Lacey Lefere, MSN RN AHN-BC
HeartMath® Certified Trainer
WCSI CCEP® Faculty
Adjunct Faculty, Madonna University ABSN Program, Southfield, MI
Senior Director Health Services, Landmark Health, Southeast MI
Growing up on a working farm in rural Iowa ignited in Lacey a passion for the beauty found in caring for all beings and organisms. She was always eager to help, whether that meant getting her hands dirty in the fields during planting or harvesting seasons, in the barn when baby pigs were being born, or in the machine shop when something broke down and needed to be fixed. She knew at a very young age that beauty could be found in almost every moment of caring.
In 2008, Lacey graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, with a premed degree, and she landed a job in sales and marketing with Hormel Foods in Dallas, Texas, and then in Bentonville, Arkansas. Though this corporate role was an itch that Lacey needed to scratch, it did not take long for her to realize that the passions of her childhood were truly where her heart was. She came full circle, back to her premed degree, and decided to pursue a career in nursing.
Lacey moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 2010 and attended DePaul University’s Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice (MENP) program. She graduated in 2012 and started working as a labor and delivery nurse at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois. It was in this first role as a nurse that Lacey began to see how the passions of her childhood weaved into the art and science of nursing, though, she often found herself frustrated without the language and concepts to articulate and describe the phenomena.
After one more move to Detroit, Michigan, in 2013, Lacey began work with Ascension, the largest Catholic healthcare organization in the United States. Here, surrounded by a remarkable community of Holistic Nurses and Caritas leaders, she was able to begin the life changing journey of unpacking the experiences of caring that she had had throughout her life and that she was continuing to have in her role as a Registered Nurse. Doing this alongside Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring Science provided the evidence, language, framework, and concepts that Lacey had previously been missing. Throughout this journey, Lacey became a board certified Advanced Holistic Nursing in 2015. In 2016, she graduated from Ascension Southeast Michigan’s Holistic Nursing Intensive© and from the Watson Caring Science Institute’s Caritas Coach Education Program® (CCEP) as a Caritas Coach®. In 2018, Lacey contributed to the textbook Caritas Coaching: A Journey Toward Transpersonal Caring for Informed Moral Action in Healthcare (2018) and became a HeartMath® Certified Trainer. This all occurred while working in roles as a clinical bedside nurse, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, and various nursing director roles of both programs and of people/operations.
Lacey is currently finishing her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Systems Leadership degree with Loyola University of Chicago. Her scholarly work here includes studying the impact of the implementation of HeartMath® to build resilience capacity and to reduce nurse leader stress, all through the lens of Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Caring Science. She continues to serve as an adjunct faculty and guest speaker (on human caring and holistic nursing) for Madonna University’s ABSN program. Lacey’s most recent full-time professional endeavor began in 2023 with Landmark Health – UnitedHealth Group as an operational leader in the arena of home-based medical care. Here, she hopes to continue to spread the concepts of Unitary Caring Science through her own lived example of being and becoming Caritas in all of the various aspects of her personal and professional life.