Hometown: Pomona, MO
Currently Resides: Willow Springs, MO
Occupation: Executive Director of Nursing at Ozarks Healthcare
Degrees: AA General Studies MSU-WP 2010, AS Nursing MSU-WP 2010, BS Nursing MSU 2014, MS Nursing Leadership and Healthcare Systems University of Colorado 2016
“Challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone. This is where true growth and happiness occurs.”
A Pomona native, Lacey Carter was torn about the best way to continue her education after high school.
“I wanted to travel away, but also wanted to be financially responsible,” Carter explained. “I decided the best use of the financial aid I had available was to utilize my A+ Scholarship and have my first two years of school paid off without any debt.”
This turned out to be a good choice because, looking back, she described herself as “a naïve kid… a teenager ready to blaze trails.” After graduating from Missouri State University- West Plains, she said, she changed, growing into “a global citizen.”
“My awareness of my community, the world at large and my role in it increased tremendously,” Carter said. “I left ready to blaze more trails before I returned home, years later, to make a difference and serve in my community.”
In order to get to that point, she chose to work outside her comfort zone and became involved in multiple student organizations on campus. She served as the treasurer, then president, of the Student Government Association; as a Student Ambassador, as president of Student Alumni Association; and as secretary of the Student Nurses Association.
“Through my involvement, I was able to travel to China and New York City twice. In my travels, I gleaned there are different ways to accomplish the same task or goal. This also taught me different leadership and communication styles. I even gained public speaking skills through speeches at Red Carpet Days,” she said. “My critical thinking and problem solving were challenged in the (William and Virginia Darr) Honors Program, and I am so grateful for the ability to consider myself a free thinker. The list could go on and on.”
The only limits a student at Missouri State-West Plains has are those they set on themselves, Carter said.
When asked to describe her time at Missouri State-West Plains, Carter simply replied, “REMARKABLE.”
“MSU-WP has an incredible staff and faculty who pour into their students’ lives to help them succeed. My degrees from the West Plains campus put me on track to obtain higher-level nursing degrees. My time at MSU-WP provided a foundation of knowledge in art and science that helps me serve my coworkers at Ozarks Healthcare and allows them to provide the best possible care to our patients.”
This has allowed her to achieve her biggest goals – the ability to help her community.
“The Ozarks Healthcare service area is my home. This is where my family and friends seek care and I don’t take that lightly,” she said. “My greatest accomplishments come from the smallest of details – changing a nurse’s workflow to makes patient care better, bringing in a new, evidenced-based practice that helps someone better care for our sick patients, and the smiles from the patients and nurses.”