Haggard defines success on her terms

Lauren Haggard, assistant professor of nursing, has found her passion in nursing and nursing education.

Lauren Haggard, assistant professor of nursing, has found her passion in nursing and nursing education.

Lauren Williams

Lauren Haggard, assistant professor of nursing at Missouri Southern, defines success in her own way.

“Success is finding your passion, and figuring out how to capitalize on it to make your livelihood,” she said. “Being a successful individual also includes being a constructive, contributing member of society and finding a way of being a positive influence.”

Haggard was inspired to go into the field of nursing when a medical tragedy hit home.

“When I was 19 my father was diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “He passed away six months later. I decided that I wanted to help people cope during their darkest hours, as well as nurture people back to good health.”

After completing her undergraduate studies in her hometown of Jefferson City, Mo., at Lincoln University, Haggard decided to further her education at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in nursing education. She found her way to teaching at MSSU when her husband, Rick, was recruited as a physician for Freeman Heath System.

“I have taught the past two years as an adjunct instructor, but this is my first year of full-time employment at MSSU,” Haggard said. “I teach Nursing 310 Health Assessment [and Technologies] and Nursing 430 Advanced Health Assessment in conjunction with other faculty members.

“I will also teach postpartum and newborn nursery clinical in the spring.”

Along with teaching full time at Southern, Haggard is also employed by Freeman Health System where she works as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit.

With her background of working in critical care, Haggard enjoys teaching that content. She also has experience in teaching obstetrics and pediatrics, and is a certified breastfeeding educator. She finds her career as a nurse educator very rewarding.

“One of my favorite aspects of teaching is watching my students have those ‘light bulb’ moments where the concept finally makes sense and critical thinking occurs,” Haggard said. “I am very passionate about teaching in nursing because I have a part of educating those who will end up providing direct care to me and my family.”

In addition to these duties, Haggard also has another job on her hands: being a full-time mother of two children, Hallie, 5, and Hillary, 23 months.

“As a working mother, success to me also includes a balancing act of meeting the needs of family, work, as well as my own needs,” she said. “Being a mother of two daughters, I hope to be successful in raising two independent, self confident, emotionally strong, educated women with integrity and kindness.

“If I can accomplish that, I will be overjoyed.”

When not teaching, Haggard likes to spend her free time exercising, spending quality time with her husband and girls, reading and scrapbooking.

She and her husband also recently competed this past summer in the MR340, Missouri River 340, which is a kayak race from Kansas City to St. Louis.