Interview with the Chief Nursing Officer at Rady Children's Hospital

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For this exercise, we settled for the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California USA. Having been in the industry for nearly three decades where she began as a pediatric intern, she currently holds a degree in Master of Science in Leadership and Management from Walden University. She is also sits on the Board of Directors in one of the largest home care nursing centers in the country. Besides, she is the vice-chairperson in the local county’s Health Committee. While she is definitely a very busy professional, she granted me an exclusive interview regarding in which she opened up about her career.

The Interview

1. What degrees do you have in nursing and in other fields?

I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master of Science in Leadership and Management.

2. What is your current position?

Currently, my day job is at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California USA, where I serve as the Chief Nursing Officer. I also offer my services to one care nursing center where I sit as a member of the Board of Directors. Two years ago, I joined the local government’s Health Committee, where I am currently serving as the vice-chairperson.

3. What are the educational requirements for your position?

Typically, a Chief Nursing Officer begins their career as a regular Registered Nurse (RN) in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Based on their cumulative experience, they rise and take up leadership roles where they assume added responsibilities. However, management level nursing positions require a minimum of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), with executive level roles requiring a minimum of Master of Science in Nursing  (MSN).  For optimal preparation in the administration and supervisory roles, it is critical to specialize in business or health administration.  

4. What program characteristics did you consider when researching possible graduate programs?

Before settling on nursing as my degree program of choice, my main objective was to work in a field that directly impacts the welfare of the community. My two other options were clinical psychologist and teaching. I possess very good interpersonal skills and I also working in an environment with tangible changes. For instance, as a nurse, the outcome of my work is discernible in the same way as that of a teacher.

5.   What graduate degrees did you consider?

My other options when choosing my preferred career were teaching, or a profession in healthcare as a nurse or clinical psychologist. Besides working directly with people and making a difference in their lives, these professions have an opportunity for growth to higher cadres. Beyond my executive management position, my dream is to grow and be part of the healthcare policy makers.

6. What influenced your decision to obtain the graduate degree you did?

As a Chief Nursing Officer, my responsibilities cut across the board where along side nursing duties, I also perform administrative, leadership, and advisory roles. I also liaise with physicians and hospital administrators, ensuring the existence of a cordial working relationship between them and the nurses. These roles require superior leadership and organizational skills, two of my strongest points. Besides, I believe in high levels of integrity, and that patients must be cared for according to the set policies and procedures. In order to inculcate these principles, I felt that I needed to pursue a career in nursing administration.

7. Are you considering further education?

No. I am not considering furthering my education beyond this point. However, I would greatly consider undertaking self-enrichment programs. As I move towards mentorship of younger professionals, these programs will assist me in motivating them to reach their potential and achieve their goals.

October 13, 2023

Corporations Learning

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Company Nurse

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