Story by: Mandy Volz on January 18, 2023
As a child, Winnie Shouse grew up with two loves — medicine and music.
Sitting next to her grandfather watching medical dramas on television, she heard the stories about his dream to become a doctor. He had even been accepted to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, but couldn’t afford the ride to get there.
He chose the U.S. Army instead, but his dream wore off on his granddaughter.
“He talked to me about medicine, about helping people, taking care of people,” Winnie said.They also watched medical TV shows that were probably too graphic for a child, but she thought it was cool — and from the time she was 8, she was thinking about nursing.
But there was always music and singing too. As young as age 3, she would hang out coloring while her father performed in the church choir singing and playing guitar. She went on to perform in church, plays and musicals as she got older and started considering music school.
“My love of nursing won over music, and decided I wanted to keep music as something I did for fun,” Winnie said.
Now Winifred A. Shouse, APRN, is working on her doctorate in nursing practice and is a nurse practitioner seeing patients at Norton Community Medical Associates – Hurstbourne, though she still goes by “Winnie.”
“I think he [her grandfather] would be so proud because I achieved his one dream that he didn’t get to do, and taking care of people,” Winnie said. “And then next year I will officially be a doctor, [with a ] doctor of nursing practice [degree]. That was his dream, to be a doctor.”
Winnie earned her nursing degree from Bellarmine University in 2010 and joined Norton Healthcare in 2013. Winnie worked as a nurse navigator before becoming licensed as a nurse practitioner in 2021.
While obtaining her nursing degree, she sang the national anthem at Bellarmine University basketball games. She now sings the national anthem for Louisville Bats baseball games and continues to find ways to bring her voice to the community. Winnie’s fond memories of her grandfather and her compassion for the elderly have led her to perform at nursing homes with her dad and spread joy through music.
Early in her nursing career, Winnie was caring for stroke patients. One patient, a minister, had lost his ability to speak, but could sing. Church hymns were his favorite.
The patient was scared and wondering if he’d ever be able to preach again.
“I told him, ‘When you leave here, I’m going to sing with you. You’re going to be OK.’”
When he was ready for discharge, he had regained his ability to speak and reminded Winnie of her promise.
“I started singing ‘Amazing Grace’ and he joined in, and then his whole family joined in singing with me,” Winnie said. “I knew that this is where I was meant to be, and doing what I was meant to do.”
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