From U.S. service member to University nursing student, 56-year-old Mark Cavender of Conway, Arkansas, has proven you’re never too old to follow your dreams.
Two years ago, in fall of 2017, at the age of 54, Cavender decided to leave his safety inspection job and started his journey at the University of Central Arkansas.
“I get some funny looks sometimes, but I look back funny and it works,” said Cavender. “I tell some of my classmates, they could be the same age as my grandchildren.”
When asked what led to the decision, Cavender shared his story as a widower. His wife died of cancer just a few years ago, and that impassion him for the field.
“The nurses, they were the key to all of our successes and what we were doing, and so I wanted to help other people who experience what I experienced,” said Cavender.
Susan Gotto, director of nursing, said there’s a severe nursing shortage nationwide so Cavender’s enrollment is playing a role in shrinking the major problem in the field.
“It’s never too late. It takes a decision, brains, and heart,” said Gatto.
Cavender’s now working his way through clinicals from medicine-surgery, to labor and delivery, and waiting to see which one moves him the most. He plans to graduate in May 2021.
Age is just a number when you’re going for your dreams!