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“By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn.”

Latin proverb

Chapter Objectives

Identify selected sources of online adult education.

Describe considerations of the mature adult in obtaining an advanced academic degree.

Identify various venues where healthcare practitioners acting in a volunteer capacity can positively impact both local and global initiatives.

This old Latin proverb “By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn” sets the stage for this chapter, which is dedicated to lifelong learning, reciprocal teaching, and giving back. In this chapter we present lessons for the next generation of leaders, who will maximize their personal and professional potential by internalizing a commitment to learning at every stage of life. We believe that by developing an appreciation for ongoing education and actively pursuing enrichment activities, we have provided a model for both aging well and remaining relevant in this fast-paced and evolving healthcare environment. In planning for and developing the next generation of leaders, we hope to lead by exemplifying the benefits and delight of ongoing education and giving back.

This chapter is written from two distinct perspectives. It expresses the thoughts and experiences of two women with a combined 143 years of living and thriving in two distinct fields. Both are exemplars of lifelong learning. In her 60s, Adrienne Lyons chose to enter a formal, structured academic program to pursue a doctor of nursing practice degree. Olivia Quist, a successful real estate businesswoman of 80 years, is still practicing and productive in her field, and she continues to master numerous new skills.

These are the questions we asked ourselves and have done our best to answer in the chapter:

  • What lessons have we learned on our journeys that may be of interest and relevance to the upcoming group of practitioners?

  • What lessons must be scrapped, revised, or reinvented to become relevant and useful to the next group?

  • What have we learned about staying involved, productive, and committed to our own personal development?

  • How are we managing to stay in the game and age with passion and purpose?

The growth in the number and proportion of older adults is unprecedented in the history of the United States. Two factors—longer life spans and aging baby boomers—will combine to double the population of Americans aged 65 years or older during the next 25 years, bringing the total to about 72 million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013), by 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population.

According to the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society (2008), in the past century, the life expectancy of individuals in the United States has risen from 47 to 77 years as seniors avail themselves of healthcare that has made significant technological advances. The same report notes that by the ...

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