Iolan’s deferred dream comes true

Lindsey Shaughnessy wanted to become a nurse, but instead she got married, had a family and started a business with her husband. She finally pursued her dream and graduated from nursing school.

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May 24, 2021 - 9:12 AM

Lindsey Shaughnessy graduated from Neosho County Community College. She is shown with her son, Sage, husband Brian, and daughter Maya. Courtesy photo

Lindsey Shaughnessy remembers recently taking stock of her life, knowing she should feel content.

She had a supportive husband, Brian, two children and a successful business, O’Shaughnessy Liquor.

But she also had a dream. She’d always wanted to be a nurse. 

When she graduated from high school in 2002, she planned to study nursing. 

Instead, she went to work, got married and started a family as well as a business. 

But in the background, her dream never died.

Lindsey Shaughnessy’s graduation cap.Courtesy photo

And now, 18 years later, she has graduated from nursing school. She’ll soon start working at a kidney dialysis treatment center. 

“It’s something I always wanted to do and I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,” she said.

“I’m proud of myself. I’m blessed to have the support of my family and friends for the last two years. And I’m excited. I can’t wait to start my career.”

SOON AFTER she started taking classes at Neosho County Community College, Shaughnessy was inspired by a lesson on the kidneys. 

An instructor, who Shaughnessy thought was a lot of fun and knew how to say just the right things, told the class: “The kidneys are stupid and easily insulted.”

“Something about that kind of stuck with me,” Shaughnessy said. “I never realized what an essential organ your kidneys are.”

The more she learned about dialysis, the more drawn Shaughnessy became to that type of nursing. 

“It comes down to helping people,” she said. “They are going through one of the toughest times in their lives, and if I can be there to help make a difference, I’m excited to do that.”

Her perspective is influenced by entering the nursing profession at a different point in life than most students. 

“I think you learn compassion and empathy. You’re a little more experienced and knowledgeable,” she said. “At a certain point in your life, you know what you want and what you need so you know how to project that for someone else. Everyone is different, but everyone needs love and everyone needs care.”

And though her experience in the retail industry may seem far removed from nursing, it’s really not all that different, Shaughnessy said. 

It’s all about communication.

“Everything I’ve ever done is about working with the public,” she said. “You have to have a relationship with people and know how to talk to people and how to treat people.”

ATTENDING nursing school while also being a wife, mother and business owner is never easy, but it was even more challenging to do so during a global pandemic.

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