Leadership Development- Developing Future Chief Nursing Officers

Developing Future CNOs

Developing Future CNOs (DFCNO) is a 12-18 month “CNO-in-training” program designed to rapidly accelerate the development of candidates who aspire to be hospital Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) and meet the program’s requirements. Program participants are placed in one of several host hospitals as an associate CNO who reports to the Host Hospital’s CNO. Upon successful DFCNO program completion, the Associate CNO applies for CNO jobs at hospitals with openings. This requires most program participants to relocate twice in two years.

The Associate CNO is responsible for developing and demonstrating the necessary qualifications to become a CNO while leading significant and successful improvements in the hospital’s nursing outcomes. The Associate CNO reports to the hospital’s CNO, is a member of the hospital’s senior leadership team, and manages others – with progressively increasing responsibility based on demonstrated ability and hospital needs. The Associate CNO is expected to complete the Developing Future CNOs program curriculum and other tasks as assigned


License and Certification
  • Current RN licensure appropriate to state regulations (unrestricted).
  • BLS certification (ACLS preferred).
  • CRRN certification to be obtained within a year of meeting the eligibility requirement for the examination.

Education, Training and Years of Experience
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing required (Masters preferred) [note: BSN – not a degree in a related field or a plan to obtain it; Expected to complete Masters within 5 years of placement as a CNO – especially if placed in TX].
  • Five years’ nursing experience.
  • Three years’ experience in an inpatient hospital setting (Rehab, Acute, LTAC preferred).
  • Two years’ recent (within the last 5 years) Nursing Management experience with responsibilities including:
    • 24 hour accountability
    • FTE management
    • Policy, procedure, and budgetary oversight
    • Conducting disciplinary action

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