Melanie McCall RN is one of many Suncoast area nurses well into her fifties who has decided “it’s finally time to just get this thing done”. Melanie is enrolled in Grand Canyon University for her bachelor of science in nursing degree. “The first class was a huge departure and it took me some time to re-appropriate and get my schedules in balance. I have completed 4 courses and currently in community and public health. This class is right up my alley… epidemiology, disease, public health… it’s all very familiar and comfortable!! I finally gotten the groove and have straight A’s in all of my courses.”
“It seems I do some things late! I did not become a mother till the age of 42! Vastin, my son, is 17 and lives mostly with his father on a cattle ranch in Arcadia where he enjoys hunting, fishing and riding his horses. He comes to see me in Punta Gorda when he is ready to fish the canals and the harbor. “
In addition to having a baby in her forties and going back to school in her fifties, Melanie has just become a new bride! “We are in the same room every evening and he is very tolerant of looking at my back as I work on the computer doing school work. Bill is the kindest soul I’ve ever met. We both see the time spent online with Grand Canyon is an investment in our future.”
“Grand Canyon has been wonderful because they provide an advisor and mentor. That gal is phenomenal. She met with us all weekly during the first class all the way through to make sure we knew what we were doing in the cloud system, on papers, helping us with APA format. Looking over our papers to give us positive or negative feedback. She really goes all out. She wants to make sure we are successful. This has been such a positive experience. I am now thinking of becoming a nurse practitioner and I am even toying with the idea of the doctorate in nursing.”
“The SNAC nurse education navigator has been useful in providing contacts and advice for choosing a good fit for my graduate program and information about scholarships at the bachelors and doctoral level.”
Melanie has over 30 years of experience in nursing and currently practices as board certified infection control practitioner at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Port Charlotte. She feels that Fawcett Memorial has been particularly supportive of nurses returning to advance their professional education. The tuition assistance HCA has been a major factor in deciding to return to school. “It’s a benefit the hospital offers and if you don’t use it, you lose it! It makes sense to take full advantage.” Melanie is also applying for other scholarships throughout the Suncoast including the SNAC BSN completion scholarship.
SNAC asked Melanie what recommendations she would give to other nurses in their fifties. “Don’t ever think you can’t do it, because you can! Especially in your fifties when things are settled. But don’t put it off because the older we get the harder it is.”
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Let’s just get on with it!