My mother, Leigh Ann Tovar, is a nurse. She has always inspired in me a love for lifelong learning. What I didn’t know? I had inspired her to become a nurse at the age of 60.
My mother has always had a business mind and obtained a BA in Business. She moved up to a management position with a national telecommunications company. I obtained a BSN degree right out of high school. One day, my mother called and invited me to her graduation. I said “What do you mean you are graduating? What have you been up to??” She said she just completed a master’s degree in organizational development. I thought, “Wow! If she can do it, I can do it.” I immediately made the decision to obtain a master’s degree in nursing.
A CHANGE IN COURSE
After many years with the telecommunications company, my mom was laid off. During her job search in the business world, we would talk often about career ideas. Once I half-jokingly said, “You should become a nurse.” I described my experiences in the hospital and school health, the flexibility nursing had to offer, and the many opportunities within the profession to combine past degrees and experience with nursing. She said no.
A NURSE AT 60
Two months later, my mom surprised me with her decision to pursue a degree in nursing. What a journey! We have spent many hours discussing obstacles she has overcome such as retraining her thought processes, learning pronunciation of medical terms, and test anxiety. Throughout the process to obtain her nursing degree, she became a licensed practical nurse at 58 years of age, a registered nurse at 60, and completed an RN to BSN program at 62. Her accomplishments have inspired me to keep learning, setting goals and reaching them.
Because of her awesome example, I have enrolled in a PhD in nursing program and will complete this degree by next year. After 40 years of a wonderful mother-daughter relationship, it’s a great feeling to add another dimension to our relationship – a dimension of nursing fellowship. My mother often tells people she has followed her daughter’s footsteps into nursing.