Shivaran Scott fulfilled her grandfather’s wish in 2001 when she earned her nursing degree at the age of 46.
“My grandfather wanted my mother to be a nurse because he thought nurses were the most beautiful people on earth. My mother didn’t get that chance, so she wanted that for me,” Scott remembered. “I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl, probably five years old. It is the only thing I have ever wanted to do.”
Scott had to overcome more than a few hurdles to attain her dream, and the dream of her mother and grandfather. She never forgot what was so clear to her as a young girl.
“When I was a child, my friends would come to me when they were sick. I’m not sure why, but they did. And I enjoyed helping them; I did whatever I could do.”
Scott grew up with her parents and her two younger siblings in Chicago. Her parents longed to “leave the big city and enjoy a simpler life,” so they moved two of their children to Bastrop where a great aunt lived. In 1973, Scott kept her promise to join her family immediately following high school graduation. She planned to return to the windy city, but never did.
She attended what was then known as Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe), and earned her surgical technologist degree in 1979. She helped physicians in the operating room, organized the surgical equipment, and prepared patients for surgeries.
“It was an adrenaline rush. You made a difference every day. You were there for a reason—to help someone get better.”
Scott worked as a surgical technologist at St. Francis Medical Center for 10 years and at what was then known as P&S Surgery Center (now P&S Surgical Hospital) for 12 years.
One Monday morning at P&S, Scott and two of her colleagues all shared the same revelation with one another.
“I told Carolyn Tillman, who has since retired from P&S, and another co-worker, who has since died of breast cancer, that I wanted to become a registered nurse. They all wanted the same thing, so we all did it together. I told them it may take us 10 years, but we were going to do it, one class at a time.”
Scott, who had a middle-school age daughter and elementary-school age son, enrolled in Louisiana Tech University’s nursing program in 1999. She worked 16-hour days on the weekends at SFMC, attended the university full-time during the week, and graduated in 2001. She credits her family for helping her succeed.
Her husband, a truck driver, helped when he could. “If it hadn’t been for my family, especially my mom and my sister, I wouldn’t have made it.”
Upon earning her nursing degree, she decided to return to P&S Surgical Hospital. “I originally started at P&S as a scrub technician when we were just a surgery center in the late 1980s. I returned in 2001, and since that time, I have witnessed every evolution: the additional operating rooms, the cath lab, the new technology, and so much more. To be a part of that extraordinary progress is a privilege.”
Scott enjoys another privilege: encountering former patients in the community.
“Former patients, many of whom I don’t immediately remember, will say to me, ‘I remember your calm voice. You took such good care of me. You were my nurse.’ We usually don’t see our patients after they leave us, so those comments are everything to me.”
Being a nurse allows Scott the opportunity to better the lives of her patients.
“As an RN, I have the chance to teach our patients how they can improve their lives, whether that’s watching their sodium intake or learning about medication side effects.”
She was destined to be a nurse, Dr. Timothy J. Mickel said.
“I have known Shivaran for over 20 years. Nursing was made for her, and she was made to be a nurse. She can give out tough love with a tender heart, and she is as competent as they come. I can’t think of any higher accolades for a nurse than the confidence of the doctors she works with and the praise of the patients under her care. In her case, both are well deserved.”
By Laura Clark