During the week, Mike Dy spends his days as the director of surgical services at AdventHealth Winter Park, doing rounds in the operating room and attending campus strategy meetings. On the weekends, he spends his time working on finishing his MBA. He is about 75% done, with plans to graduate this fall. As he reflects on his 23 years at AdventHealth, this is not how Mike envisioned his career in nursing.
“I never thought I would be in a leadership position,” he said. “I was a nurse who was happy to clock in, clock out, and go home. But my manager, Joy Burke, always pushed me to think about leadership. She told me, ‘Mike, God has great things planned for you.’ I was humbled and grateful to her for saying that, but there was no way. I didn’t believe it.”
A leadership opportunity presented itself to Mike – his first promotion was to a charge nurse position in the OR. He saw opportunities to make things better for his team. He took the job. As positive changes began to happen, Mike became excited and engaged in leadership responsibilities and continued to rise in the surgical services’ ranks to his current role of director.
Joy continued to share words of encouragement with Mike as he continued to take on more responsibilities at work.
“She would tell me, ‘God is watching over you, Mike, and the decisions you make,’” he said. “It seems hokey, but she was a living angel giving me encouragement and support.”
With these new leadership positions came higher education requirements. Mike recalls being encouraged to get his MBA and checked out AdventHealth’s tuition reimbursement options. He learned that AdventHealth offers an educational assistance program which would help pay for his MBA. He decided to leap, believing he could manage graduate school and work responsibilities.
For Mike, getting an MBA was far more personal than just keeping his options open for promotions. It was also honoring his mother’s dying wish for him to get a graduate degree.
Mike’s mom, Rosalia, was in health care for her entire career, and encouraged her three children to follow similar paths. She was a physician and a captain in the Navy, and expected academic excellence from her three children. After she realized he was underperforming at a big state university, Mike recalls that she urged him to switch colleges, move home and complete his nursing degree at AdventHealth University. Even as she was battling cancer in her final days, she pushed Mike to advance his education.
“My mom wrote each of my siblings and me a final letter,” he said. “In it, she gave me another career nudge the same way she did my entire life – ‘by the way, get your MBA.’ She passed in 2015. My manager and I both decided it was time to go back to school and get graduate degrees in 2018, and now I’m almost done. My mom nudged me all the way and will always continue to be my role model.”
The people on his team are why Mike has kept coming to work at AdventHealth for more than two decades. From the leaders who encouraged him to take a chance on stepping into leadership roles throughout his career to the new nurses just starting careers in the operating room.
“In surgical services, I come in contact with many doctors and vendors who work at other hospitals,” says Mike. “Again and again, they tell me the team at AdventHealth is special. They don’t see the same type of family bonds among the staff at other hospitals. When others say we have something special here, that makes me proud.”
Learn more about AdventHealth University’s online nursing degree program. AdventHealth University joins with Stetson University to offer a special master’s degree program in Business Administration/Healthcare Administration.
To learn more about AdventHealth’s resources to enable your career growth, including Debt-Free Educational Assistance options, please visit Team Member Central - Home (sharepoint.com)