CNO Roundtable 2020

Lifelong Learning

Q: We emphasize the importance of lifelong learning for nurses. What is something you still want to study or learn?

Lauren Spilsbury, RN, MSN

(pictured above, center)
Vice President, Patient Care Services
Redlands Community Hospital

Caring for people is my passion. Seeing people learn and grow motivates me; numbers never did. However, I have come to appreciate how numbers can contribute to positive patient outcomes. Data illuminates what needs to occur in our bedside practice. Evaluating data allows nurses to validate a hunch and clearly define what needs to happen to effect positive change. An excellent example is Redlands Community Hospital’s deconditioning program, which has demonstrated that nurses can improve patient outcomes through mobility activities designed to prevent deconditioning.

A learning resource I use in my personal education is the IHI Open School (, which offers free online courses focusing on improving quality and patient safety.

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

Sr. Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
Valley Presbyterian Hospital

The nursing profession has provided me with innumerable opportunities for continuous learning and higher education. Lifelong learning enhances my critical-thinking and problem-solving skills: to be able to care safely for the 1:1 intensive care patient, to speak confidently in front of an auditorium full of nurses about my research on compassionate care, and to serve as a chief nursing officer at three very different organizations. I am grateful for how lifelong learning has influenced my experiences, from the bedside to the boardroom. My future aspirations include combining my faith, nursing knowledge and experience by writing daily devotionals that will nourish the spirits of those who are suffering.


Jennifer R. Castaldo, RN, BSN, MSHA, NEA-BC

(pictured above, center) 
Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

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An area I find myself drawn towards is legislation and healthcare policy. My professional goals include learning more about the politics involved in our national healthcare system. In the coming years, I hope to do more to advocate for nursing on the state and national levels. It is critical that nursing professionals be at the table when healthcare legislation is discussed. I would like all nurses to consider every person on earth to be their patient, not just the people we get paid to take care of. Make advocacy the core of your work — for your patients, for your colleagues and for future generations.

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

Chief Nursing Officer
St. Francis Medical Center

While I love my job as CNO, I dream of one day becoming CEO of a hospital or health system where I can truly direct and influence every aspect of the healthcare experience. While I feel I have a good understanding of the business aspects of healthcare, I know there is still far more to learn. There are many different ways to learn, but I learn best through formal, structured education. Therefore, I have made the decision to pursue my MBA degree, beginning this coming July. I am confident that this will help me become recognized as a capable business leader as well as a nurse.

Katie Hughes, RN, MSN, CRRN

Chief Nursing Officer
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Healthcare is complex and constantly changing, so as a nurse leader, lifelong learning is necessary for me to stay up to date. There is no one area on which I choose to focus. Instead, I follow many areas that will help me to be more effective as a leader. This includes subjects such as regulatory changes, new technology, current nursing best practices, leadership skills and understanding how the nursing workforce is changing as Baby Boomers retire and Generation Y becomes the predominant generation of nurses. I maintain membership in several professional nursing associations and subscribe to numerous journals, which I recommend for any nurse who wants to stay current.

Denise Robinson, RN, DNP, MPH, WOCN

Chief Nursing Officer
Loma Linda University Medical Center

Nursing Education

I would love to get more involved with legislation and participate in the writing of healthcare laws. I spent time in Washington, working with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and learned a lot about what goes into making these laws. I think nurses have an opportunity to have a greater voice in healthcare on the legislative level, which is a goal I hope to pursue.

Gloria Sanchez-Rico, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC

Chief Nursing Officer / Senior Vice President
Huntington Hospital

I’ve become active professionally and personally in ensuring that vulnerable and underserved populations have access to quality healthcare. I feel strongly about the efforts Huntington Hospital has taken to move forward in these areas. For example, our organization is pursuing HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index Leader designation.

Outside of my role as CNO, I’m active in an organiza­tion called the Flintridge Center. Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence through community plan­ning, innovation and action — specifically, by preventing incarceration and giving those who have been in prison opportunities to reintegrate. Our vision is of a healthy, safe community where families thrive, youth reach their full potential and opportunity is accessible to all.

Irena Zuanic, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital

I am currently pursuing a doctorate in health administration, which will be the pinnacle of my educational pursuits and will fulfill both personal and professional goals. It will allow me to build on my practical knowledge by exploring the literature while also inspiring others on my team to have a spirit of inquiry. However, I view lifelong learning as a journey of exploration rather than a destination. Achieving a higher degree is just one step on my personal journey, and new questions will arise along the way. The next step is to use that knowledge to help me become the best leader I can be in my practice.

For more from the CNO Roundtable:

2020: The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Your Path to Leadership

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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