Lakewood Ranch Medical Center strives to offer nurses a place to thrive and continue their professional development. Three nurses, recently promoted into their current positions at Lakewood Ranch, share their experience with working here.
Sara Wilson, RN, Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
“I chose nursing because I have always had a passion for the field of healthcare, and I felt that I could make a difference by helping people as a nurse,” says Sara, who has been a nurse at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center for more than seven years.
Sara started in the orthopedic unit as a new nurse graduate at Manatee Memorial Hospital. Today, she’s a Nurse Manager in the Intensive Care Unit at Lakewood Ranch. Sara is excited to come to work every day and smiles when she talks about her “awesome” relationships with the directors and managers.
“I really enjoy all the people I work with every day,” Sara says. “I have a great relationship with my director and the other leaders on the unit. I also enjoy the challenge of being a leader. We’re always working on making enhancements and staying consistent so that Lakewood Ranch Medical Center will continue to be a great place to work and grow.”
One enhancement in which Sara was directly involved includes the development of a unit-based council so that nurses and other staff members can voice their opinions about improvements on their respective units.
“The council groups create and implement quality-improvement projects,” Sara says. “Having the groups is important, since they allow staff members to be part of processes and solutions to improve their own work environment.”
Sara appreciates the support she receives from leadership.
“I have a great support system in my director and the CNO [Chief Nursing Officer]. When things get challenging, we stand together and help one another. The team members on my unit are like a family; we are always looking out for each other.
“We like to grow and nurture long-lasting relationships, and we take the time to develop our dedicated nurses so that they can achieve their career goals at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.”
Erica White, RN, Progressive Care Unit
Erica has been a Lakewood Ranch Medical Center nurse for six years. When asked why she chose to become a nurse, Erica says “nursing chose me.” “I started out as a medical assistant/phlebotomist at age 19. I was a young mother with a child to support. Fourteen years later, while working in a physician’s office, two home health nurse liaisons came in and encouraged me to further my education. I went to LPN school at night and transitioned to an RN program.”
After graduating from her program, Erica worked at Manatee Memorial Hospital and then switched to home health. Although she enjoyed home health, she missed working in the hospital environment. She loved her experience working for a Universal Health Services hospital (Manatee Memorial), and she knew she wanted to get back to working in a clinical setting. After applying for a Lakewood Ranch ICU position, she got the job and never looked back.
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center gave Erica a place to grow – she became a Charge RN in a matter of months and has worked her way to new levels ever since.
Erica was involved in the formation of the unit-based council. “It gives the staff opportunity to voice their opinions in an organized manner, but it also provides them with feedback as to why an idea may have to wait or will take longer to implement. It also gives them insight into the hospital’s plans for future growth and development,” says Erica.
“I love all the people I work with. We are family,” she says. “I get through hard or challenging days knowing that my work family will always be here for me, and I for them.”
Heather Newby, BSN, Medical Cardiac Unit
Heather has been a nurse at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center for more than six years. “I wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. That and a paratrooper, but the Army showed me that I have a severe fear of heights,” Heather says with a smile.
She had a unique start to her career as a combat medic right out of high school. When she left the U.S. Army, she worked as a medical assistant and paralegal. “Finally, I decided that it was time to get my RN around 2012,” she says. “Then, I went through an accelerated BSN program, graduating in 2014.”
Heather, who was also instrumental in the council initiative at Lakewood Ranch, notes that “it’s key to keeping the unit staff happy.”
“The staff on the unit are the heart of the unit. They should have a say in how the unit runs, within reason and policy. Their input is invaluable. They are the ones who are here day in and day out, and they see the needs of the unit. Without the staff, we have nothing.
“I work with some of the brightest, most ethical, professional and funny people you could ask for. They truly care for our patients. I see it every day in the work they do,” she says.
She also shares that when things become challenging on the unit, she’s able to stay calm while analyzing and making decisions, all with the support of her Lakewood Ranch team members.
If Heather could speak to a nurse considering a career at Lakewood Ranch, she says “I would tell them that this is a great place to work and grow! The leadership and management are always looking for individuals who want to invest in the hospital and make it their home. They always provide the opportunity to move up and grow if that is what the candidate is striving for and working toward.”
If you have a passion for healthcare and would like to explore nursing opportunities at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, visit our Careers Page.