I love the position that I'm in, she said. I teach my students, you can be what you want to be, but it comes from you.
Luten-Wilson teaches nursing students the fundamental principles of healthcare. She was once a nurse herself and worked at clinics, private practices and Children's Hospital in the Hematology/Oncology department.
But, Dr. Luten-Wilson isn't your average professor. Her dream of becoming a nurse was deferred by marriage and children.
"I thought, okay I can do this," said Dr. Luten-Wilson. "I'm just going to be a mom. And I'm going to have my dinner ready at 4 o'clock and then I was going to do homework with my children and life was going to be wonderful."
But, life didn't go as expected.
"By the time I was age 30, I had been a battered wife, I had two children, a house and a dog to take care of," she said.
Dr. Melissa Luten- Wilson is a unique professor at Chamberlain College of Nursing.
Luten-Wilson then made a decision to go to nursing school and get a full-time job.
"I often had to take my children to school with me. That's a fact!," said Dr. Luten-Wilson.
Luten-Wilson raised her children, mastered the skill of nursing and taught students overseas in Egypt and Ghana.
After 57 years in the same profession, you'd think her work would be done. But, Luten-Wilson says she is far from retirement.
"I've had friends to ask me why... 'why are you still working?', and I've said 'I've got something to say. I've got something to do," she confessed.
In fact, the Columbus grandmother achieved a major milestone this past December. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice at the age of 75.
"I feel good about the accomplishment, but, I do not feel special," she said in a heartfelt tone. "I’m a person just like everybody is. I was a hard-working girl, and God had His plan for [me]. God had a plan for everyone!"
Humility and perseverance may be the greatest lessons she passes on to her students.
"I've had my hard knocks just like everyone else has had theirs, but I feel inside me that I have something to do. I hope I'm doing that because I'm sure trying," she said.
Dr. Luten-Wilson completed research on Sickle Cell Disease and pain in patients.
By Valencia Wicker | 10TV.com
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