Carlton Scott has over twenty years of clinical experience as a travelling nurse (RN) specializing in critical care, and children’s health. He has worked with several thousand children and teens in both mental health counseling and in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU). Inspired by his desire to cheer up sick children, Carlton has authored and illustrated three hardcover children’s books that rhyme and teach kids the lessons of friendship, self-acceptance, and adventure.
Born Dec. 30, 1962, in Jackson, Tennessee, Carlton grew up in Tampa Bay, and earned his first bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985. While earning his master’s degree in mental health counseling, he worked as a lifeguard on Clearwater Beach, Florida. Learning to keep his cool in an emergency on the beach prepared him for the “codes” he would later encounter as a critical care nurse. Carlton’s experiences swimming with dolphins in the ocean inspired him to write and publish his first book, Grin’s Message. He always thought the dolphins had a grin on their face.
Carlton’s love for art began early when he was eight years old. A Tampa Bay TV station was having an art contest related to a scene from the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The prize was a cruise for two to the Bahamas, tickets to the movie, and a visit to the TV station. Carlton won first prize, and his parents happily bought the cruise from him, while he visited the TV station and saw the movie starring Kirk Douglas.
Carlton’s career as a mental health counselor and registered nurse has taken him all over the United States; from Sarasota, Florida, where he worked in psychiatric hospitals with inpatient youth, to the island of Kauai in Hawaii, where he helped develop an adventure-based counseling program for troubled children and teens in a day treatment center.
At the age of thirty-three, Carlton was planning to pursue a degree in nursing when he was misdiagnosed with glaucoma and lost vision in his left eye. To help deal with the stress of being visually impaired, he spent time hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and then took off to Southeast Asia for many months backpacking and venturing through Thailand, Cambodia, and Bali, Indonesia trying to decide what to do with his future.
During this time, he finished his second children’s book, Little Big Wolf, based on his drawings and hiking photos from Colorado. After publishing both Grin’s Message and Little Big Wolf in hardcover, Carlton sold thousands of copies in Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, street fairs, and craft shows. He also spoke to children in elementary schools about writing and publishing their own books, hoping to inspire new artists.
He then returned to Florida and finished his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2004 and accepted a job in the pediatric ICU at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Carlton travelled for more than ten years with his wife Annie (also a nurse) throughout the United States providing critical care services in a myriad of HCA, Kaiser, and community hospitals in Colorado, California, and Alaska. His third children’s book, Glamour Girl from the Stars, was published in 2010. Since 2019, Carlton has been teaching anatomy and psychology at Galen College of Nursing in Tampa Bay to the next generation of nurses. Currently, Carlton is still learning how to swim and speak Dolphinese.