Celebrating a Year of Nurse Essentials: A Look Back – and New Thoughts – on Hot Topics (Podcast)

Cleveland Clinic’s Executive CNO reflects on the image of nursing, aspirations for nurse leaders and more

The Nurse Essentials podcast is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and host Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, brought back the very first guest – Cleveland Clinic Executive Chief Nursing Officer Meredith Foxx, MSN, MBA, APRN, NEA-BC – to reflect on some of the topics that garnered the most feedback.


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In the past year, the podcast has aired 26 episodes that have been listened to throughout the United States and in 42 countries. A common theme among them is elevating and honoring the profession.

“I am proud to be a nurse coming on 25 years this summer,” says Foxx. “The endless opportunities, the stories, the patient connections that I’ve been afforded in this profession are really why it’s truly a joy to be able to do this kind of work.”

In the anniversary episode of Cleveland Clinic’s Nurse Essentials podcast, Foxx adds her unique perspective to these topics:

  • Portraying nursing as a valued STEM career
  • Nursing as both a career and a calling
  • The importance of speaking up and listening in
  • Aspirations for nurse leadership at all levels, from the unit to executive leadership

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 my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/nurse-essentials or wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast excerpt

Podcast host Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC: What sort of 'aha moments' have you had over your tenure that [you can share with] a nursing student with aspirations of leadership or maybe that nurse who is thinking about leadership or maybe a manager who needs some rejuvenation?

Foxx: First off, you need to know yourself and you need to evaluate yourself on your values and your value proposition as to what you're looking for. Very good clinicians can make very good leaders, but what reasons are you in it for? And where is your passion around it because you're not going to be successful in any of it if you have no passion or value proposition for why you want to be either an executive leader, people leader, whatever level of leader that is.


You know, we always say all nurses are leaders in some sense – they’re leading teams, they're leading patient care. So, those aspects are all there. But it kind of shifts when you have to lead others and lead in an organization to move strategic priorities forward.

I would say you have to embrace data and be data driven around your leadership, and so taking in the whole picture when you're looking at situations. Determine what does not value add. I always go with ‘what got me here got me here; it's not always going to get me there.’

So, you want to stay tuned to the attributes that have gotten you to be a successful leader, but then also think about as you change roles or change leadership responsibilities, how am I spending my time and reflect on that. I think early on, I said yes to every opportunity. And it wasn't necessarily about my time or getting paid for it. Lead a committee, take on a project, chair this council.


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