Improving Outcomes: Sales Summit

The First String Healthcare gathered together in Northern California with AMN and The First String sales and support thought leaders for The First String Healthcare Annual Sales Summit. We enjoyed a couple days together having breakout conversations, discussing strategies and goal planning. Our goal ultimately is to improve the outcomes for hospitals and patients across the United States!




The Influencers: How will nurses change the landscape of healthcare?

Here is a short excerpt from a conversation I had recently with Patricia Bondurant, DNP, RN. She has served in numerous executive and front line nursing leadership roles and is particularly passionate about the increasingly important role that nurses play in changing the landscape of healthcare.

Chrissy: You will be the closing speaker at the Perinatal leadership Forum in November and I know that you are particularly intrigued that nurse leader responsibilities seem to be shifting dramatically from day to day management of the patient care areas to now building systems of care. Perinatal nurse leaders are becoming the primary architect in creating a safe environment. This is a great time to be in healthcare, right?

Pattie: Yes, these are really exciting times. Healthcare is facing unprecedented challenges, and nurses must play a major role in meeting them. We hear so much negative – to quote Gandhi “let’s be a part of the change we want to see.”

Chrissy: How do you propose we seize this opportunity, Pattie?

Pattie: It’s time for us to be accountable and influence healthcare in a meaningful way, tapping in to nurses’ innovation and the unique skills that nurses have to transform care. We have made such great strides by working with our physician colleagues and executive teams together locally, what does our work look like at a regional and national level? We need to keep going and continue to inspire these advances on a larger scale.

Chrissy: So you are talking about personal influence?

Pattie: Influence is the most nuanced – but highest level – leadership skill that we can learn. Kenneth Blanchard, one of the most influential leadership experts in the world says, “The Key to Successful Leadership today is Influence, not Authority.” Nurses are well respected, and we need to develop our influencing skills to be successful in healthcare now. How we connect, lead, and set imperatives as leaders is critical. I see so many talented front line nurses take all different types of initiatives – large, small, challenging, essential – and move them forward to improve outcomes. Let’s also not forget about how this ultimately affects the experience of our patients and families. The ability to influence this work is both critical and extraordinary.

Chrissy: If I was a nurse director or manager interested in attending this conference, tell me what I will come away with after your closing keynote?

Pattie: Nurse Managers and Directors are on the front line – so the question comes to us: What can we do as nurse leaders to influence changes that are taking place in healthcare? This is really about changing relationships. It’s about understanding that our old ways won’t open new doors for our profession. It’s about raising the bar for accountability for ourselves and within our teams. It is about partnering with our physician colleagues. It’s about understanding measurement of data and how it is threaded through our everyday lives in the hospital so we can make informed decisions. Many of us are doing it now on many different levels. I want to hear about these advances and see the results evolving to bigger things for nurse leaders.

Chrissy: What’s the call to action for perinatal leaders everywhere?

Pattie: We have an opportunity to create and leave a legacy in a very unique way in caring for mothers and babies. Who do we want to be? How can we continue building on our current contributions locally and paint a larger swath of responsibility? As health care incrementally transforms, there will certainly be increased opportunities to place nurses at the center of the conversations, development, and implementation of new roles and new models of care.

Chrissy: What can I do as a leader to make my contribution to the healthcare landscape?

Pattie: This shouldn’t be an added burden to our current roles. We should be doing this instead of what we have always done. This is a positive message that will continue to move nursing and nurse leaders forward. We are moving away from fee-for-service systems and toward paying for improved outcomes, which create opportunities for nurses. Payment changes, based in part on improved patient outcomes—such as with shared savings in accountable care organizations and bundled payments—will allow nursing contributions in the area of wellness, telehealth, and care coordination for patients with chronic conditions. Nursing is asked to architect these systems, across care boundaries and then lead these multi-directional teams. How we can work with our leadership teams to continue to be in belief and alignment with these forward thinking goals to improve the health of our patients and communities? Imagine the future for mothers and babies; healthier communities, healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, all leading to better outcomes. We are stronger together when we look across the continuum of care. It’s like Kid President says, “This is your time. This is my time. This is our time! Create something that will make the world awesome!”

Last Chance! Early Bird Registration



Chicago, Illinois | March 16th – 19th

Transformational Leadership.
Start your journey through self-discovery and on-going mentoring with other leaders in the industry who have extensive experience and knowledge.

Successful Outcomes.
Develop and build your capabilities for assessing and effectively leading teams towards successful outcomes.

Relationship Building.
Learn how to build relationships with key stakeholders and learn how to align nursing resources to improve performance, professional work environment, patient safety, patient-centered care, metrics and workforce development.



An Artful, Engaging Retreat in River North
Hotel Palomar Chicago offers more than a sophisticated, luxurious place to stay in the heart of the Windy City. Your experience will keep you inspired long after the purpose of your trip. Through genuine caring service, unique perks such as an evening wine hour, indoor pool with terrace, and wellness programs – your stay will be unforgettable.

Advising & Completion Hours

Upon completion of the CNO Academy you will be paired with one of our experienced advisers and enrolled in our advising program to help continue your leadership development. You will also receive completion hours approved by the Texas Nursing Association.

Gloria Berent, CNO
“Priceless! With a mentor, you never have to start with a blank page; this program offers not only insightfully transformation ideas but provides a safe environment to explore thoughts and feelings.” 



CNO Academy Registration OPEN!


Save $500.00 Off Registration Fee, Register Today!


The CNO Academy provides an intimate environment that will teach you how to achieve and sustain outcomes. Our faculty has designed this higher level educational program to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to be confident, implement proven strategies and enhance your leadership effectiveness within your organization. Join us March 16th through the 19th, 2016 in Chicago!


  • Successful Outcomes. Develop and build your capabilities for assessing and effectively leading teams towards successful outcomes.
  • Relationship Building. Learn how to build relationships with key stakeholders and gain understanding of how to align nursing resources to improve performance, professional work environment, patient safety, patient-centered care, metrics and workforce development.
  • Transformational Leadership. Start your journey through self-discovery and on-going mentoring with other leaders in the industry who have extensive experience and knowledge.

What Makes the CNO Academy Different?

“Incredible faculty-relevant and credible-engaging. Valuable networking opportunities.  Rich dialogue and experiences with both faculty and participant.”

“Overall I found this experience to be amazingly applicable to where I am in my journey. I am at a point in my career where I am ready to take on a new challenge and become a CNO. And to be able to have the opportunity to relate and interact with experts in the field of nursing practice, is just beyond value in this point in my career. Their care, their joy and compassion that they have is totally inspired me to go back to my place of work and to reinvigorate the workforce.”

Meet our CNO Academy Senior Faculty

a492386b-ec81-4c8c-9bb8-f35dd653d9a0Advising & Completion Hours Upon completion of the CNO Academy you will be paired with one of our experienced advisors and enrolled in our advising program to help continue your leadership development. You will also receive completion hours approved by the Texas Nursing Assocation.

Nurse Leadership Development – Dallas, Texas

Our September session of the CNO Academy was yet another successful event. The goal of this event is to help nurse leaders transition into their executive role with the proper knowledge, tools and confidence that they need to be successful in a role that presents so many daily challenges. Our faculty dedicates their time and efforts to share their personal experience and knowledge in an intimate setting that allows everyone to not only build a strong network of support but also an enviornment that allows them to feel safe and secure with asking questions and learning. Thank you to all our amazing attendees and of course to the faculty that makes it all happen with so much success every time.

SAVE THE DATE for our March Session in Chicago!! March 16th – 19th


Raising A Leader

Following the…..Wait! Don’t follow, BE the Leader

Most of us know the catchy tune from Disney’s Peter Pan:

“We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader, we’re following the leader wherever he may go. We won’t be home til morning, til morning, we won’t be home til morning because he told us so.”

This isn’t the mentality we should be pushing to our children anymore. As the word boss now becomes a distant memory and the word leader becomes the more dominant term, it’s important to start teaching children to actually be THE LEADER. I believe the old saying, “Lead by Example” works most appropriately here. Children are very moldable and so every little action you do can prep them to be confident, and inspirational future leaders.

Forbes lists the top 8 ways to mold children into leaders:

Model Emotional Intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence? It’s the ability to recognize emotions both within one ’s self and others, and be able to not only label them correctly but to use the information to manage behavior and thinking.

Per Talentsmart, Emotional Intelligence is 58% of your job performance. They reported that 90% of Top Performers not only have high EQ, they also make $29,000 more annually than those with lower EQ.


As children are very aware of your reaction to your own emotions, they are just as aware of your reaction to their emotions. So before you pull your hair out over their next tantrum – just remember that your response could be negatively affecting them more than you think.

Don’t Obsess About Achievement – “Creating an Over Achiever”

Yes, we all love trophies, pats on the back, and awards, but to obsess over a child’s individual and personal achievements does not prepare them for the real world. This can deter the child from learning that team achievements are just as important, if not MORE important.  In order to lead people, you must accept the fact that you need other people to achieve your goals…in fact, you WANT other people to help so that you can help them to grow into success as well.


Don’t Praise Too Much – “False Confidence”

Self-esteem is something that children need to build on a daily basis, and giving praise is one of the main things to do this, but over-praise can create a sense of false reality and false confidence in the long run. If a child grows up being given awards and trophies even when they come in last place or lose a game, they will never know the difference between success and failure. Children need to only hear praise and pride over their efforts; they don’t need a trophy to soften the blow of losing the championship game.


Allow Them to Experience Risk and Failure

All too often, failure or losing is portrayed as a negative thing rather than an opportunity to take risks, or work harder to achieve success the next time the opportunity presents itself. Life and business involve risk, and if you never experience risk as a child you won’t know what to do with it as an adult. If a child is overprotected and never allowed to fail, they will never be a leader.  A child who experiences failure, simply needs to be comforted and supported so they know everything will work out ok. A good leader knows what failure feels like and has the ability to learn from it and adjust to create success from that failure.


Saying No – “Spoiled Rotten”

Kids need to hear the word “no” and learn the gratification of working hard for what they want. It not only helps them to create goals, but it teaches them patience. A good leader knows that hard work always pays off, being lazy doesn’t. A child who only hears yes all the time is in for a rude awakening in the real world, not just in their professional life, but also in their adult personal relationships.

Let Children Solve Their Own Problems

When parents consistently step in to clean up a child’s problems, they never learn accountability, independence, responsibility or problem solving; all of which a good leader needs. As a leader, you are in a position to carry out decisions that could lead to problematic situations that you will need to be accountable for and problem-solve to figure out a way to straighten things out. Children need to learn how to solve their own problems be they can grow up to be the take charge, responsible leader you want them to be.

Walk Your Talk

As a parent it’s important to be honest, not only with your words but also with who you are as a person. As moldable beings, children are “monkey see monkey do” and if you align your words and actions on a consistent basis, they will learn to do the same. Good leaders are open, honest, and transparent, which earns the respect and trust of their team members.

Show You’re Human

We are all human, we all make mistakes, we all have our own little failures and our kids should be aware of this. Don’t try to hide your past from your kids, they need to be able to relate to someone in some way so that they see that you learned from your mistakes and were able to overcome challenges. Leaders not only make mistakes, they embrace them, learn from them and grown from them.

Be a Leader…Not a Boss

What makes a leader successful?  Anyone can take command and control their “followers” but in order to be a successful leader you must have the ability to inspire and motivate those that are following. You can’t achieve goals if you can’t positively influence your team. For years, being a “boss” worked, however times have changed and so has the leadership style. As the healthcare industry transitions, it’s very important to have leaders that are committed, trustworthy, passionate and can adapt to change and help to guide their followers through those changes in successful manner. In turn, everyone wins with higher satisfaction, a better work environment and fewer turnovers.

Our sister company, CNO Solutions, is dedicated to growing transformational nurse leaders. To learn more about our Leadership Development Program, click here.


Leaving a Legacy Behind…

What is a mentor?

  1. mentor is a person, colleague or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. An effective mentor understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic, and tuned into the needs of the mentee.

Being a true leader and/or mentor is making your presence last even when you are absent; it’s passing your experience and knowledge to the next generation who will pass it on to the generation after that and so on. Here at The First String Healthcare we truly believe in leaving a legacy that will continue to bring success from daily challenges in the healthcare industry. We strive to provide guidance and knowledge to current and upcoming leaders from our experienced executives so that the healthcare industry continues to thrive with postive outcomes and we continue to build a legacy that each generation moving forward can benefit from.

Today we are watching a hall of famer in the making in the young Mike Trout, someone who is already better beyond his years, but yet knows the importance of utilizing a mentor like fellow greatness, Albert Pujols. Albert Pujols is the ultimate mentor to Mike Trout, passing along what he was taught by the greats in his day. He couldn’t have said it any better than he did in this video:

“Yeah it’s great to have a great career, but at the end of the day what is the legacy that you leave behind….and that’s my goal, that’s my goal whether its a young guy or a veteran, I want to help those guys out.”


We are just 4 months away from our next Nurse Leadership CNO Academy in Dallas, Texas. Why should you attend you ask? We figured you would ask that question and so we’ve come up with the top 10 reasons:

Leverage others’ experience

Excellent value for the level of intensive education

Achieve and sustain successful outcomes

Deliver more with less

Enhance your effectiveness as a new leader

Relationship building with your colleagues

Solidify your motivation and get inspired

Harness the true leader within yourself

Interact with key industry leaders

Professional growth opportunity

REGISTER TODAY at the early bird special price!

Growing Phenomenal Leaders One Academy at a Time!

After months of working hard together, we have successfully completed our 2nd session of the CNO Academy. The CNO Academy is presented by our sister company, CNO Solutions, to help develop the skills and knowledge of today’s Nurse Leaders to have successful outcomes. The CNO Academy is designed to help facilitate a smooth integration and transition into a senior nurse executive role. Our nationally renowned faculty provides intimate sessions of their front line experience to a class of 25-30 participants to allow for a more intimate learning experience.

We couldn’t be more proud of the CNO Academy faculty, staff and attendees!