Alumni Spotlight: Edwina, BSN, “You Can Accomplish Your Dreams”

Edwina Dirk, BSN

Today, we’re spotlighting a student journey that reminds us to never stop working toward our goals. Edwina began her BSN journey when she was 76 years young. Edwina was inspired to go back to school during the pandemic so that she could help others. Keep reading to hear Edwina’s story.


“The author C.S. Lewis once wrote, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. My name is Edwina B. Dirk, I am 79 years old, and I am an RN who has always wanted to get my BSN in nursing. I didn’t know how I could do this or when I would have the time.

When the Covid pandemic hit, I called my local hospital to offer to volunteer at the hospital as needed. They could not use me as a nurse due to the fact I did not have a BSN in Nursing. I felt that my experience of 47 years as an RN alone would have been sufficient, but seeing as it was not, I decided now was the time to work towards getting a bachelor’s degree. I went online and found Aspen University. I was thrilled to find that it fit my budget and my schedule. I registered and started class on May 4th, 2020; finishing my degree on March 14, 2022, which was my 78th birthday!

Aspen University helped me achieve my goal by having great professors who helped me through each module, semester by semester. Professor Jimmy, Professor Linda Plecity, and Professor Beard were particularly helpful. Crystal Curley, my advisor, was amazing in guiding me during each semester. When I felt it was too hard and wanted to quit, they encouraged me and instilled a belief in myself that I could do this.

The courses were a big challenge for me. I currently serve as an instructor for LVNs and the director for the CNA and HHA programs at California Nurses Educational Institute in Rancho Mirage. I have a very busy schedule. Aspen University was very helpful and showed me how to achieve my goal of obtaining my BSN in Nursing, despite my busy day-to-day schedule. I could not have accomplished this without the help of my professors and my advisor.

The program was set up in such a way that I was able to continue working during the day and attend school at night for all 14 months of the program. It was challenging and rewarding at the same time.

My words of wisdom to my fellow students and graduates are to follow your dreams, no matter how old you are. Aspen offers a great option for programs that can be completed in a short period of time, and working online makes it so much easier to accomplish this. You can accomplish your dreams at Aspen University. Your degree opens doors; I tell my students that if I can do this at age 78, then they can as well. I encourage them to advance their careers in nursing and that Aspen University is one way to accomplish this.

I very much enjoyed the challenge of this program and the wisdom and guidance from the Aspen University staff that helped me reach my bachelor’s degree. Thank You, Aspen, for helping me achieve my goal in nursing. I am so proud to have been part of your program.”


Edwina shows us that we can achieve our dreams at any age!  If you’re ready to start your nursing journey, check out Aspen’s nursing programs online now.

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