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October 10, 2017  |  News Category: CHS News,

Maureen Swick, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, joined Carolinas HealthCare System as our System Nurse Executive in October 2017. As the SNE, Maureen represents nurses throughout CHS to ensure consistency in nursing policy, strategy, practice and quality. Here's more about this nationally known nursing leader.

Name & credentials: Maureen Swick, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Title: Senior Vice President, System Nurse Executive
Year you joined Carolinas HealthCare System: 2017
Previous place(s) of employment: Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, American Hospital Association; CEO for the American Organization of Nurse Executives

How/when did you know you wanted to work in healthcare?

When I was a young child I watched the Nun Story with Audrey Hepburn and that was it -- I wanted to be a nun! It wasn't too much later that I decided that maybe being a nun was not going to work for me but being a nurse would!

What are the biggest challenges facing the field of nursing?

A few of the biggest challenges facing the nursing profession today are shortages in specialty areas, inability for colleges to produce enough BSN graduates with the knowledge and clinical experience to work in today’s chaotic environment. Also, we need to make sure we are part of the solution in designing the future. It’s not enough to be at the table; we need to make sure our voices are heard and are influencing decisions that will impact patients. I see all of these more as opportunities than challenges.

What role do nurses play in shaping the future of healthcare in our nation?

As the patients’ number one advocate, the role and voice of nurses in shaping the future is critical. As more and more healthcare and preventive care is moved into the ambulatory/home environments, there are many opportunities for nurses to make a difference such as APRNs, nurse navigators, transitional care nurses, health coaches, home health, etc. We already know there are physician shortages within the primary care setting. When nurses are able to practice to their level of the education and licensure, they can have a huge impact on healthcare outcomes for the patients and communities we serve.

What was your first job?

My first nursing job was as a nurse’s aide on an oncology unit. I worked 3 to 11 p.m. while I was in nursing school and my charge nurse was a new grad, (the only RN on a 17-bed unit). Needless to say I learned a great deal.

Who or what inspires you?

I get my inspiration when I round on clinical units and see nurses and other clinicians doing what they do best! Speaking to nurse leaders about their challenges and how they are able to overcome them, their sense of pride and joy in what they do inspires me the most!

Describe your leadership style

I would say it depends on the situation but if you were to ask someone I have worked with they would say I am honest, transparent and easy to talk to, very decisive and able to deliver difficult messages with compassion. I treat others as I would want to be treated.

If you weren’t working in healthcare, what would you be doing instead?

I cannot imagine working in anything else besides healthcare. However, since you asked, maybe being a chef at a bed and breakfast would be nice!

In Short

Favorite Movie/Music/Book? Movie: Somewhere in Time; Music: Andrea Bocelli; Book: The Martian.
What are you reading right now? Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss. 
Three words that best describe you? Caring, passionate and driven
Your dream vacation? Sitting on a beautiful beach reading.
Something on your bucket list? Taking a trip with my daughter and sisters to Sicily, Italy, to see where my mom was born.
A talent you would most like to have? I wish I had learned to play the piano but it’s never too late.
A quote you’d like to share? "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse." -- Florence Nightingale.
Your favorite way to relax? I am working on this but I find cooking very relaxing.
Your proudest moment? Watching my four children become happy, successful adults.

Maureen Swick, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, joined Carolinas HealthCare System as our System Nurse Executive in October 2017. As the SNE, Maureen represents nurses throughout CHS to ensure consistency in nursing policy, strategy, practice and quality. Here's more about this nationally known nursing leader.


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