CNO Roundtable

2020: The Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Q: What is one accomplishment you would like see the nursing profession achieve during this Year of the Nurse?

Debra Flores, MSM, BSN, RN, FACHE

(pictured above, second from left)
Chief Operations Office / Chief Nursing Officer
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

The accomplishment I would most love to see the nursing profession achieve is practicing nursing to the full extent of our training, licenses and capabilities. Now more than ever, exceptional basic skills — such as assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care — are key, as is directing care in a coordinated, interdisciplinary fashion. Being able to consistently provide proactive, safe, compassionate, individualized care would be a dream fulfilled for me.

There are four important lessons I’ve learned throughout my nursing career:

  • You’ll never know it all, so don’t try to! Focus on what’s most relevant.
  • Understand that sometimes, your opinion matters most to you and not to others. Know when to keep it to yourself and focus on what others need.
  • Look in the mirror every day and ask yourself, “Are you the nurse you would love to have take care of you?”
  • Being a light to the world is often more important than being a pilot light for yourself.

Lori Burnell, RN, Ph.D., NEA-BC

Sr. Vice President /Chief Nursing Officer
Valley Presbyterian Hospital

Hats off to the World Health Organization for designating 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Florence Nightingale is the founder of modern-day nursing, so it’s great to see WHO honor her legacy and mission on this bicentennial celebration of her birth and her work. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, I had envisioned a crusade of  nurses across the globe joining forces to obliterate hospital-acquired infections through a universal and unyielding handwashing campaign. Hopefully, the good practices we are now employing will continue long after this pandemic is over.

Derek Drake, RN, DNP, NE-BC, CNML, CNL

(pictured above, left)
Chief Nursing Officer
St. Francis Medical Center

I would like to see society finally recognize nurses as healthcare leaders. Nurses represent the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, playing pivotal roles in the delivery of safe, high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered healthcare. Unfortunately, all too often, nurses (regardless of gender) are still stereotyped as handmaidens for other providers, or even sexual objects.  It’s high time nurses were appreciated for their tremendous commitment and dedication to advocacy, care delivery and the promotion of health and wellbeing.

Patricia S. Matos, RN, DNP, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer
Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital (UCLA Health)

I would like to see a renewed emphasis on communication with patients. While computerized health records have been an enormous improvement in documentation, safety and staff communication, it sometimes feels like nurses today are treating the computer rather than the patient. I often see hospital nurses with mobile computers between them and their patients. There is no eye contact, and the nurse is often busy making entries rather than hearing what the patient is saying.

Robyn M. Nelson, RN, Ph.D., MSN

Dean, College of Nursing
West Coast University

2020 should be the year that nurse practitioners in California receive full practice authority, allowing them to work autonomously in accordance with their education and credentials. California’s primary healthcare needs should be sufficient reason to move forward with this practice change.

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Denise Robinson, RN, DNP, MPH, WOCN

Chief Nursing Officer
Loma Linda University Medical Center

I would  love for nurses to have more visibility in discussions of healthcare legislation. It’s important for us to be at the table, helping to negotiate bills and fighting for equality in terms of compensation, representation and having our voices heard.

Linda Sarna, RN, Ph.D., FAAN

Dean / Professor / Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Chair
UCLA School of Nursing

I would love to see all nurses earn a baccalaureate degree. In today’s healthcare environment, education is crucial for nurses to build the key proficiencies and critical thinking skills they need to become leaders and, more importantly, advocates for their patients and their profession. Baccalaureate degrees prepare nurses to lead the charge of change based on evidence-based practice.

Irena Zuanic, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital

Something I hope the Year of the Nurse will highlight is the uniqueness of the nursing profession. Nurses don’t only care for the sick — they also work for the health and wellness of communities, both locally and globally.  The World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife provides well-deserved recognition for the role the nursing profession plays in various healthcare sectors, from the bedside to the boardroom.

For more from the CNO Roundtable:

2020: The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Your Path to Leadership

Lifelong Learning

Nurses in the Media

Staffing Challenges and the Silver Wave

CNO Reading List

New Grads at the Bedside

Exciting Innovations

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Chief Nursing Officer Roundtable 2020 (homepage)


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