By Stacy Smith

“I liked the uniforms,” Sarah “Sally” Scott explains her motivation for seeking her nursing degree when she was in college. Today, her uniform involves a crown and a banner.

Recently crowned Ms. Alabama Nursing Home 2017, Sally Scott explains that she loved the emergency department and always wanted to work in emergency medicine. “First, I worked in the cardiac unit, but it wasn’t for me. It was too slow,” said 83-year-old Scott.

After she and her husband at the time returned through his military assignment to the U.S. from Europe, she wanted to serve as a nurse in the fast-paced emergency department of a hospital. She did this for many years.

Ms. Alabama Nursing Home 2017 Sarah "Sally" Scott and Randall Scott.

Ms. Alabama Nursing Home 2017 Sarah “Sally” Scott and Randall Scott.

Her current husband of 34 years, Randall Scott, and she both retired at the same time from work in Birmingham. They moved to Dothan where one of her daughters, Vicki Harris, her son-in-law, and two grandsons, then ages four and six, live.

It was a difficult transition for the independent-minded nursing professional Scott to move herself and her husband to a nursing home a few years ago. Her several falls and his early stage dementia convinced them to make the move.

“They tried to get me to enter this pageant last year. I said, ‘No, I can’t win. I don’t want to enter what I can’t win,’” said Scott.

She compromised with Westside Terrace Health & Rehab First Administrator Kristie Hughes and said, “If you’ll leave me alone, I’ll do it next year.”

Next year, became this year. However, last spring on the day of the Westside Terrace pageant, Scott had pneumonia. Nevertheless, she got up, entered and won.

“Sally Scott definitely pushes through. She’s determined, strong-willed, and committed,” said Hughes.

“I kept my word, and entered this year. I never thought I’d win!” said Scott.

Then, from a field of 50 contestants from nursing homes across the state, Scott was selected as a top 10 finalist.

“It’s an honor just to have someone from the nursing home in the top 10. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Ms. Scott. She has a very positive attitude and is an advocate for nursing home care. She comforts people. The nurse comes out in her,” said Hughes.

Randall Scott absolutely dotes on her. According to Hughes, he is very supportive. When she was selected for the top 10, her husband told her, “They’re just telling you what I’ve known all along.”

She said, “What’s that?”

He said, “How beautiful you really are.”

While she was on stage during the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home pageant, and the host was announcing the fourth runner-up, the third runner-up, and the second-runner up, Scott said that she thought, “I’m not even going to place.”

Upon hearing her name as the winner, Sally Scott said that she expected now to also receive a very kind ‘I-told-you-so’ from her husband. She speculated that when she arrives back at Westside Terrace, he is going to say with tears in his eyes, “Baby, I told you this before you went up there. Aren’t you glad you went? I’m so proud of you.”

“They told me to come back with a crown on my head,” said Scott. “I will show all at Westside Terrace. I did it!”