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Celebrating the Class of 2014: Laura Rowen

Fresh out of nursing school, widowed mom of four looks forward to taking care of others, family

Wednesday Apr 30, 2014

Laura Rowen, 36, of DeMotte, graduates this May with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

A widowed mom of four children, Laura silently pushed through hardship to earn her degree in just five years.

“My oldest is 19 and my youngest is 5,” Laura said, “I don’t know what I would have done without all of them.”

Laura said choosing to enroll at IU Northwest was the right decision. It was a tough road, she said, and a lot of people ask her how she managed. After being out of school for so many years, Laura admits that walking into her first class was scary at first, but she soon learned that “all growth comes outside the box.”

“If it’s comfortable, you are not growing,” she said. “Push through and the end result feels better than anything you could possibly imagine.”

Laura is grateful to her nursing faculty and the real-life scenarios that helped her prepare for the workplace. As one example, she recalled that during her clinical experience, one of her fears about treating patients came true.

“What would I do if I had to care for someone who was the cause of an accident because of drunk driving?” she had wondered. “My worst nightmare came true in one of my clinical experiences in the ER.

“Through education about professionalism I was able to put my biases aside and do what needed to be done for the patient regardless of what brought him there. . . I wasn’t sure I’d be able to, but I did.”

After graduating, Laura is looking forward to some well-deserved relaxation, reconnecting with her children and above all, working. She will soon be joining the medical-surgical floor at Porter Memorial Hospital.

About the Class of 2014: Indiana University Northwest will confer 729 degrees at the 48th Annual Commencement ceremonies on May 15, 2014. The Class of 2014 will collectively receive 108 associate’s degrees, 511 bachelor’s degrees and 110 master’s degrees. More than two-thirds of this year’s graduating class are women; 40 percent are underrepresented students; close to half are first-generation college graduates; the great majority are aged 30 or older; and nearly 90 percent worked while earning their degree.

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