CNO Roundtable 2020

CNO Reading List

Is there a book on nursing, healthcare or organizational leadership that you enjoyed and would recommend?

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

Sr. Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
Valley Presbyterian Hospital

Recently, I received a copy of Shining the Light on All the Right: Celebrating the Art of Nursing Around the World by Mark and Bonnie Barnes, cofounders of the DAISY Foundation. After losing their son to an autoimmune disease, Mark and Bonnie channeled their grief into gratitude by creating one of the most prestigious forms of nursing recognition, the DAISY Award. This book chronicles their story and presents several true stories about DAISY honorees across the world As a CNO who implemented the DAISY program in two hospitals, I have experienced the profound significance of this award firsthand. I highly recommend this book. It is heartwarming and helps us remember why we are nurses.

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

Dean, College of Nursing
West Coast University

Hot off the press is Shining the Light on All the Right: Celebrating the Art of Nursing Around the World by Mark and Bonnie Barnes, just published in 2020. I cannot think of a timelier publication that thanks nurses for the compassion given patients and families every day! The authors founded the DAISY Award to recognize extraordinary nurses: student nurses, staff nurses, faculty and nurse-led teams.

Linda Sarna, RN, Ph.D., FAAN

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

I highly recommend the award-winning book Educated, by Tara Westover. Educated is the memoir of a woman who overcame the survivalist life of her fundamentalist family and ultimately received a Ph.D. from Cambridge. It’s a story about beliefs about health and healthcare, and about overcoming tremendous odds to receive the kind of education that so many of us take for granted. The message is a strong reminder that nurses need to understand and take into account that their patients can come from very different backgrounds that shape their views about health and illness. Nurses must always assess beliefs about health using a holistic, nonjudgmental approach.

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

Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Over the years, I have become a podcast fan. Therefore, my advice to nurses is to find a podcast that you enjoy. You can listen in your car on your drive into work, as you relax at the beach or (like me) beside a nice warm fire with a hot cup of tea. One podcast I enjoy and recommend is called “NRSNG.” The website ( has a plethora of podcasts, but their flagship nursing podcast series is what they describe as an “eclectic look at the profession.” On the “NRSNG” podcast, they talk about subjects like life hacks for nurses, anatomy and physiology of diseases and real-life nursing stories. They also interview various incredible nurses, authors and other successful people.

Katie Hughes, RN, MSN, CRRN

Chief Nursing Officer
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

The skills we learn as bedside nurses and working as part of a team are not necessarily the skills that prepare us to be good leaders. The transition from bedside nurse to leadership was challenging for me, so I sought out various resources to help me along the way. One book I have turned to on numerous occasions is The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. This book is broken down into five sections that each address a different area of leadership practice.  Following the first two chapters of the book, you can choose to read the sections in whatever order you find most relevant. Each section provides an overview, anecdotes of how other leaders have applied the principles and practical ways you can incorporate the behaviors into your journey as a leader.

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Irena Zuanic, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer
PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital

I strongly recommend The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology, by Shawn Achor. It is an excellent book for anyone who is struggling increased workloads, with stress and negativity. It explains how developing a happier and positive mindset can achieve extraordinary achievements in our lives. Achor addresses the seven practical principles that have been tried across the globe to help us achieve our maximum potential by capitalizing on what he calls the “Happiness Advantage.”

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

New Grads at the Bedside

Exciting Innovations

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Chief Nursing Officer Roundtable 2020 (homepage)

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