Beverly Baker

At a time in life when many of her peers were considering retirement, Beverly Baker decided to embark on a strenuous educational path: nursing school.  

Caring Commitment: Beverly Baker, BRCC Class of 2020

Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 12:56 PM

Beverly Baker

At a time in life when many of her peers were considering retirement, Beverly Baker decided to embark on a strenuous educational path: nursing school. At 71, Beverly will be among the more seasoned members of the Blue Ridge Community College Class of 2020.

Even before she was a BRCC student, Beverly was a frequent visitor on campus, especially the Houff Library.

“I have been using the library for a long time,” Beverly notes. “They have done many interlibrary loans for me over the years, and I have gotten to know the people who work there who were so friendly and hospitable!  I also use the computer lab now and then if my computer happens to break down. So, my involvement here goes back many years. I really appreciate the benevolent attitude of the school towards members of the local community.”

As a mature adult student, Beverly faced some challenges in terms of computer knowledge and proficiency, but those obstacles did not deter her.

“I guess my greatest strength was having had to persevere through heavy stress before in both my professional and personal lives; there is always light at the end of the tunnel.” She knew how to ask for help and found BRCC nursing faculty to be “very positive, approachable, and self-sacrificing.”

Finishing up her degree during the COVID-19 pandemic was “a bit chaotic at times” and made flexibility a key to completing the clinical requirements, but she took it all in stride.

“The motivation was that this is the final term, then we can take the board exam. Some aspects of going completely online have been challenging; others were routine,” Beverly explains.

After working as a medical technologist in hospital laboratories for most of her career, Beverly chose the nursing program because it is an in-demand credential, and she wanted more rewarding direct patient contact. Although she hasn’t decided what type of nursing to pursue after graduation, she has a “strong interest in the neurobiological underpinnings of mental health issues” and “holistic nursing techniques.”

Overall, Beverly is a great cheerleader for BRCC because of the positive interactions she’s had with faculty and staff. From academic advisors being encouraging to math faculty loaning her textbooks to the availability of scholarships, she has found BRCC employees willing to go the extra step.

“The whole general environment on campus is that they will do whatever is necessary to help you succeed,” she says.