Name: Lynsey (Boone) Sullivan
Hometown: West Plains, MO
Currently Resides: West Plains, MO
Occupation: Family Nurse Practitioner at Ozarks Medical Center Wound Care in West Plains, MO
All Degrees Received: Associate of Science-Nursing, Missouri State University-West Plains; Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Kaplan University; Master of Science-Family Nurse Practitioner, Maryville University
“I loved my time at Missouri State University-West Plains.”
Attending Missouri State University-West Plains just made sense for Lynsey (Boone) Sullivan after she graduated from West Plains High School.
“I had been in the A+ Program, as well as some dual enrollment classes as a senior in high school. It was the smartest decision for me, financially, and also, it allowed me to still be in my hometown with the support of my family as I began navigating life as an adult,” she explained.
The campus had a welcoming, small-town feel, but Sullivan found “big city resources” that helped her succeed as a student in the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program.
“The library was always available to me, and the nursing lab was where I gained my footing as a student nurse,” she said. “I spent so much time using the computers and printers at Lybyer that I think I could have considered eminent domain!
“Everything I did as an RN student shaped me.”
Sullivan admitted the ASN program was “its own beast,” compared to the classes she took in the two semesters prior to being accepted into the program, but the hard work was worth the effort it took to complete the program.
“I will never forget the emotional support I received from my instructors who truly believed in me,” she said. “The stress of it was so much, but I was never suffering through it alone. The two years I was in the program were grueling, but it was one of the most rewarding accomplishments of my life.
“I think when I began college, I was naïve in a sense, of how much you must be self-driven and self-motivated to be successful as a college student,” she added. “I have always been driven, but the nursing program, my professors and my fellow students helped me hone in on my God-given talents, and I believe that I have been so blessed because of that intuition and direction that was so supported throughout my college years.”
“I am so grateful to Missouri State-West Plains because that is where it all began for me.”
Sullivan quickly found work in the evenings at Ozark Medical Center’s emergency room after her RN certification in 2010, and she began seeking her bachelor’s degree in nursing and ultimately her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner, the latter of which she completed in 2016. As a result of the A+ Program, she was able to complete her ASN with no student loan debt and focus her finances on her subsequent degrees.
Now, the West Plains and surrounding communities benefit from that education.
“I get the opportunity to serve the people of my community every single day as I practice and educate them on disease processes, prevention, treatment options and plans, and get them the resources they need to be as healthy as possible.”
“Exhaustive, challenging, and a step in the direction that ended up being one of the most influential and best decisions of my life.”
Sullivan understands just how challenging it can be to select a college and a career path just out of high school, so she offered some parting words of advice for prospective students.
“No one can make you a good student, just as no one can decide for you what your path in this life is supposed to be. If there is a pulling or instinctual recognition to a certain practice/degree, then you owe it to yourself to at least sit down with a guidance counselor and see what your options are,” she said.
“Get a game plan and start making those things happen! They are there to support you in any way they can and to remind you that you are capable as long as you’re willing.
“The notion that we seek a calling that sets our souls on fire is rather unrealistic, or maybe just a romanticized notion of what we hope adulthood to be like. Instead, a more practical approach is to get ready to put in the work, seek fulfillment, and know that no matter what you choose, you matter and it matters.”