Nothing Is Impossible
It's never too late to make a dream come true.
All my life I dreamed of becoming a registered nurse.
I am 63 years old and was raised in a traditional, protective Italian family. At 16, I told my dad I wanted to go to nursing school. He said, "I don't want you living away from home." At that time nurses' training in my town required that I live at the hospital. I accepted his answer and tucked my dream away in my heart.
I married at a young age, raised three great children, and worked as a secretary, which was not satisfying to me. My dream of becoming a registered nurse was always with me. Since I was a child, I have been fascinated with the human body and how it functions. I read voraciously all my life about medical subjects.
In 1998 my daughter had a baby. She invited me to be in the delivery room with her. Her nurse was a wonderful woman my age who gave me tiny tasks to do while my daughter was in labor. She asked if I was a nurse. When I answered no, she asked, "Do you work in the health-care field?" Again, I answered no. She told me, "You're a natural," and I admitted, "I've always dreamed of being a nurse."
"It's never too late," she said. "Go to school now."
The very next day I went to Maria College in Albany, New York, to talk with an admissions officer. I was very nervous because I'd never been to college and was not sure I would succeed. Even though I was unaware of my potential and not very confident, I felt an overwhelming sense of wonder and possibility. I signed up for two prerequisite courses and anxiously awaited their beginning. Meanwhile, I was working at the New York State Senate. However, just the act of signing up for courses set my destiny on track. I retired early from the Senate and went to school fulltime.
In my heart I began to sense the real possibility that my dream could become a reality. It was the first time in my life that I thought, "I can really do this."
That was the beginning of a three-year odyssey that ended in my graduation as a registered nurse from Maria College in May 2002. At the graduation ceremony, I won an award for the highest average in my class (3.9). Walking across the stage I wanted to shout, "If I can do this, anyone can!" It was the most satisfying, wonderful, ecstatic experience of my life.
I loved everything about the learning process. I learned volumes about myself. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to and can accomplish any goal. All one needs is determination, desire, interest, and love of what you're doing. I had lots of support from my husband, children, and grandchildren. They were my cheering section.