Grandmother of three earns nursing degree from Loyola University Chicago

When Vivien Jobb, 60, became a licensed practical nurse in 1974, she always dreamed of graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. She later earned an associate’s degree, became a registered nurse and earned her ANCC Board Certification in Ambulatory Nursing, but her goal to complete college was put on hold as she raised a family and worked in a variety of nursing settings. 

Now a grandma of three, Jobb decided to enroll in Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN program in 2013 after more than 40 years as a nurse. This online program is designed for licensed, professional nurses to obtain their BSN degree in a minimum of three semesters.

Jobb completed the program alongside colleague and friend Mary Splitt, 54. Splitt has worked at Loyola University Health System in a variety of settings for 18 years, and the pair has worked together at the Loyola Center for Health at La Grange Park for the past eight years. Like Jobb, Splitt had always hoped to complete her BSN degree, but put off going back to school to raise a family and to work. 

“Both of my children had been in college for a couple of years, and it was then that I decided it was time to focus on furthering my own education,” Splitt said. “I decided to pursue a BSN to add to my knowledge base as a nurse and to improve my nursing practice and ultimately, the care I give my patients.”

Jobb and Splitt are among a growing group of nurses who are furthering their education.Loyola University Health System has encouraged its nurses to earn a BSN degree, and the Institute of Medicine issued a report in 2010 encouraging nurses to achieve higher levels of education and training to meet the increasing demands of the healthcare system. 

For Jobb and Splitt, their dream became a reality last month when they crossed the stage to accept their college diplomas as their families looked on from the crowd.

“I have always wanted to get a bachelor’s degree,” Jobb said. “You are never too old to learn, and Loyola offered a convenient way to make that happen.” 

For more information on Loyola’s RN-to-BSN program, visit