Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital Appoints New Chief Nursing Officer
Building community trust and fostering professional growth are among the priorities of South Pointe Hospital’s new chief nursing officer.
Terri Murray, MSN, RN, NE-BC, began her career as a registered nurse at Cleveland Clinic in 1992. After 30 years serving in various roles at main campus, she was appointed chief nursing officer (CNO) of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital in the spring. Although the setting has changed, Murray’s commitment to patients remains the same.
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“Always hitch your North Star to the patient so you can deliver on the promise of world-class care,” she says.
Most recently, Murray served for five years as nursing director for the Respiratory, Head and Neck and Infectious Disease Institutes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the Medical Intensive Care Unit at main campus, where her efforts earned her the gold-level Beacon Award for excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Before assuming the nursing director role, she worked as a nurse manager for three 24-bed cardiovascular stepdown units for 15 years.
As a leader, Murray strives for authenticity and transparency. When she accepted the CNO position at South Pointe Hospital, her nursing peers at main campus gave her a picture frame for her new office, which displays the quote, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
Murray made a lasting impact during her 20 years in leadership at main campus, and she looks forward to helping South Pointe build upon its excellence.
During her first year as South Pointe CNO, Murray will focus on two primary audiences: the surrounding community and the team of more than 425 caregivers she leads.
“It’s important to understand how you connect with the community when you come to a regional hospital,” explains Murray. “It’s not just about providing healthcare — it’s about earning people’s trust.”
One of the ways she is building trust is through community outreach. As part of Cleveland Clinic’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, Murray and a group of South Pointe caregivers recently mulched and planted flowers at 40 houses near the hospital in an eastern suburb of Cleveland.
Murray also aims to support nurses at South Pointe by helping them understand their professional goals and providing the guidance and tools necessary to attain them. She hopes this will help improve retention and grow the nursing profession.
“We need to innovate to develop sustainable retention efforts,” says Murray, who is meeting formally and informally with caregivers to ensure their voices are heard.
During one of her first walks around the hospital’s nursing units, Murray asked a caregiver why he liked working at South Pointe. He told her that the hospital is like the “Little Engine That Could” from the children’s book by the same name: It’s a small but mighty hospital that delivers on the promise of world-class care. Later, Murray received an anonymous gift of the book The Little Engine That Could that included an inscription: “With the right motivation, we will do amazing things to care for our patients, each other and the community. This is our home, and the caregivers in it are our family. Welcome home!”
As she settles into her new home, Murray acknowledges that she is taking the helm as CNO during a tumultuous time on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the span of my career, I have never witnessed such a challenge,” she says. “But I know the strength of our Nursing Institute and entire enterprise, and I believe we will come out of this with a new resilience.”
Murray is well equipped to contribute to this new resiliency with her extensive experience in healthcare management, including finance, unit operations, compliance, employee relations, staffing and more. She is equally confident that the nursing team at South Pointe Hospital is up to the task.
“We are determined and dynamic, and we will make a difference in the future of healthcare,” she says.