Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer P. “It’s Never Too Late to Learn”

aspen university graduate

Inspired by a nurse who cared for her after her son’s birth, Jennifer P. decided to become a nurse herself in 1984. Thirty years later, she went from RN to BSN. She graduated with honors in 2020.

My experience as a graduate from Aspen University has uplifted my life interpersonally more than I ever imagined. I initially graduated from nursing school in 1984 from a diploma program. My career followed in areas of critical care, float pool, and medical-surgical nursing in a large hospital. For years I thought about returning to school to finish my BSN. I watched colleagues complete their education and felt happy for their accomplishment. But I repeatedly procrastinated in fear of failure. 

My family background consisted of multiple generations who had minimal to no education. Within these generations and in my home life, there was little focus or encouragement on the importance of education. 

Immediately after high school, I got married and had a son two years later in 1979. While recovering in the hospital from his birth, my life changed. My nurse came to my room to care for me with pain medication, adjusting my sheets, comforted me, and said nothing. She was calm and quiet, and I was awestruck. Instantaneously decided to become a nurse. I never saw her again, but my eyes were opened from that moment forward to become a nurse. 

Months later, I entered college to work on classes to qualify me for nursing school. I graduated from Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing five years later, in 1984. Studying the sciences during nursing school was overwhelming. Nevertheless, I managed to pass my classes. After that, I considered completing my BSN but feared that higher education might be overwhelming for me. I read a lot personally. Remaining in fear of going back to school for my BSN, I went to Massage Therapy school instead. Finally, after 30 years, I found that Aspen University had a program that worked for me, and I graduated with honors this year, 2020.

My very first class, “Writing in APA,” was superb. I loved it. It gave me writing skills that facilitated organizing my thoughts and validated my knowledge with citations and references. At age 60 and working on my BSN, I was also able to incorporate years of history into my studies and homework. I used historical knowledge to incorporate events, theories, or comparisons that supported the homework assignment or discussion. While doing homework for Aspen, I felt a knowledge base, an awareness of my intellect, an appreciation for learning, and an intrinsic value of my mind, strength, and personal growth.

Nearly every homework assignment I completed brought personal reward for success, self-esteem, awareness of my capacities that had laid dormant for decades. On occasion, I had tears of pride when re-reading my homework. But most notably, I relished in the joy of learning. Knowledge is power! Academic accomplishment is the foundation for life. Aspen University led me to see my higher potential, which was not given to me in my youth. I would have never been able to gain this intrapersonal accomplishment had it not been for my education at Aspen. I plan to continue my nursing education to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. APA writing and the scholastic focus I gained from Aspen University have also helped me pursue my writing. I have written a book titled, “Healthy Boundaries Relationship Model,” which I hope to have published soon. 

I am grateful for my education at Aspen University for the personal strength and confidence I gained from my experience. Thank you so much. Knowledge is power! Go for it.


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