You’re never too old to chase your dreams.

Ronda Haumann, of Thedford, is living proof of that. The Mid-Plains Community College student went back to school in 2012, at the age of 57. Her goal is to eventually become a registered nurse.

Ronda Haumann

“I actually took some LPN (licensed practical nurse) classes at Mid-Plains Community College in 1973, right after I graduated from high school,” said Haumann. “But, then I got married and started a family, so everything got put on hold.”

After she wed, Haumann took a job as a nurse aide at Pioneer Memorial Nursing Home in Mullen. From there, she transitioned to a med aide.

“I had been there for over 25 years and really enjoyed it,” said Haumann. “But, I was doing a lot of lifting of patients, and I knew that physically I couldn’t keep doing that. So, I decided to return to LPN school.”

She opted for Mid-Plains again because it was close to home and because she had friends who had experienced success there.

“I knew MPCC had an excellent nursing program,” said Haumann. “I really like the way it’s put together.”

LPN and Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) students take identical classes during their first two semesters. The setup is part of what encouraged Haumann to continue with her education.

“Once I finished the LPN program, I was already halfway toward becoming a registered nurse,” said Haumann. “I figured, ‘Why not keep going?’ I also decided to pursue my ADN because the LPN program, especially the clinical aspect, made me really miss working in a hospital setting. That’s eventually where I want to be.”

In pursuit of that dream, Haumann makes the hour-long drive from Thedford to North Platte twice a week to take prerequisites at the college so that next year, or the year after, she can get into the ADN program.

She also continues to work at the nursing home in Mullen – now as an LPN in addition to a medication aide. Haumann doesn’t have much downtime, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She knows the hard work will all be worth it in the end.

“Nursing is a great profession,” said Haumann. “There’s always a need for skilled nurses, and the salary is very good. It does take time and dedication, but if you want something bad enough, you just have to make up your mind to do it.”

Licensed Practical Nurse stats according to the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics

2015 Median Pay:
$43,170 per year/
$20.76 per hour

Number of jobs in 2014: 719,900

Job Outlook for 2014-2024:
16% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change for
2014-2024: 117,300


6,320 job openings in 2014. 7,240 openings expected by
2024 – a 14.7% increase.
An average of 270 openings per year.