Nurse going back to school at age 72

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Imagine you’re later in life and going back to school.  That sounds intimidating to most of us but to one Union Hospital nurse, she’s accepting that challenge at the age of 72. 

You would never guess Tracy Thomas is 72 years old by simply talking to her.

“Well, I always say if I’m not going to learn something new today, then I’ll just go somewhere else that I can,” said Tracy.

But she is.  And nurses always learn something new everyday.  Maybe that’s why Tracy’s been at Union Hospital since it had its own nursing school.

“I came here in 1960 and I registered at Indiana State University and did all of my science courses there, and my nursing courses were mostly done here,” said Tracy.

All of this led to her career in nursing, most of it in neurosurgery.  She says there aren’t many nurses who go into neurosurgery.

“It was like I had fallen into home,” said Tracy.  “I just knew it.  I don’t know why I knew it.”

“She’s always our go-to person in any type of neuro case.  She is a very good patient advocate, very knowledgeable all around,” said Kristen Walters, who is also a nurse at Union Hospital.

Tracy has some big plans this fall.  At the age of 72, she’s going back to school to pursue her bachelors in nursing.  That’s so she can then earn her masters in nursing.  So some of you may be wondering… with such a great and respected career, and at her age.. why is Tracy wanting to go back?

“Anytime you put money or effort into education, it’s never wrong,” said Tracy. “Education’s the key.  And if I can pass that education on to somebody else, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

After she completes her masters, Tracy will pass along her life experiences to others as a nursing instructor.  In the meantime, Tracy will still be working at union hospital.  After all she still has plenty of her self to give to the world.

Another interesting fact about Tracy… she spends her vacations working.  She volunteers to work at hospitals to help in their neurosurgery units.

blog comments powered by Disqus