Chief nursing officer turnover and the crisis brewing: views from the front line

Cheryl B Jones, Donna S Havens, Pamela A Thompson
Journal of Nursing Administration 2009, 39 (6): 285-92

OBJECTIVE: This American Organization of Nurse Executives study examined perceptions of staff nurses, nurse managers, and nurses in other organizational roles as part of an initiative examining CNO turnover. Here, we report findings that complete the 3-phased effort to better understand how nurse executive turnover affects the work environment and patient care.

BACKGROUND: The CNO plays a key role in promoting nurse satisfaction and improving quality, safety, and effectiveness in healthcare organizations. However, little is known about the impact of nurse executive turnover on staff, managers, or patient care delivery.

METHODS: An online survey was used to gather participants' views.

RESULTS: Approximately 1,277 nurses employed in hospitals across the United States responded to this survey. They reported that their CNO listened and responded to staff and backed up staff in decision making, even when doing so involved conflicts with physicians. However, they also perceived that the CNO was not always visible on units and accessible to staff and had less power and authority than other top-level hospital executives in the organization.

CONCLUSION: Strategies are needed to address the concerns of staff nurses and managers who are left behind when CNO turnover occurs.

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