70-year-old nursing student ready to learn

Stephanie Paulmeno speaks at a podium.

S

tephanie Paulmeno is not your typical student. The 70-year-old president of the Connecticut Nurses Association has returned to Quinnipiac to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice after a half century in the industry.

Quote

“I've had a wonderful nursing career which is still going strong,” she said. “I've had a remarkably rewarding and full career that has transversed med-surg nursing, psychiatric nursing, oncology nursing, the full range of long-term care delivery systems and public health.”

Story Continues

Stephanie Paulmeno smiles in her nursing uniform.

Half-century of experience

Stephanie Paulmeno began her professional nursing career 50 years ago.

However, she was inspired to go back to school, at least in part, after being elected president of the Connecticut Nurses Association.

“I want to be able to bring my most informed, well-educated and credible self to this office,” she said. “Health care and health delivery systems are changing so rapidly and I want to be better informed on all the things that influence these things. I am a very strong advocate for nursing, for health equity and for social justice, and I see all of this being under the umbrella of things upon which I can make an impact through my nursing leadership role.”

Paulmeno is no stranger to Quinnipiac. She completed a one-year post-master’s program to become a license nursing home administrator from the then college in 1987. She has also been coming back to the university for several years doing mock interviews with graduating seniors.

Quote

“Being a student was a wonderful experience back then, and I am having a ball now,” she said. “I love learning and despite all of my years of experience I am learning so much. As I've progressed in my courses this term I keep finding one instance after another where I tell myself, ‘If only I had known this or that, I could have done something so much better.’”

Story Continues

She said she feels energized being back in a classroom.

“Over the years, I have continually taken a variety of courses in multiple places and through multiple modalities, but returning to school as a full time online student is certainly a challenge. As you can imagine, much has changed in terms of being a student from when I was last one, particularly all the technology involved in learning,” she said. “Obtaining my Doctorate in nursing is currently my last remaining professional goal, although I know that I will be adding future goals because that is what I've always done.”