Website spotlight: Former staff nurse returns as CEO

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 4, 2010

Bedside nurses often grumble that the C-suite is clueless about what it's like in the trenches providing patient care. Nurses at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, however, know this is not the case at their hospital. Their new president and CEO knows all too well what taking care of patients is like at Providence—she began her career as a nurse in the intensive care step-down unit at Providence more than 30 years ago.

Amy Freeman became CEO of Providence in March after spending the last few years in senior leadership positions at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Few hospital CEOs come from a patient care background, so I spoke with Freeman about the perspective she brings to the role.

"Having the experience of being a staff nurse gives me great comfort and ease in walking into patient rooms that others may find intimidating or uncomfortable," says Freeman. She notes that her nursing experience gives her credibility among patient care providers. "I've paid my dues in the trenches," she says. "That gives me some credibility among employees-I know what staff nursing is like."

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