Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Stacie La Jeunesse: ‘I’m a teacher and educator in everything that I do’
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Stacie La Jeunesse is all about giving back to her community and patients.
For more than a decade, La Jeunesse was a Credentialed School Nurse in Nevada County, serving the health care needs of students and their families, including many with acute and chronic conditions.
“I enjoyed it very much,” says La Jeunesse, who also greatly appreciated the flexibility and part-time schedule of a school nurse that allowed her to spend more time with her two children.
From comprehensive health screenings to maintaining immunization records, she ensured the health of students and handled minor injuries and illnesses.
“There is so much more that school nurses do that are behind the scenes,” says La Jeunesse, whose duties included teaching comprehensive sexual health education to fifth- through eighth-grade students. Being a school nurse “supported my emotional and educational needs, and is part of something greater.”
But with her children in high school – including one graduating in spring 2022 – La Jeunesse wanted to return to her career as a primary-care provider. La Jeunesse, who earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Loyola University in Chicago, joined Western Sierra in January 2022. Previously, she had worked in Developmental Pediatrics doing Early Intervention evaluations for birth to 5 years old.
“I want to help children reach their ultimate potential,” says La Jeunesse, whose patients range from newborns to older teenagers. “We want them to be the best little humans they can be.”
And that begins with a team approach to health care, with an emphasis on education, whether a patient is dealing with a chronic condition or recovering from a short-term injury.
“I’m a teacher and educator in everything that I do,” she says. “I’m all about relationship building.”
Developing a bond with a family – parents and children – can last decades, and have a lifelong effect on their well-being.
“How can we promote healthfulness?” she asks. “I’m teaching (children) how to take care of themselves as they grow and their bodies change.”
It’s a lesson she has been focused on for almost three decades, since she was a pediatrics staff nurse at Loyola University Medical Center.
“By seventh grade, I knew I would take care of kids someday,” says La Jeunesse. As a nurse practitioner she has found a way to do exactly that. “My goal is to be part of the team with their families.”
La Jeunesse and her family moved to Grass Valley about 15 years ago.
“It’s a small community and we’ve built some great relationships here,” says La Jeunesse, who enjoys skiing and spending time at the lake. “We’re a big outdoor family.”
She also likes tennis, a sport she played while earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. She is an assistant coach for the girls’ tennis team at Nevada Union High School.
“Playing sports in college helped me with time management. And it’s a physical and social outlet,” says La Jeunesse, who will stop coaching when her daughter graduates this spring. Coaching tennis is “just another way I can give back to the community.”