Shelley Saunders


Shelley Saunders looks forward to once again beating cancer, this time as a nurse and not a patient.

Having battled cancer at age 15 and again at 29, you’d think Saunders has succeeded in the most difficult battle of her life. However, her true success, she said, is her graduation with an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) from LCCC.

Cancer didn’t scare her, but fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a nurse was a tough road for Saunders. She wanted to be a nurse ever since she was 15 and had started in a nursing program but she was so afraid of failure that she gave up. She then started taking LCCC business but her interest in business faded, after a while, and she began nursing her teenage dream again.

After taking a few years off to start a family, Saunders decided to earn the licensed as a practical nurse (LPN) degree, but she knew she wasn’t quite there yet, and so she foraged into the tough terrain of studying to become a nurse. She came to LCCC because of its familiarity, her experience at the college back in 1989 and the popularity of its nursing program. She was scared of failing anatomy and physiology but her husband motivated her to get her registered nurse degree (RN) and she went without looking back.

She fought a few setbacks along the way when she failed her first anatomy exam, but she discovered new confidence in Professor Kathy Durham’s kind fortification. Saunders stuck it out and did not look back. Now, she is graduating with an ‘A’ in both anatomy classes. She also graduated with honors from the LPN program.

“Nursing was a challenge for me,” Saunders said. After being triumphant in the long battle with the academically challenging coursework, she believes others can be successful, too.  “If I could make it across the line successfully, then others ought to take a page out of my story and keep trying,” she said.

She aspires to find a job in the emergency department or medical/surgical floor of a local hospital where she can make others’ lives a little bit easier.

"If my story can convince even one person to follow their dreams, then I can consider my achievements a success," Saunders said.


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