Website spotlight: Former Staff Nurse Returns as CEO

Nurse Leader Insider, July 12, 2010

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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."

More importantly, Freeman says she benefits from her understanding of patient care and the way multiple disciplines must work together in an organization to ensure safe, quality patient care.

Editor’s note: To read the rest of this article, visit “Former Staff Nurse Returns as CEO"  found in the Reading Room at

Do you need continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month’s CE article about an organization being restraint free for five years or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).

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