Kicking off the news for nurses this week is a look at nurses in executive nurse careers and positions around healthcare. This is a great biographical article I found about one hospital CEO who is also a nurse. The author makes the case that as changes come about in how hospitals are reimbursed for patient care, it will require an executive who understands the business of healthcare and the patient care side of things.

Nurses in the Corner Office

nurse executive careersThere are some who think the perfect fit in this equation is a nurse. I’m not talking about Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) positions here. Those are typical nursing executive positions. You would expect a nurse to have that role. I’m talking about the positions for nurses in nontraditional areas like as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a hospital.

There are reasons that this is usually not a nurse, at least in the past. But that might be changing for those nurses with a strong business or finance background on top of their nursing degree. We could be seeing a whole new specialty in nursing here. Maybe there is a new advanced degree program around the corner. You know, something like RN to MBA in nursing.

Nurses Have Executive Leadership Skills

Kelly Doyle is the nurse featured in the article. She is CEO of the Rothmans Orthopedic Specialty Hospital outside of Philadelphia. The role, she says, is perfect for a nurse. Nurses are good at prioritizing while caring for the whole patient. In this case, it means caring for all the patients, plus the staff and visitors.

Another RN executive, Richard Webster, president of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philly, says that one of the biggest hurdles is to meet the metrics required by insurance carriers and regulatory agencies while still providing excellent patient care. A nurse has the innate knowledge about the patient side of this business and then gathers the necessary skills to provide excellent leadership of the organization as well.

I urge you to read the article. It is an excellent look at the avenues opening up for nurses everywhere out there. There will be a link in the show notes over at


Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Patient Simulation in Nursing Education and Episode 385.



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