1995 Valedictorian: Linda C. Timmons

Linda Timmons took advantage of the programs and services at Ohlone College several times in her journey to becoming a Registered Nurse.  She actually began attending Ohlone while she was still in high school.  As a high school senior, she took an Ohlone accounting class after completing her high school bookkeeping class early.  Her goal was to work in the accounting, after marrying and having a family.  While she was raising four children she did use her bookkeeping skills part-time over the years as treasurer for her church and in her family business.

At the age of 38 with her youngest child being ten years old she thought it was time to fulfill her goal of a career in accounting.  However, upon reflection she was not sure if accounting was what she really wanted to do.  She turned to the Career Center at Ohlone for guidance.  They helped her complete some assessments regarding her talents and skills.  The assessment results, along with some deep soul searching, led her to pursue a degree in nursing.  Of course, there were a number of nursing programs in the Bay Area but Linda chose the nursing program at Ohlone because it was close to home, affordable and, most importantly, the program had National League of Nursing (NLN) Accreditation, which had been highly recommended.

Being a returning adult student, Linda remembers finding herself surrounded by much younger students and wondering if she had made the right choice about returning to school.  Her concerns quickly faded and she “…was honored to have the best instructors and support staff throughout the college with their goal of making (her) a successful registered nurse.”  She discovered through peer support and patient encounters a desire to be involved with cancer patients.  As Linda recalls, “Enriching my life with fellow students, Ohlone staff, hospital clinical staff and most importantly patients gave me the confidence to go out into the community to begin my practice.”

Linda was awarded two associates degrees at the 1995 graduation ceremony; an AS in Nursing and AS in Natural Science.  She went on to a nursing career of over 18 years at Washington Hospital on their inpatient oncology floor.  She participated in continuing professional education during her tenure at Washington and became a Certified Medical / Surgical Nurse as well as a Certified Oncology Nurse.

Linda enjoyed practicing her profession in her local community, which allowed her the opportunity to care for people who were familiar to her, as well as new acquaintances.  Linda says, “Among others I was able to care for a few instructors who had shared their wisdom which enabled me to become their nurse years later.”  Linda felt it was an honor to share in every life and situation. “It was always my hope that my patients and their significant others were empowered to manage what life brought their way.”

Linda has served as a role model to others, especially in her family.  Being a role model is something she learned from her grandmother who was a Registered Nurse.  Linda has a daughter who became a Registered Nurse and who also graduated from Ohlone College.  She also now has a granddaughter who graduated from Cal State East Bay as a Registered Nurse.  Linda says, “The goal now is to continue supporting my family and showing them not to give up on your wishes and goals in life.  They may surface in ways you never expect.”

A month after her retirement, Linda became the patient after falling and breaking her ankle in two places.  She spent the first six months recuperating.  She tells us this was, “Not my plan but a life lesson that took me full circle.”  Linda and her husband had purchased a five-acre ranch locally in preparation for retirement.  They currently enjoy hands-on renovating of the house and property.  Linda also has a number of other things to keep her busy.  “After wishing for my own horse as a child I took riding lessons at 58 years old and five years ago acquired a mare named Lucy.  We also have goats, dogs, cats and plan to add more chickens.  I have four children with spouses along with eight grandchildren.  Retirement is full and rewarding, for sure!”