In our world of initials, abbreviations and acronyms, most of us know what CEO* stands for. Even CFO** has become quite commonly known. But do you know what a CNO is? The best way to explain it is to introduce you to one.
Meet Shelley Peterson, RN, St. Mary’s new chief nursing officer or CNO. “A hospital’s biggest service is bedside patient care and nurses provide that care,” Peterson explains. “There are more nurses working in a hospital than any other type of employee. The CNO is responsible for providing leadership and support to every one of those nurses.”
In addition to being the highest ranking nurse, the CNO is a member of the organization’s executive team and a vice president. Being responsible to and for the hospital’s largest employee group means representing them at the very top of the organization, where strategic decisions are made, along side the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer.
Peterson joins St. Mary’s after five years as CNO at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, a hospital of similar size and offering many of the same services as St. Mary’s. She has served in nursing executive roles for the past 11 years in Washington, Montana, and California.