How a nurse can get in the C-suite: Words of wisdom from a nurse turned CEO

Susan Hicks, RN, CEO of Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., spoke with OR Exec recently on how she rose up to become a CEO after a career in nursing. Highlighted below are three pieces of advice she shared with the publication.

1. Answer when opportunity knocks. "Take risks and try some different things; it always stretches you and makes you grow," she said. She did so after moving from being a practicing nurse to become a consultant, and then went back to the hospital setting after earning her master's in nursing and hospital administration.

2. Don't shy away from tough projects. "Sometimes it's the toughest projects that you learn the most from," she told OR Exec. One tough project she recalled was opening five destination surgical service lines at Sky Ridge.

3. Play up your strengths. "My frontline experience gave me credibility with nurses and physicians and helps me build a level of trust with my staff — they know I know what it means to put the patient first," she said.

For more words of wisdom from Ms. Hicks, click here to access the full article from OR Exec, a publication from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

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