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Janelle Cooney always had big dreams of higher education. But with three kids and a mortgage, advanced degrees weren’t in the budget while paying the bills and saving for her kids’ education.
But today, Janelle has a master’s degree in nursing leadership and a post-master’s certificate in nursing education, all paid for by AdventHealth, where she has been a team member for 14 years.
“If it weren’t for the tuition reimbursement at AdventHealth, I would have never gotten these degrees,” she recalled.
Janelle started as a staff nurse in the pediatric ICU, and moved into an assistant nurse manager position after two years with the organization. In 2021, she moved away from the bedside, and is now a clinical education manager at AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach.
“Moving up into these higher-level positions has helped increase my income,” she said. “It’s allowed me to increase my job and income security.”
In recent years, Janelle’s three daughters have all attended Rollins College in Winter Park. Janelle’s oldest graduated in 2019 with a dual major in art history and international business. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in art in Washington, D.C. Her middle daughter graduated with a degree in communications and creative writing. The youngest is a freshman and is just beginning to chart her career path.
And Janelle isn’t done with higher education either. She is in her first semester of a program at the University of Central Florida to earn her doctor of nursing practice degree – a doctorate for nurses focused on clinical-based problem solving. It will take her three years to complete.
“I love school. I love learning,” Janelle said. “I don’t love writing all the papers, but I enjoy making myself perform better at work and bringing better ideas to the organization. I’m better as a nurse, as a leader, as an educator.”
Janelle says her love of learning and continued pursuit of education helps her teach her fellow nurses.
“I’ve always loved being a preceptor and a teacher,” she said. “I’ve been a nurse for 30 years. I can share that experience and education to develop new nurses and help them uncover their love and engagement in this profession.”