Editor's note: Our Aug. 13 Special Feature on executive compensation drew a number of responses from nurse executives who felt the piece was incomplete because it didn't include compensation data for the position of chief nursing officer. Below is a sample of those responses. Sullivan, Cotter and Associates, which provides the exclusive data for Modern Healthcare's annual executive compensation report, combines the “top patient care executive” position and the “top nursing services executive” position into one executive category called “nursing/patient care,” which was reported in the story. At Modern Healthcare's request, Sullivan, Cotter broke out the figures for the “top nursing services executive” position, which is equivalent to a CNO. For that position at healthcare systems, the average total annual cash compensation rose 4.6% in 2012 to $297,600. For that position working at individual hospitals, the average total annual cash compensation rose 2.1% to $213,400. However, given the importance of the CNO role, we will call out CNO data separately in similar future reports.
I was reading the Aug. 13 edition of Modern Healthcare and was surprised by the article by Ashok Selvam (“Keeping executive compensation in check,” p. 22). Because of the nature of my business, I have reason to check such data. I was really confused by the selection of what titles composed the C-suite executives. Those that are listed seem most appropriate and yet the leader of the largest service within hospitals is absent. Chief nursing officer is a title noticeably absent.
I recognize that some healthcare organizations, especially smaller and more rural, often use titles that do not convey the “C-suite message.” However, most major healthcare organizations have used the title for CNOs long before adopting the title for the CMOs. Because these positions are critical to the success of an organization, not listing one of them creates concern as readers review the data.
As you publish subsequent reports, because such reports are exceedingly useful, would you be willing to indicate to prospective authors that the full C-suite representation must be included in the data? As you might surmise, I am a registered nurse and I want to refer people to solid sources of information where the data reflect the real world of practice. This article did not reflect what I believe you want reflected about today's healthcare organizations.
The Wise Group
Professor and dean emerita
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
The article describes executive compensation by organization type, size, etc. I would like to bring to your attention that the chief nursing officer position is not identified in this article. Please refer to page 28 of the article where C-suite executives are referred as CEO, CMO, COO, CFO, CIO and CCO, but CNO is not identified.
To add fuel to the fire, “nursing/patient-care services” is listed under other
executives in the company of positions such as quality management, legal services, fund development, managed care, marketing, facilities and engineering (just to name a few).
This is appalling in 2012 when the CNO is a member of all executive teams and also the one who puts in endless hours and responsibilities for the largest workforce in hospitals. I think it is imperative that Modern Healthcare recognize the value of the nurse in the C-suite. May I recommend reading Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
, written by the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation? These large national entities recognize the value of the nurse at all levels and the role that will change healthcare. Sincerely insulted.
Chief nursing officer
St. David's North Austin Medical Center
I recently read your article mentioned above. Thank you for the informative piece you offered to us as readers. I am somewhat confused to see that the role and title of chief nursing officer was not listed as a member of the C-suite. Can you kindly help me understand your rationale?
Dr. Sylvain “Syl” Trepanier
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
I am writing to better understand an article published in Modern Healthcare on Aug. 13 titled “Keeping executive compensation in check.” While interesting, this article included several executives but omitted the CNO.
You are probably aware that the chief nursing officer is the position responsible for patient safety and patient care within each and every facility. To omit this position is providing an inaccurate representation and diminishes the value these tireless individuals put forth every day.
Can you please help me understand the rationale of such an article?
AVP Professional Nursing Practice and Development
St. David's Academy for Clinical Excellence