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Our Nurse of the Week is Mark Cavender, a 56-year-old and previous US service member from Conway, Arkansas, who started nursing school at age 54, proving that age is just a number when you’re achieving your dreams.

Cavender tells, “I get some funny looks sometimes, but I look back funny and it works. I tell some of my classmates, they could be the same age as my grandchildren.”

Cavender decided to leave his safety inspection job in 2017, at 54 years old, to start his journey to becoming a nurse at the University of Central Arkansas. His decision came from his late wife who died of cancer a few years ago. The nurses they met while his wife was in the hospital inspired him to become a nurse and give back to other families experiencing medical hardship.

Susan Grotto, director of nursing at the University of Central Arkansas, says there is a severe nursing shortage nationwide and Cavender’s enrollment is helping to shrink this major problem in the field. When talking about Cavender, she says, “It’s never too late. It takes a decision, brains, and heart.”

Cavender is now working his way through clinicals like surgery and labor and delivery. He’s waiting to see which one moves him the most before deciding on his next move after graduating in May 2021.

To learn more about Mark Cavender, a previous US service member who started nursing school at 54 years old, visit here.  

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