Accountable Healthcare - The best pieces of advice 4 CNOs from top 10 hospitals have ever received 
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August 24, 2022

The best pieces of advice 4 CNOs from top 10 hospitals have ever received 

Four nursing chiefs from US News & World Report's best ranked hospitals recently spoke with Becker's Hospital Review about the best advice they've received – whether it be from colleagues or family members.

Karen Grimley, PhD, RN. Chief Nursing Executive at UCLA Health: The best advice I received came from my dad when I was in my teens. He always reminded me that it never hurts to ask; the worst thing that anyone will ever tell you is no, and you don’t have to take no for an answer. 

Kristin Ramsey, RN. Senior Vice President of Quality at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Wood-Prince Family Chief Nurse Executive at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago): Never say "no." Always be open to new ideas, new thoughts and new opportunities for yourself as a leader. Most of those opportunities will come from others around you who can see what you offer and where you need to grow. Use that experience to offer the same support and growth opportunities to young, developing leaders, as they are our future.  

Ryannon Frederick, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): As a new chief nursing officer, I had a colleague that I respected and trusted who provided advice that I carry with me to this day. During challenging times, relationships are more important than ever.

As nurses, we spend an incredible amount of time with the people we work with, and investing time in those relationships is one of the most important aspects of my role. With the dynamics that are challenging nursing and health care, this has become more and more challenging, but also more and more important. Caring is the foundation of nursing practice. Comforting people and families that are suffering, grieving, fighting for hope and healing is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. But the rewards received in return outweigh all the challenges. Nothing is better than seeing how patients and people are better because of your interventions, touch, compassion and vision.

Each day, I look for opportunities to strengthen relationships through open communication and modeling authentic and transparent behaviors. I remain true to myself in my actions and words. An example of this is that I try to develop trust by following through on commitments and seeking input and perspectives, both positive and negative, prior to making a decision. Just like the staff that I lead, I am driven by the desire to make a difference. And working so hard on building strong, sustaining relationships has been the key to much of my success throughout my career. 

Wilhelmina Manzano, MA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. Chief Nursing Executive at NewYork- Presbyterian (New York City): Keep the patient as my true north. Throughout my healthcare career, one question I always ask is, “what’s good for the patient?” This is the compass that I use to help align teams toward achieving goals and to help drive my decision-making. Even the most difficult conversations become manageable when we can align everyone around our values and sense of purpose. We do what we do because we want to make a difference, provide the best care and achieve the best outcomes. This means consistently doing the right thing for our patients, and that means everyone wins.