Jason Shuffitt’s love for the medical field started with an injury.
When he was 3 years old, he was taken to what was then Bowling Green-Warren County Hospital after he had run through a storm door. Although his visit required 250 stitches, the care he received left a more lasting impression on the young boy.
“It was the staff and the fact that somebody could take care of it at that moment,” he said. “It was soothing.”
The Bowling Green native also has taken care of family members, including his brother who died of cancer while Shuffitt was in nursing school several years ago.
“That’s how I got intimately involved with The Medical Center,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to be an employee here.”
Shuffitt took his experiences into his career choice. He has been a nurse practitioner in The Medical Center’s emergency room for two years, but has worked for Commonwealth Health Corp., the hospital’s parent company, for eight years in other positions, including as a technician and nurse.
“I’ve been in the emergency room the whole time,” he said. “I do anything that needs to be done.”
Shuffitt’s duties include assessing, treating and diagnosing patients.
“I tend to see more minor things like flu, lacerations and orthopedic-type injuries, but I try to experience things that are teaching cases,” he said. “You see some unusual things here. The good thing is that if I run across something I’m not comfortable with, I can consult with the physicians.”
Shuffitt earned associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Western Kentucky University. After he graduated from nursing school, he worked for a few years as a nurse. The difference between a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner is in the amount of education.
“A nurse practitioner gets two additional years in how to diagnose and treat illnesses,” Shuffitt said.
He recently finished course work for a doctorate of nursing practice degree at the University of Arizona.
“I go to Tucson a couple of times a year for the program. Everything else is online,” he said. “I should have it in August. I have to do a project.”
His degree is a clinical and research one. He is examining nurse practitioner experiences and the types they should have.
“The program is phenomenal,” he said. “I have seen things I had no idea existed.”
Shuffitt keeps busy in his field. He teaches registered nursing students at Bowling Green Technical College in Glasgow and sometimes works as a nurse practitioner at The Medical Center at Scottsville Rural Health Clinic. He enjoys his career.
“The ER was the logical place for me. You never know what’s going to come through the door,” he said. “That’s why I like it – the variety.”