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The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Marco program promises to teach its participants everything they could ever want to know about the island, from how its government operates to the ins and outs of its healthcare facilities. Of course, Kaitlen Magdalener, member of Leadership Marco’s Class of 2017, already knows all about the latter.

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Magdalener currently works as a charge nurse at Marco Island Urgent Care Center, part of the NCH Healthcare System. As a charge nurse, Magdalener’s responsible for overseeing different wards of the hospital.

“I take care of patients both local to the island and visiting the island when they are in need of medical care,” she said. “I’m part of a team consisting of physician, nurses, radiographers and laboratory technicians.”

In 2010 Magdalener obtained her Associates in Nursing from Florida Southwestern State College, where she later also earned her Bachelors of Nursing. Right now she's currently halfway through completing her Masters of Nursing with a focus on Management and Leadership through Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn., and she holds a board certification (RN-BC) in ambulatory care nursing.

“The best part of my job is helping people," she said. “I truly enjoy meeting new people and helping them to feel their best. I work with patients across all spectrums of life and it is this variety that makes my job both challenging and enjoyable.”

The New Jersey native has lived on the island for just more than a decade, and married Marco Island native Marco Magdalener. Together they have two children, Johnny, 4, and Lola, 1, and there’s no better place to raise a family than Marco Island, Magdalener said.

“I love the community aspect of Marco Island. This is just the greatest place to live and raise children,” she said. “It’s beautiful, safe and there’s always something to do. I particularly enjoy Residents Beach, boating with my family and walking with my children.”

Magdalener first learned of Leadership Marco through her work, and decided to take advantage of the 10-week program that gets Marco Islanders together to learn the inner workings of the island and meet their fellow leaders.

“I heard about Leadership Marco through my director Elisabeth Novakovich and a co-worker Catherine Price who completed the course in 2015,” she said. “I decided to join because I felt it was a great opportunity to get to know the community I live in better and to meet other leaders on Marco Island. I also think it’s a great way to interact with people from different occupations who share the same love for Marco Island that I do.”

Although she may already know spoilers for one of the group’s sessions, Magdalener said she’s looking forward to learning more about other aspects of the island with which she is unfamiliar.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about the history of the Island and getting a fresh perspective of how the island operates,” she said.

Magdalener also said she believes Leadership Marco is an important program simply because of the wealth of information it offers.

“I think Leadership Marco is an important program because it teaches leaders in the community more about where they live,” she said. “Knowledge is power and the more that someone knows about their community the better they will navigate through it.”

In addition to working on the island, Magdalener attends St. Marks Episcopal Church, volunteers on behalf of NCH - specifically through its Women’s Auxiliary fashion show and the Kiwanis Car Show - and recently trained to become a volunteer at Our Daily Bread Food Pantry. Magdalener is also an active member of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (AAACN).

The Leadership Marco program consists of 10 bi-weekly sessions and gives its members insight into the following aspects of the island: history/museum; media; education/parks and recreation; hospitality/economics; law enforcement; culture/real estate; health care/fire-rescue; agriculture/environment; and government/transportation/infrastructure.

Leadership Marco Class of 2017 will meet every other Wednesday through November before its graduation ceremony on Jan. 27 at the Marco Island Yacht Club.

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