Love of Animals, Purdue’s Online Program Enables ‘Retired’ Veterinary Nurse Career

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Willie Reed, congratulates Brenda Green during the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program pinning and oath ceremony as educational technologist Holly McCalip and Program Director of veterinary nursing Chad Brown.

Brenda Green may have taken 17 years to complete Purdue University’s online veterinary nursing distance education program and solidify her “retirement” career at a Florida veterinary practice, but that’s understandable.

She was busy. Very busy.

Brenda and her husband stand together smiling with the Potala Palace in the background on top of a hill
For Brenda Green, studying abroad literally meant studying for her veterinary nursing degree while living abroad with her husband John and visiting places like the Dali Lama’s Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.

She earned her law degree and practiced law. She earned her MBA and Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has held finance and executive positions, including overseas assignments managing the operations of U.S. law firms with offices in Beijing ( where she met her husband John), Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. She joined the Peace Corps and taught small business development in Russia. She and her husband traveled to Mount Everest Base Camp and North Korea (yes, North).

However, wherever she is, animals have always been part of her life.

“I grew up on a farm in Michigan and we had the usual farm animals,” Green said. “I loved them all, especially my horse. No matter where I was or what I was doing, I managed to have some kind of affiliation with animals.

She and her husband are avid horse riders and have vacationed all over the world. (A trip to the Azores Islands is next.) Among other things, she’s also teamed up with another miniature pig fan to develop a miniature pig registry.

Along the way, she began to view the end of her business career, loosely called retirement in her case, as an opportunity to do more with animals.

“I’ve always had an interest in veterinary medicine, so it was only natural that I would pursue that interest through a vet tech program,” Green said. “The Purdue Veterinary Nursing distance learning program was a perfect fit for my needs. I could take courses at my own pace wherever I live, while pursuing a senior management career of more than 50 hours per week. The Purdue program still suited me well when we returned to the United States and got involved in helping our respective parents.

Green interned at a small animal hospital in Venice, Florida, where she found her rescue dog, for nearly four years. She plans to continue as she prepares for the National Veterinary Technician Exam. After that, more animals are in his future.

Brenda smiles as she is joined by Dr Brown and Pam at a reception at the Continuum Café in Lynn Hall
Brenda with Chad Brown, Director of Veterinary Nursing Programs, and Pam Phegley, Clinical Rotation/Mentoring Coordinator.

“Long term, I intend to increase my animal-related volunteer activities through projects with international veterinary organizations such as World Vets,” Green said.

Although she took her classes online, Green recently traveled to Purdue’s flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, for Purdue’s Veterinary Nursing Pinning and Oath Ceremony, which marks completion and commencement of the program by students.

The same versatility that made Purdue’s veterinary nursing distance learning program a good choice for Green makes it a good choice for non-traditional students in general. They make up the majority of those who complete the program, said Dr. Chad Brown, director of veterinary nursing programs at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

For more information about the Purdue University Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program, visit the program website.

Greg Kline, 765-494-8167, [email protected]

Source: Chad Brown, [email protected] Brenda Green, [email protected]

Karen O. Fielding