Adapting Together: A Message from Peggy Mark

By Peggy Mark, Ph.D., system vice president, chief nursing officer 

Peggy MarkIt is with great honor that I introduce myself to you as the new Premier Health Chief Nursing Officer. I have served in this position since May of this year, having previously served as Premier Health’s Chief Learning Officer.  My roots are in the Dayton area and I have worked as a nurse in both the acute care and community settings throughout my career. I look forward to serving Premier Health in the CNO role and providing leadership for nursing as we continue to provide the highest quality of nursing care to our patients and their loved ones.

I have had the privilege of meeting many of you through time I have spent rounding and through Shared Governance.  Although I have been involved in nursing through my previous positions I have learned so much from you as I see nursing through the perspective of my new role. I have learned that our nurses at Premier Health are very smart, extremely engaged, and completely dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients. Many of you have been at Premier for years, devoting much or all of your nursing career to one or more of our hospitals or care sites. Many of you are relatively new to Premier.  You may be a new graduate experiencing our organization for the first time, still in the early years of your nursing career, or an experienced nurse who has chosen Premier as a place to practice. Every one of you contribute something very important to our organization and our patients. It takes each of you, bringing your unique skills and perspective to our organization, to create the best place to practice and the best place for our patients to receive care. I thank you for choosing Premier.

In my early assessment, I have also learned that you face many challenges as you carry out your important work. Our industry and our profession face regular change that requires us to be adaptive and creative as we carry out the work of nursing. Much of this change we cannot control but if we work together we will certainly meet the challenge. One of the priorities I identified early in my tenure as your System CNO is the need to pay constant attention to ensuring appropriate staffing. Premier Health is not unique in having to identify ways to ensure the consistency of staffing. Every hospital in our country faces the same need - to ensure appropriate levels of nursing to meet the fluctuating needs of our patients.  I have already begun to implement some changes here at Premier Health.

  • We have changed our time requirement for nurses without BSNs from three years to five years for completion.  For many schools, our tuition reimbursement will cover most of the cost of BSN completion.
  • We have eliminated the BSN requirement for nurses without BSNs but who have 15 years or more experience in the acute care environment. We will require specialty certification for this group of nurses and will assist with the cost. Nurses with 15 years or more experience will have three years to complete their certification.
  • We are also expanding financial support for all nurses seeking specialty certification.

You can get more detail about the above changes from your hospital CNO; Trish Wackler, Chief Learning Officer; or from me. Feel free to reach out. I will also be sending more detailed information to you in a separate email and will place the information on the nursing SharePoint site.

I will continue to work with all of you to understand how I can best support your practice and the overall practice of nursing at Premier Health. We have the best profession in the world!  Every day we get the chance to change lives for the better by helping heal bodies, minds, hearts and spirits. We prepare people for a return to their “normal” lives, for death, for a “new” normal, and so much else.  Thank you for choosing nursing as your profession and for choosing Premier Health as the place to share your skills.  I look forward to working with you all in the future.

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