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The Mission Reminds Me I’m In the Right Place

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From the time she began her career as an ICU bedside nurse at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs in 2006, Stacey Semexan wanted to become a nurse leader.

She worked on a team of nurses inserting IVs for patients, and then moved to nursing house supervisor roles, which brought her to AdventHealth Kissimmee. It was there that Stacey’s director suggested she go back to school and get her master’s degree.

“I knew I wanted to pursue higher education, but the timing wasn’t right,” she recalled. “I was going through a divorce. But in the next couple of years, I did go back, and I just finished my master’s degree in nursing leadership in January 2022.”

COVID-19 impacted her educational progress, leading Stacey to slow down her pace.

“Having the financial assistance from AdventHealth was huge,” she said. “I had flexibility on when I could take my classes. I’m sure I would not have finished if I didn’t have that support.”

Today Stacey is the director of nurse transformation and practice, supporting AdventHealth hospitals in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. Her focus is on improving nursing culture, retention, education and oversight.

“We are a small but mighty team supporting eight campuses,” she said. “We have the opportunity to advocate for our nurses by improving our processes and providing education, which elevates our clinical care.”

While her team works behind the scenes, their work is vitally important.

“Sometimes it’s hard to see the work we do,” Stacey said. “But when we go through our hospital accreditation process, we get the feedback where the nurses excel, and that is very fulfilling for me.”

In her leadership role, Stacey looks for ways to extend the healing ministry of Christ with her team.

“I like to make a personal connection with my team members,” she said. “We connect and pray with each other. It transcends beyond the work we do to what is going on in our personal lives.”

It’s this connection that remains so important to Stacey as she reflects on praying with patients at the bedside and her colleagues who helped take care of her spiritual needs during stressful times.

“I remember Daniel a chaplain at AdventHealth Kissimmee,” she recalled. “ He would make rounds on his units and intentionally come back to check on the nurses. He cared about our team and how our workload was going.”

Over her 17 years with AdventHealth, Stacey occasionally thought about moving to another organization. But as she would stop to think about why she works at AdventHealth, she would always come back to three things: the mission, which is lived out every day; the focus on financial stewardship; and the commitment to excellence.

“When I reflect on these things,” Stacey says, “it reminds me I’m in the right place.”

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