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Five Memphis CNOs Share Nursing Insights, continued from page 1 Kathy Barnes Title, hospital – Chief nursing officer, Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. Birthplace – Cleveland, Ohio. Nursing School – BSN and Masters of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University. Nursing experience –SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Louis, where she served as administrative director of nursing operations. Other leadership positions include the interim chief nursing officer and director, critical care services. Credentials – Adjunct professor in the Webster University graduate program. Board certified nurse executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a Magnet appraiser for the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program.

to-day staff operations. They spearhead hospital management issues such as quality of care, patient safety, patient and family experience, nursing standards of care, leadership development, succession planning, personnel management and budgetary responsibility. Recently, in honor of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, a group of five CNOs took a critical and compassionate look at key issues facing chief nursing officers in the Mid-South today at a roundtable discussion conducted by Pamela Harris, publisher of the Memphis Medical News. They discussed the nationally high turnover rate of CNOs, the challenge of retaining a reliable staff, current nurse recognition practices and how their personal experiences have assisted them professionally over the years. Participants in the discussion were: - Kathy Barnes, CNO, Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital - Susan Ferguson, vice president and system chief nurse executive, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation -  Wanda Rook-Peperone, CNO, Saint Francis Hospital, Bartlett -  Lisa Schafer,  COO and CNO, Regional One Health - Kathleen Seerup, vice president of patient care and CNO, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

High Turnover

All five CNOs agreed that turnover among CNOs is high nationally. Three of the five CNOs present at the roundtable discussion have been in their roles for less than one year and the other two for less than five years. This reflects a national trend. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, CNOs tend to stay in their roles for two and a half to 8

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five years. Saint Francis’ Rook-Peperone agreed this national trend is reflected in the Mid-South. “The average CNO stays in the position from three to eight years in the Memphis area,” she said. “It’s a tremendous responsibility as it takes time to get settled into the role and build a team which builds longevity.” All five experts said CNO turnover is related to many changing factors, including hospital CEO turnover, the retirement of longtime CNOs, job availability and location.

Regional One’s Schafer said the hospital CNO and CEO work together to build a long-term strategic plan for the healthcare system. As a result, she said the greatest turnover happens in hospital executive management when the CEO leaves an organization. “The CNO and CEO have a synchronized partnership,” she said. “A new CEO wants to choose the CNO on his or her team.” Although statistics could not be found for the rate of national CNO turnover, hospital CEO turnover remains at 18 percent for the third consecutive year, according to a report by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Continuous consolidation of healthcare organizations over the past decade and retiring leaders from the baby boomer era influence these turnover rates. Seerup, of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, agreed that many longtime CNOs at hospitals are retiring, especially in pediatric hospitals. “There wasn’t CNO turnover in pediatrics nationally until recently,” she said. “Within the last 18 months there have been a large number of CNOs retiring. Generally, CNOs at pediatric hospitals were in the position for a long time. The CNO worked for the same hospital and grew within the organization. “Now, you must step outside the organization to advance. You must move to a larger-scope children’s hospital because the same CNO or CEO have been in the same position for a long time.” Barnes, the CNO with Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown, said job availability is a factor for many potential CNO candidates. There aren’t enough leadership positions available at every hospital. “There are fewer opportunities for advancement the higher up in leadership

Wanda RookPeperone Title, hospital – Chief Nursing Officer, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett. Birthplace – Hernando, Mississippi. Nursing School – Methodist School of Nursing (Saint Francis University, Joliet, Ill. (BSN); University of Memphis Loewenberg School of Nursing (MSN). Nursing Experience – Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Department Nursing as staff RN with progressive leadership roles in each area (Charge RN, Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Manager (Critical Care and Emergency Department), Director Emergency Department, Associate Chief Nursing Officer. Credentials – RN, MSN.

Susan Ferguson Title, hospital -- Vice President/System Chief Nurse Executive, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. Birthplace – Memphis, Tennessee Nursing School – Memphis State University (now University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing).

Nursing experience – A 30-year Baptist employee, she has served in a variety of roles throughout the system, most recently as system nursing director for clinical value analysis/specialty care/ patient safety. Prior to serving as the system nursing director, Ferguson was BMH-Collierville’s CNO; system director of nursing; director of nursing administration; director of oncology services; and CNO for Baptist in the metro-Memphis area, West Tennessee and East Arkansas. She began her career in B

Credentials – Received the Tennessee Organ for Excellence in Nursing Leadership in 2009, 2015, was president from 2011-2013. Served College of Nursing. She is a registered nurse

you go, so you must be prepared to move to a new health system,” she said. “There is only one CNO and CEO position for each hospital.” Ferguson, the vice president and system chief nurse executive with Baptist, said location plays a role in CNO turnover. She has seen CNO turnover lower in rural areas in the Mid-South. “In a rural community,” she said, “the CNO has usually been a nurse for a long time at that facility. There is more competition in a big city. Succession planning is so important and must be in place for when the CNO leaves.” All CNOs agreed that it’s important for hospitals to consider nurses for executive management positions as they have a unique patient and staff perspective. Ferguson said nurses hold four executive management positions at Baptist. Additionally, Barnes said it’s important when researching for a CNO position to look at an organization as a partner. “Look at the culture, values and practice style to make sure there is an affinity there,” she said. “It’s not a case of just finding a job, but a partner.”

Retaining Good Staff

All five CNOs said it’s a challenge to retain nurses with the many employment options nurses have today, but the answer to retaining good employees is to compassionately listen to them and let them know they make a difference within the organization. “In my experience, the main objective is for nurses to know they have a voice within the organization,” Baptist’s Ferguson said. “It’s important that those in nursing leadership are visible and listen to the staff. Nurses want to be heard and know that they are part of making decisions.” Acknowledging nurses in small ways shows nurses they are valued. memphismedicalnews

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Memphis Medical News May 2018

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