Encouraged by her mother to chose either nursing or teaching, Naomi Kate Sheppard decided the former offered her the best opportunity for growth and success. She started out by earning a diploma from the Scott & White Hospital School of Nursing in 1955, after which she furthered her education with an Associate of Arts from Temple Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and biology from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She also obtained certification in psychiatric nursing from the American Nursing Association.
Degrees in hand, Ms. Sheppard set out to make her mark on the field. Her first professional position was staff nurse at Scott & White Hospital, which she held for eight years. She then advanced to head nurse of medicine and in-service education coordinator at the institution. In 1972, Ms. Sheppard transferred to University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where she worked as an associate professor. She retired in 1992.
Outside of the hospitals, Ms. Sheppard enjoyed using her skills to help her community. She has experience as the president of the American Nurses Association, and as a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Vashti Chapter of the Texas Nurses Association, the Eastern Star EIKS Auxiliary, and the National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees.