12/28/09 2:42 PMVoices - A Late Start in the Healing Arts: Finding a Calling After Work Is Done - NYTimes.comPage 2 of 3http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/13/business/retirement/13NOVA.html
I spent three years at Yale. It was difficult. I wasn't sure I was going to succeed. Ourfamily broke up. We were bicoastal for three years. But we're stronger for it now.I didn't appreciate how intense and demanding this work would be. You are involved with the most intimate details of people's lives. People look to you for a level of expertiseand responsibility that I think I'm much more able to deliver with maturity andexperience.JEAN KRUEGER Jean Krueger, 62, is a registered nurse in the public health department of SiskiyouCounty in Northern California. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing fromCalifornia State University at Chico just before her 61st birthday. She said she considersherself "two-thirds old" and hopes to spend the last third of her life doing what she hasalways wanted to do. When I graduated from high school in 1960, I entered a nursing program and stayed init for about three months, but I quit because I got married. I raised a family and went to work as a bookkeeper and an auditor for 22 years. In 1997 I retired. My husband died in1989.I decided to work as a travel agent. But that was when the airlines decided to cutcommissions, and so I thought I'd go to college. I was 57 years old. I went to Chico State,about 160 miles from my home.There's lots of variety. Today I worked in an immunization clinic. Yesterday I testedpreschoolers for hearing and vision. My primary desk job is doing case management forCalifornia Children's Services.I came from a position of having everything dictated to me and I was told what to do. SoI think my self-confidence was not nurtured. I'm still growing. I'm still learning. Lifeexperiences make it easier in nursing and so does having raised children and losing aspouse.MAE LIUMae Liu, 53, is a first-year student at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, Calif. By age55, she expects to be licensed as a registered nurse with a master's degree in casemanagement. She is single with no children. She previously worked as an administratorat a health maintenance organization until she was laid off in 1997. She consideredherself retired. Then a confluence of events propelled her into what she calls "a new way to retire." Around the time I stopped working, I began volunteering at Children's Hospital inOakland. I moved to the neonatal intensive care unit. I loved being around the babies.
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