Richard Lovell – Nurse

For 22 years, Richard Lovell went to work in the field of information technology. Then one day, he asked himself, “How long has it been since I’ve been happy at work?”

He could have brushed off the question as natural mid-life anxiety, but it continued to nag at him for a year. Then opportunity knocked in the form of a layoff notice.

“I was working at Alltel Communications, and we got purchased by Verizon and I got laid off in September 2009. I thought, ‘This was my chance,’” he said.

The 1986 computer science UALR graduate and father of two boys returned to his alma mater and enrolled in the nursing program. Today, he is completing a residency program for his new career as a nurse at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center.

Richard Lovell“I wanted to do something to help people. I had been a people person living in an IT world,” he said. “The nursing program let me use my technical skills and work with people.”

A native of Saline County, Lovell first came to UALR straight out of high school.

“UALR has a great reputation,” he said. “My mother graduated from here with a degree in accounting. It’s a great place to go to school.”

He said he enjoyed his second go-round as a UALR student. He took a psychology prerequisite class “totally online.” He said the class wasn’t any easier than a traditional class but was very convenient.

“It was refreshing. I really enjoyed my time in school this time around,” he said. “It was a little scary – you do the same thing for 24 years and you make a huge life change in your late 40s like I did, you have concerns,” Lovell said. “But I recommend anyone in my situation to seriously consider it.”

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