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Hospital group names chief nursing officer

Jennifer Higgins has more than two decades of nursing experience.

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  • | 1:37 p.m. May 14, 2021
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FORT MYERS — Lee Health named Jennifer Higgins chief nursing officer, removing the interim designation.

With more than 20 years of nursing experience, Higgins will be responsible for leading nursing strategies that support Lee Health’s mission, vision, values and objectives, according to a statement. She’ll work with other leaders within the health system to develop continuous improvement strategies for clinical quality, safety and patient experience programs, the release adds. She will also create strategies for the recruitment and retention of high-quality nursing staff to Lee Health.

Higgins began her career at Lee Health in 2000, when she joined the health system as an emergency room nurse. Throughout the years, she progressively advanced through a variety of key senior operational roles before being appointed chief nursing officer. Her most recent position was chief nurse executive at Gulf Coast Medical Center, the release states, where she collaboratively developed a comprehensive transformation plan that included the successful opening of the first phases of the Gulf Coast Medical Center expansion project.

“Jennifer’s nursing leadership experience, along with her dedication to supporting our nurses while providing the highest quality of care to our patients made her the perfect choice to serve as Lee Health’s chief nursing officer,” Lee Health COO Dr. Scott Nygaard says in the release. “She is a proven leader and will continue to elevate and advance the professional practice of nursing at Lee Health.”

Higgins will continue to serve as chief nurse executive at Gulf Coast Medical Center until a permanent replacement is hired. 

“I am so grateful to work with such a wonderful team,” Higgins says in the statement. “Our nurses at Lee Health are the best of the best. I am honored to have been chosen for the chief nursing officer role, I look forward to all that we’re going to accomplish.”

Lee Health is a nonprofit integrated health care services organization with four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care.



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