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A Legacy of Trust: Mary Rogers, MSN/Ed, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Assistant Vice President, Orlando Health

How Mary Rogers found her way into nursing would likely surprise many young people today. The youngest of five siblings, Mary was destined at a young age to become a nurse. Her father had strong ideas about what his children should pursue for their careers — and for Mary, that meant she was to become a nurse. 

These beginnings might sound unusual, but hers is a story of how one’s path can be shaped by those who saw a certain ability in Mary and had outspoken faith in her pursuing it. As it would turn out, her father wasn’t alone in his belief that nursing was the right fit for his youngest child. 

After graduation, Mary faced a great deal of uncertainty — not unlike what those starting out struggle with today. “At the time I was looking for my first job, and hospitals typically required at least one year of adult med-surg experience,” she says. However, Orlando Health saw potential in her and granted her wish to serve in pediatrics. “I was fortunate.” 

Once that door opened, Mary was off and running. Little did she know that she’d just begun what would become a decades-long professional relationship with Orlando Health. Thirty-three years later, Mary Rogers is chief of nursing at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children as well as an assistant vice president at Orlando Health. 

The collaborative team Mary works with is still what she loves most about her job. “Even during the most challenging times, we’re united and focused on giving the best care for our patients and truly supporting our team members,” Mary says. 

To succeed as a nurse requires enormous trust — in who you are and in what you can do, but especially when those capabilities haven’t yet had a chance to be proven. “My success came from people having faith in my ability,” she says. 

Her message to new nurses is as practical as it is inspirational: “Build a strong clinical foundation and focus on becoming the best you can in your current position, and never be afraid to stretch beyond your comfort zone.”


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