Quote from lee1
I have been reading a recent book called Code Green where the dismantlement of Nursing at Beth Israel Boston occured. In this book it describes the political consequences of renaming the position of the chief nursing administrator to Vice-President of patient services. Anyone else besides my hospital here in NJ have their chief nursing officer with this title. If not, what is their title????
Lee1 - you bring up an interesting point. Over the years, I have seen nursing leadership titles range from Vice President of Patient Care Services to Associate Nurse Executive to Chief Nursing Officer. The issue is far more than the title. However, the title certainly represents the standing of this position in the overall organization structure of the hospital (or other health care institution).
From my perspective, nursing leadership should be at the officer level. I use to work for a hospital where the nursing leadership was titled Associate Nurse Executive. However, she held Director level authority and actually ran several different nursing departments in the hospital directly. She answered to the Chief Operating Officer. Yup, you guessed it .... nursing had very little say in how patient care activities were run and the department that actually had the power in the organization was physical therapy .... go figure.
I also worked for a hospital in Florida and the nursing leader was titled Chief Nursing Officer. She reported to the CEO/President of the hospital. Nursing was strong, independent and made its own decisions on how nursing would operate within the organizational structure. Nursing was a valued part of the team, but it was run my our CNO. This was a great place to work and the CNO was wondeful!
So, to answer your question, the title of the nurse leader is important, but what is more important is the reporting structure within the organization as well as who is running nursing and are the nurses permitted to make their own policy decisions under the direction of the chief nurse.