Erlanger chief nursing executive retires

Jan Keys, DNP, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System, retired June 22, according to an internal memo to staff from CEO Will Jackson, MD.

"Jan has been a true servant leader at Erlanger for more than nine years, and undertaken this challenging role with the utmost professionalism, integrity and grace," Dr. Jackson wrote in the memo provided to Becker's Hospital Review. "She has demonstrated deep loyalty to our organization and mission and made many tough decisions with dignity and fortitude. Having been in a few foxholes with Jan over the years, I know firsthand of her work ethic, which is second to none. I am proud to have been her colleague and am personally in her debt for her contributions and counsel the past several years."

Dr. Jackson said Rachel Harris, BSN, RN, who has worked at Erlanger for more than 20 years in bedside nursing and nursing leadership roles, has agreed to serve as interim chief nursing executive. Dr. Jackson will temporarily oversee other key responsibilities previously held by Dr. Keys outside of nursing, including case management and quality/safety.

"Next steps for the CNE role and Erlanger's nursing direction will be communicated after Rachel and I listen intently to our nursing and medical staffs, examine our current organizational structure, and integrate the 90 new nurses who joined Erlanger this spring," wrote Dr. Jackson in his memo.

Dr. Keys' retirement comes after a nurse at Erlanger sent a letter to administration June 12 saying he is considering unionization in light of recent administrative decisions he said most nurses believe were made without taking their rights into account. The nurse, Jeffrey Holland, LPN, said he has started talking to employees about starting a union at Erlanger and contacted union organizers to help. 



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