August 19, 2020 – As the healthcare sector continues to expand and reshape itself, vanguard organizations in the field are looking to bolster their leadership ranks. In demand: multi-skilled executives, physician leaders and nurses who can effect change on many levels. Of the four major C-suite roles in the typical hospital, the chief nursing officer has traditionally been the most difficult to secure, according to recruiters.
Recently, Orlando, FL-headquartered healthcare-focused search firm Kirby Bates Associates (KBA) was called in by Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts to lead in its search for a new chief nursing officer. The assignment is being led by Chris Corwin.
The ideal candidate will be a seasoned nurse leader with five years senior-level experience as a CNO or part of the leadership team as ACNO or similar level position working within a complex healthcare delivery system, ideally serving a safety-net population. Strong experience and a track record of successfully building strong physician relations and working in a union environment would also be a plus.
“This is an exciting time to be joining Cambridge Health Alliance, an innovative community-based healthcare provider serving a highly diverse population,” the search firm said. “The organization is recruiting a chief nursing officer to lead the inpatient clinical activities. CHA has two acute care hospitals, with a large ambulatory network. Core services are in primary and specialty care, behavioral health, ED, maternity and community wellness.”
With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north region, Cambridge Health Alliance is passionately local. It provides high quality, essential services like primary care, specialty care, hospital care, emergency services, maternity care and behavioral health in convenient neighborhood locations.
Founded in 1988 as Bates & Associates by two leading nurse entrepreneurs, Kirby Bates Associates has been continuously owned and operated by nursing executives. It is part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies. The firm offers portfolio of leadership services including interim leadership, executive search, leadership coaching and operations consulting. Melissa A. Fitzpatrick was named president of Kirby Bates in 2020.
Ms. Corwin specializes in senior executive and board placements, as well as career and executive coaching, leadership assessment and organizational structure assessment. She works with a wide range of healthcare providers, including leading health systems and hospitals, academic medical centers, multi-specialty medical groups, life sciences and not-for-profit healthcare organizations. Ms. Corwin has a track record of conducting C-level searches, as well as the training and leadership development of hundreds of healthcare executives, with a particular area of interest in physicians transitioning into broader administrative roles.
Finding CNO Talent
CNOs have a variety of duties, depending on the facility where they work. But most importantly, the position calls for supervising nurses and nurse managers. CNOs also oversee design and implementation of patient-care delivery, and serve as leaders in their facility’s efforts to maintain outcome levels. They are some of the most sought after and highly visible leaders in the hospital and healthcare environment.
An expanding number of search firms have been working with healthcare organizations to find chief nursing officers in recent months. Here’s a look at a sampling taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Westmont Search was selected to conduct the search for the chief nursing officer for Essentia Health’s East market based in Duluth, MN. Managing partner Peter Blau and search director Carolyn Lecocq are conducting the assignment for the health system. Westmont Search, located in Westmont, NJ, is a healthcare-focused executive search firm with a singular focus of hiring top health executives to continue to improve the healthcare system.
Executive recruitment firm Quick Leonard Kieffer was called in by Silver Cross Hospital to help find its next chief nursing officer. Founder and vice chairman Roger Quick is leading the assignment along with principal Joe Johnston. Silver Cross Hospital is a 302-bed acute care/general hospital that was founded in 1895 and is located at its new campus in New Lenox, IL.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media