This is great ! For those of you who are a little bit more mature and are thinking about studying to become a home care assistant, here’s proof thats its never too late to complete those studies!

Leslie Nevins who has just turned 84 has just graduated with a bachelor of science degree in nursing, capping decades of scattered academic work and a 50-year career in the field.

Nivens, who said she had never envisioned herself as a nurse when she was young, enrolled in nursing training somewhat by accident, she said. In 1951, during a fight with her fiance about whether to go through with the wedding, he asked her what she would do if they did not marry, she recalled. She told him she would get training in nursing, figuring that he would try to talk her out of it. To her surprise, he didn’t.

“So I shifted the old Model A into gear and drove off,” Nivens said. “I drove into Springfield two days later and asked about a class.”

Nivens enrolled in the Burge School of Nursing and graduated three years later. She worked for decades spending most of her nursing career with state-run organizations.

Nivens, who calls herself a lifelong learner, got bitten by the education bug in the 1970s after attending training courses through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She realized that much had changed since she had entered the nursing field.

She told her supervisor she wanted more education, and over the following three decades she took classes as time allowed.

“I just picked up a couple here and a couple there,” she said.

Nivens returned to school last year after touring Cox College, where she met with President Anne Brett and mentioned that she would like to finally complete her bachelor’s degree.

“She definitely didn’t get off easy,” Brett said. “She worked hard and excelled at every single course. She went above and beyond for absolutely every assignment.”

Nivens said she would encourage her fellow graduates to pursue learning throughout their lives, as she has tried to do.

“We have come to a point, and that’s all in the world we have here today,” she said. “We are not finished with our education. I hope they will plan on continuing to improve their minds and learn things.”

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