Photo by: Bert Miller

Melinda Turner, Nicholls nursing alumna, signs her book “If I Only Had 25 Hours in a Day” at her first book signing at Terrebone Parish Main Library on October 1, 2016.

Nicholls nursing alumna becomes published author

January 19, 2017

Melinda Turner, author of “If I Only Had 25 Hours in a Day” and Nicholls alumna, discusses how making changes in her life lead to the creation of her book and how it made her a happier person.

Turner worked as a registered nurse from sunrise to sunset for over 20 years. It wasn’t until she hit a rough patch in her life that she realized she wasn’t living her life the way she was supposed to. Her journey for the next couple of years is what prompted “If I Only Had 25 Hours in a Day”.

“It was almost like I was doing what I needed to do to get by,” Turner said. “I was going to work and coming home to do my wife duties. I was getting up every morning and felt like a robot. I got into this rut where I felt like this just wasn’t working for me.”

Turner documents her life changes, accomplishments and the testimonies of others in “If I Only Had 25 Hours in a Day”. It shows how one change can lead to another.

“The book is about going from existing to living and enjoying yourself,” Turner said. “I’m living my life the best way I know how to live my life, I’m not just doing that day-to-day thing. Life happens and things change. As much as you want to control it, we don’t have any control of that.”

Turner quit her full-time job and took a year off to make changes she felt were needed so she could live a better life. She decided to put God first in her life, focus on her physical self, invest more of her time in volunteering and obtained a new interest in substance abuse education and presentations.

“The changes I made took many years,” Turner said. “There were some ups and downs but that’s normal. There’s always battles to fight.”

Turner was recently appointed one of the board members at the Assisi Bridge House- a halfway house for those in recovery from substance abuse in Houma, named one of the Great 100 Nurses of Louisiana for 2016 and participated in an adult literacy program.

“I was at the gym on the elliptical machine and the idea of writing the book just came to me,” Turner said. “I told myself that I needed to put [my changes] down on paper. I had doubts about being able to write the book, but, when God is in it, it works. If you put what’s most important first, everything else will fall into place.” Turner has not given up on her healthcare roots. She works as a home health nurse and no longer has conflicts between her work schedule and her personal life. She’s able to spend time with her husband and son, an E.D. White student.

“I love to be involved in my son’s activities,” Turner said. “[My husband and I] get to travel with him. When I was working full-time, I couldn’t do that. I was so stationary. In one of the chapters in the book, I talk about when my son was a baby and how all of a sudden he’s a teenager. I didn’t see it happen.”

The Class of 1995 alumna came to Nicholls with hopes of majoring in accounting. She realized she didn’t want to sit behind a desk and crunch numbers, so she switched her major to business administration. Soon after graduation, she noticed that business wasn’t the right career for her so that’s when she encountered nursing.

“I have to give credit to the people who helped me write the book because their testimonies were added to the book. It was an amazing journey.”

Turner advises students to not burn themselves out. They need to prioritize and take things one step at a time.

“You have to take care of yourself,” Turner said. “Focus on your mind, body and spirit. Focus and try not to put so much on your plate for one day because it will not happen.”

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