November 7, 2012


McMaster graduate, mother finally a nurse at 49


Hamilton, Ont. November 7, 2012For decades, 49-year-old Lori Zozzolotto felt the call to nursing, but she let the voice in her head from her high school physics teacher tell her she couldn’t do it.


“He said that women weren’t smart enough to do well in the sciences,” Zozzolotto said. “I was failing physics and he said he would pass me if I promised never to take another science course. For years, I always kept thinking I wanted to be a nurse, but that I wasn’t smart enough.”


Finally, she silenced that voice.

On Friday, Nov. 16 the Mohawk College student will graduate with 35 of her peers from the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program at Hamilton Place.


Everything changed for Zozzolotto when she performed first-aid on her best friend for the first time, after their car was T-boned and she was “covered up to the elbows in blood, applying pressure to her head wound.”


Zozzolotto began to seriously consider nursing after over 20 years in the workforce and being exposed to interactions with nurses and hospitals – first as a correctional officer, then a doula. As a correctional officer for 14 years, she escorted female inmates to their medical appointments and found herself providing emotional support to patients.


The Milton native earned her Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) diploma from Sheridan College in 2008. She achieved high marks and was named class valedictorian.


She decided she really wanted to be a registered nurse (RN) and enrolled in the Post-RPN to BScN program in 2009. “I only applied here because I wanted to go to McMaster. I wanted to go to the best school or no school,” she said.


It wasn’t easy. For three years the single mom has worked two jobs while studying and raising her identical twin boys, Jake and Zak, 18. “Lots of coffee” got her through her on-average 16-hour days.


“When you’re an adult student you have the best incentive,” she said. “You can’t go home to mom and dad and say you failed. You have kids. Failure is not an option.”


Zozzolotto works as a community nurse for Acclaim Health in the Halton region, where she now does home visits with chronically ill clients and people just released from hospital with acute conditions.




Note to Editors – Lori Zozzolotto is available for interviews.  Photo is attached.



For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:


Veronica McGuire

Media Relations

Faculty of Health Sciences

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 22169