December 7, 2023/Leadership

Bold Moves: Live from the 2023 Nursing Leadership Summit (Podcast)

Advice from four CNOs on how to embrace innovation and collaboration

“In this day and age of nursing, where the problems are just getting more complex and none of the answers are easy, how can we, each of us, find the courage to be bold?”


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That’s the question Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Surgical Services, posed to chief nursing officers from four Cleveland Clinic hospitals during a live recording of the Nurse Essentials podcast at the healthcare system’s 15th annual Nursing Leadership Summit in October.

During the podcast, hosted by Pehotsky, the nurse leaders shared examples of bold ideas adopted at their facilities and advice for embracing courageous new ideas. They discussed:

  • Innovative initiatives related to delivering patient care, recruiting caregivers and reaching out to the community
  • How leaders can encourage their teams to take bold steps
  • What to do when a visionary idea doesn’t pan out as you expect
  • The importance of teamwork in carrying out great ideas
  • Taking the first step toward turning innovative ideas into impactful solutions

Click the podcast player above to listen to the episode now, or read on for a short edited excerpt. Check out more Nurse Essentials episodes at or wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast excerpt

Podcast host Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC: Sometimes we have a really great bold idea and maybe the timing isn’t quite right. Any other tips for people in terms of, you’ve gotten to this place, you know it’s a great idea, how do you sort of get through that?


Mary Beth Thoburn, BSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, CNO of Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital: I think it’s important for all of us to remember, life is not a straight line. And sometimes it’s not that the idea isn’t good or right, it’s just not the right time. I think that’s where resilience is important, in recognizing the answer today may be no, but no is not synonymous with never. It’s just not now.

And looking for opportunities in the future to kind of nudge again – kind of encourage it, raise the issue. Again, I think we’re good at it. I think we’re good at knowing, OK, maybe now is not the time but there will be another opportunity. Let’s try again and let’s keep moving.

Pehotsky: A great idea whose time has not yet come. Thank you, Mary Beth.

Barbara R. Zinner, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CENP, CNO of Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital: You know, Carol, if I can add to that, I truly believe that whatever we decide to do – and I think Mary Beth or someone already said it – it has to be in aligned with our mission and our own carers. It has to be. And if it’s not, then it’s going to be more difficult.


And I truly also believe you should partner with someone who has your passion. It just makes it so much easier for you to build your own confidence when you have somebody to work side by side with.

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