61-year-old man graduates from nursing school - KMOV.com

61-year-old man graduates from nursing school

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Terry Wooten. Credit: KMOV Terry Wooten. Credit: KMOV

A 61-year-old Godfrey man who graduated from nursing school on Friday said being his mother’s death led him to go into nursing.

Terry Wooten was a journeyman machinist for more than 30 years. When his mother was dying of cancer he was her primary caregiver.

“Friends and family encouraged me to consider nursing. I said I don’t know, that’s a big deal ya know,” said Wooten.

His first reaction was about what you might expect.

“I could never do something like that. That’s not me, that’s not for me,” he said.

The day arrived when he made a commitment.

“The day my mother died, I thought I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna pursue it and stick with it no matter what it takes,” he said.

He says friends never told him it was the time in life to sit back and take it easy.

“They encouraged me,” he said.

He says there were times when he thought he’d made a mistake. Classwork wasn’t always easy.

“If anyone thinks its easy, they’ve never been to nursing school,” said Wooten.

In March, he went to Costa Rica on a service mission trip with some classmates and faculty. He saw others who are less fortunate.  He said he knew all along he’d made the right choice to go to nursing school but after the trip, he says he had no doubt.

He has high praise for his classmates.

“I love them. We’re like a big family and I have never had this kind of feeling,” said Wooten.

He said he has no plans to retire and says it is important for everyone to invest in themselves.

He is currently interviewing for positions around the St. Louis area.

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