Ascension Via Christi St. Francis tech crowned Miss Wichita | Ascension

Ascension Via Christi St. Francis tech crowned Miss Wichita

Some days you'll find Alexis Smith, a nurse tech in Ascension Via Christi St. Francis' Progressive Care Unit, wearing scrubs. On other days, the Newman University nursing student now wears a sash and crown, having recently been chosen as Miss Wichita 2023.

“My passion for nursing comes from my belief that my purpose is to serve others," Smith told the university's student newspaper in a story about her winning the annual scholarship competition. "Nursing is a career path that allows us to continuously grow and evolve, as the medical field is continuously changing. Being able to apply this education to support the lives and vulnerability of others is rewarding."

Caring for the vulnerable is one of the reasons why Smith, a volunteer for the Wichita Family Crisis Center, chose domestic partner violence as her platform during her reign as Miss Wichita 2023.

It's also why the Newman senior, who will graduate next May, enjoys her job at St. Francis, where she has worked since July 2021.

"In my area, I get to provide patient-centered care in helping patients get up and back or close to their baseline after heart surgery," says Smith, whose future plans hinge on the results of the Miss Kansas pageant that will take place in June 2023.

If Smith wins the title, she will spend a year serving in that role before launching her nursing career; if not, she plans to find a nursing position in Wichita and vie for the Miss Kansas title again.

While she says she has enjoyed her time in the Progressive Care Unit, "I think where my heart is leaning is more toward women's healthcare," she says, adding, "Everyone here has been so helpful and I have learned a lot, so I can definitely see myself staying with Ascension Via Christi."

Melinda Thompson, her nurse manager, says that whatever area of nursing Alexis chooses, she knows she will be great.

"You can see Alexis' passion for serving others in the great care she provides to our patients," says Thompson. "She is a sweet person who is going to be a great nurse."