CNO Roundtable 2023

Question 7: The CNO Journey

What do you love most about being a CNO?

Given the recent and ongoing challenges facing healthcare, we asked our panelists to take a moment to ponder what they find most rewarding about their leadership role.


Nancy Blake, LAC+USC Medical Center

My favorite part is mentoring staff and helping them remove obstacles so they can deliver care. Now that meetings can restart, I am looking forward to connecting with our unit practice councils and shared governance.


Annabelle Duschane Braun, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center

Rounding enables me to observe nurses’ compassion, courage, and kindness. It strengthens my commitment to ensuring an environment where patients heal and nurses thrive. What I love most is the ability to advocate and lead my team into the future.


Lori Burnell, Valley Presbyterian Hospital

Being a CNO is more than a title. It is the ability to translate the big picture from the boardroom to the bedside: listening, connecting dots, and removing barriers. However, the most important and fulfilling aspect is developing future nurse leaders.


Gloria Carter, Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center

Being a CNO allows me to serve nurses from various specialties and to develop and reimagine care delivery for the community we serve. Nurses are lifelong learners; the CNO role involves acquiring knowledge from all aspects of practice rather than just one specialty area.


Anita Girard, Cedars-Sinai

I love the ability to advocate for nurses and the nursing profession. I also love working with a dedicated, compassionate healthcare team and collaborating with my colleagues to find new solutions and technologies that improve the patient and caregiver experience.

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Karen Grimley, UCLA Health

That’s easy: rounding, speaking with nurses, hearing their issues in real time, and partnering with them to find solutions. It’s energizing to hear solutions coming from those closest to our patients, and it helps me stay focused on the work at hand.


Katie Hughes, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Before becoming a CNO, I never imagined some of the challenges I would encounter. However, each new challenge provides an opportunity to work with talented, creative thinkers. I find great pleasure in reflecting on what we can accomplish when we work together.


Evelyn Ku, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

An important element of my job is ensuring that the people around me do not lose sight of why we are here: patient care and helping others. Being a CNO is a lifelong journey full of purpose, for which I will be forever grateful.


Joyce Leido, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center

What brings me the most joy is being able to mentor and guide other nurses in their professional growth and development. While I love (and miss) direct patient care, as a nurse leader, I can influence patient care on a much broader level.

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Deborah McCoy, USC Arcadia Hospital

Being a CNO allows me to influence decisions at the executive level that can have a positive impact on nursing at every level. This role is also a great opportunity to engage with young nurses, which is one of the most rewarding aspects.


Theresa Murphy, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

I love being the “nurses’ nurse” and bringing the lived experience of the direct care nurse into strategic and operational decision-making. Nurses make up at least half the hospital workforce, so the voice of nursing is critical to safe, successful patient care.


Jinhee Nguyen, Adventist Health Glendale

I love the opportunities for collaboration and creating a culture rooted in teamwork. Although my role primarily impacts nursing, it also involves joining hands with all departments. Teamwork fosters camaraderie and appreciation for one another as we care for patients.


Tanya Osborne-McKenzie, MLK Community Healthcare

What I love most is the ability to have an impact on the healthcare of a whole community by improving the practice environment for nurses and other caregivers. Gloria Sanchez-Rico Huntington Health My favorite part of my role is interacting with nurses on the units and being a source of support. There are times when I miss caring for patients directly, but I find great satisfaction in shepherding our nurses throughout their careers.


Dianne Sauco, PIH Health Downey Hospital

I enjoy meeting new nurses during orientation and student nurses during clinical rotations. Connecting with people who’ve chosen this profession brings back memories of how I got to where I am today. I love that I can encourage other nurses to keep moving forward.


Darlene Scafiddi, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

When I became a nurse leader, my mentor emphasized the importance of expanding your sphere of influence to enact change. Each time I’ve moved up in the ranks, I’ve been able to apply my skills and experience to make a positive difference for patients and staff.

Return to the CNO Roundtable 2023 main page to read more.


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