"One of the things a hospital [on the journey to excellence] has to do is show evidence of visibility of nurse leaders," says Latty. "You have to demonstrate and describe how you do that at an excellent level."
The shadowing experiences eventually became part of the blog.
"[The CNO] schedules four-hour blocks of time to work alongside a nurse—it allows her to come into contact with physicians and ancillary staff as well as all of the situations that nurse encounters," says Craig.
This sort of shadowing gives the CNO an opportunity to see the nurse's perceptions of the organization, the patient's perceptions of the nursing staff, and a chance to evaluate the processes being used, Craig says.
The blog is only one example of the CNO's methods for improving visibility to the staff. "[Our CNO] has a routine article in our Nursing at a Higher Level newsletter," says Latty.
A presence in every meeting
The CNO attends every meeting she is requested to attend, when possible. "Whether a unit has asked her to be at a staff meeting or other opportunities to encounter staff, she is always willing to change her schedule to do so," says Latty. Because of shared decision-making, staff nurse participation on many committees has increased, giving staff further opportunity to interact with the CNO and other nursing leaders.
"Our CNO also conducts periodic nursing forums. They're usually planned around a topic or communication item she wants to get the message out about," says Craig.
Finally, sometimes visibility can be as simple as being out among the staff.
"Sometimes it's a small thing that helps with exposure," says Latty. "Going to the cafeteria might seem like a little thing, but when you do that along with all these other pieces, it helps associates feel like they know who the CNO is, especially in a large organization like St.Vincent."