Turning Life Goals into Reality
Kay Deluca, RNA at mid-life and after a 26-year career in sales, Kay Deluca quit her job and embarked on a journey to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.
From the outside looking in, Kay had it all — husband, children, house, and a successful career. But a life-threatening illness in her late 40s served as a wake-up call. She says, “I literally woke up one day and said, ‘I need to get out of the rat race, do something different, something that’s for humanity.” Kay decided to become a nurse, inspired by her mother who was a school nurse and volunteered for the American Red Cross.
Kay’s husband and three children were very supportive of her decision. But there were a few naysayers. A close friend told her she was crazy to go back to school and start something new at her age. Kay was not fazed by fear. She says, “For the last 15 years of my working life, I want to do something that makes a difference. I sold electronics for 26 years. There was nothing exciting, nothing rewarding. I never saved anyone’s life. I feel like I never really gave back to my community like I’ll be able to do now. I want to know that I’m leaving my footprint and hopefully will be able to touch somebody’s life.”
She talked to friends and references who had gone through Mesa Community College’s nursing program who told her it was “hands-down the best.” She learned it has one of the highest passing rates on the state board test, a committed faculty, hands-on learning, and affordable tuition. Kay says, “I wasn’t willing to invest my time and money in a program that can’t deliver results. Mesa Community College absolutely delivers.”
With a mortgage, three kids (two in college and one in high school), and a full-time class schedule, Kay deeply appreciated the scholarship help she received along the way. She explains, “It all adds up. $1,000 here, $200 there can pay for a semester or some books. For me, getting scholarships has supercharged me to give back to my community. I would love one day to be able to fund a student. I know what it has done for me. How awesome to be able to do that for someone behind you?”
If giving back is high on Kay’s list of priorities, the nursing profession will certainly give her the opportunity, especially in her career field of interest — end-of-life hospice care. She says, “There are nurses who want to bring life into the world and a few nurses like me who want to help people on their journey out.”
~Kay Deluca, RN