Our Stories


ER Nurse gains the skills to advance in hospital leadership

Bobby Scott
Director of Emergency Services, Madison Hospital

Vanderbilt MM Health Care 2022

Like most MMHC students, Bobby Scott lacked a business background. Unlike most of his classmates, he had less than five years of experience in healthcare when he joined the program. 

Before he became an emergency department registered nurse in 2016, Bobby was a professional firefighter for six years. Before that, he supervised security officers at TVA nuclear power plants.

In four years, he rose to become a manager of emergency services at his hospital in Madison, Alabama. He credits leadership skills he developed during his eight years in the Marine Corps and honed during his firefighting career with preparing him for more responsibility in his role as a healthcare provider. “I guess I was looked at as an up-and-coming leader,” he says. “It was the president of our hospital who actually reached out to me about applying for the MMHC program.”

Bobby saw the invitation as an opportunity. With no business expertise, he recognized that what he learned in the program would not only help advance his career but also help improve his hospital. And there was the opportunity to earn a Vanderbilt degree. “The prestige of Vanderbilt,” he says, “ranks ahead of some Ivy League schools.”

Balancing work, school, and the job of being a father to two young daughters was no simple task. But he notes that the program offers a great deal of flexibility that makes it all much easier. “It’s been challenging,” he says, “but if I can do it during COVID-19, then anyone can do it during a non-pandemic year.”

In recognition of his increased knowledge and value, Bobby received a promotion—to director of Emergency Services at the hospital. “Making it to director in less than five years of nursing was a big accomplishment for me,” he says. “Most directors in our system have 10-plus years [of experience].” 

For him, the MMHC made the difference. “It has already given me greater understanding of healthcare from the business side,” he says. “Going forward in my career, if I want to be a president of a hospital or a CNO, those are things that I have to know and be able to work through. What you learn in this program is invaluable for that.”

Fun Fact: Bobby is a former Marine sergeant who served three combat tours inIraq and Afghanistan.

It’s been challenging, but if I can do it during Covid, then anyone can do it during a non-pandemic year.