Lisa Smith RN is employed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in cancer research. Serious business.
She also models bridal fashions for Charlotte Bridal Boutique. This tall willowy blonde with a huge smile provides modeling services and for the last few years has modeled bridal wear in the Southwest Wedding Expo held in several locations throughout Charlotte & Sarasota counties. “My grandmother predicted I would be a model as a woman of courage and this is my interpretation of her prediction. Life is a lot of fun now.”
Lisa has had some horrendous health issues in the past three years. You know enough to imagine the details but suffice it to say she is lucky to be alive today. “After a bout with post-op sepsis, and several days in the intensive care, a pleural effusion, pericarditis, splenomegaly & a gastro-intestinal bleed that required an additional surgery to repair. I woke to the realization my time here was limited. After barely regaining any strength, I landed with a complete bowel obstruction. I had a complete life evaluation in a hospital bed, and decided I was heading back to school.” Lisa knows she’s one fortunate woman and intends to spend every day as if it were her last. A mature nurse who has spent over 25 years in clinical practice ranging from physician practice to ICU, ER, and trauma radiology and now cancer research, she “decided it was simply time when to get on with it.” She chose State College of Florida and will graduate in December, 2016 with her BSN.
But that’s not the only goal she has in mind. Lisa has been accepted into the University of South Florida and is applying to the BSN to DNP program with plans for enrolling in the adult acute nurse practitioner curriculum. She already has identified a potential Capstone project topic on PTSD veterans. “Improving their quality of life and decreasing veteran suicide rates through use of trained animals, (funding proposed to defund animal shelters and fund training and support) and therapeutic anaoxyltics, & continued support, so that these heroes can once again be productive members of society. I would like to write for a grant through the DVA to start the program locally and have an animal training team of experts on board, willing to jump in as needed. I will be working through local Veterans associations to collaborate my project with.” Tall beautiful blonde model yes; but no fluff head here!
So how has this total change in her life affected Lisa? She has really enjoyed the journey and her family has been very supportive. “They’re kind of used to my attending to school work and know I place a high value on education. They’re very proud of me.”
“Life is a journey and it’s about being happy every day you can are given. You must make the best of the time you have. My children inspired me to want to become an example. So much in nursing is changing; life-long learning is essential in our profession.”
“I really enjoy working in a magnet hospital at Sarasota memorial, our Magnet status is huge. Their support for graduate nursing education is essential. Sarasota Memorial Hospital, is opening a clinic in New Town, I am considering hrsa.gov for scholarships for school. The scholarship, as many do, is a process and requires post grad work at a public hospital for few years. VA hospitals also interest me. I enjoy serving those who need it most, and find it personally rewarding. I discovered through my leadership course, that my style of leadership is integrated with serving those who need it most. I also developed a Sarasota Pay it Forward initiative during my training, which again reinforces my innate drive to serve.” Lisa also volunteers at the Englewood community clinic and spends much time providing nursing services to the community.
“The nurse education navigator spent time with me and suggested several masters and doctoral programs which I investigated. The University of South Florida adult acute nurse practitioner program seems the best bet for me. With the help of my family, SNAC, Sarasota Memorial, my co-workers and those wonderful scholarship and tuition assistance dollars, I will be Lisa Smith RN, ARNP. You can do it if I can!”