21X—From RN to Chief Nursing Officer: Journeys of Leadership and Resiliency Amid Unprecedented Change

Monday, March 28th

About the Session

According to recent surveys, many nurses and nurse leaders are preparing to exit their roles and/or leave the profession. While many executives may view succession management as a high priority, given that gaps in nursing leadership can be attributed to poorer patient outcomes, many nurses who are early careerists may not be interested in pursuing management positions. To facilitate effective succession management, nurses must not only be equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue advancing levels of nursing leadership but also must have the desire and see the value in doing so. They must also invest in their own resilience, as it will be needed throughout their careers. To support this, Wellstar Health System embarked on a journey to develop a comprehensive nursing leadership development strategy.

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellstar’s chief nurse executive set the vision that the system would develop nurse leaders and support their progression through all phases within the nursing leadership continuum, “from charge nurse to chief nursing officer (CNO).” The strategy that was ultimately created included targeted leadership development programs for charge nurses, assistant nurse managers, nurse managers and nurse executives. The strategy also included leadership development courses focused on resiliency and strengths-based team management. This strategy continued and also evolved throughout the pandemic. In this session, participants will learn about current nursing leadership workforce trends and how Wellstar is proactively addressing current and potential future challenges through its leadership development strategy. The implementation process, lessons learned and outcome data will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess your current nursing leadership workforce and future needs in the context of national demographic changes within the nursing population.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of a nursing leadership development program based on determined metrics of success.


Presented By

Jill Case-Wirth, RN, FAAN

Senior Vice President/Chief Nurse Executive
Wellstar Health System

LeeAnna Spiva, PhD, RN

System Assistant Vice President, Nursing Operations and Practice
Wellstar Health System

Stephan Davis, DNP, FACHE, NEA-BC

Executive Director, Inclusive Leadership Education/Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
College of Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University