much more heartwarming than hearing someone’s dream came true, especially a nurse! Leslie Nivens from Carthage, Missouri turned 84 on Tuesday. On Friday, she will finally earn her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, after decades of classes and nearly 50 years as a nurse.

Although she never envisioned herself as a nurse when she was young, she found herself enrolling in nursing training. Why? In 1951, while fighting with her fiance about whether they should still get married, he asked her what she would do if they called it off. Somewhat randomly, she told him she would become a nurse, thinking he would try to talk her out of it. Well, he didn’t, and here we are now!

Nivens enrolled in the Burge School of Nursing and graduated three years later. She first worked (for a couple of decades!) at the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon, spending most of her nursing career with state-run organizations.

According to the News Leader, Nivens, a “lifelong learner,” attended a training course in the early 1970s through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was there that she realized a lot had changed in nursing since she graduated, and she wanted to seek out more instruction. Over the next 30 years, she took classes whenever her schedule would allow.

Last year, Nivens toured Cox College with President Anne Brett. “I offered her an honorary degree, and she said ‘no,’ she definitely wanted to earn it,” Brett told News Leader. After looking at Nivens’ transcript, the President determined that Nivens only needed a couple of classes to finish up her degree. Brett then helped her set up the courses online, adapting the schools content to fit Nivens’ needs and interests as “a student who was retired from nursing and would likely not return to the field.” She passed with flying colors.

Leslie Nivens, we solute you!

Pssst: For another later-in-life inspiration story, read about a 54-year-old woman in Florida who, after saving her boyfriend’s life as he had a heart attack, recently changed careers to become a nurse. Source: News Journal Online.

Source: News Leader

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