Cultivating Executives: A Spotlight on Summa Health's Partnership with FPB

Summa Health partnership develops and prepares nurse leaders.

Nine nurse leaders started the fall semester as part of a partnership—the first of its kind at Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

Summa Health, a large hospital system in Northeast Ohio, and the School of Nursing have come together to form a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Executive Leadership Track.

The three-year, part-time aims to help hospital-based nurses to enhance leadership skills without having to leave their full-time positions. The goal of this hybrid learning program is to prepare students to pursue executive-level positions within nursing and healthcare—and excel once they are in them.

“This collaboration,” said Dean Carol Musil, PhD, RN (NUR ’79; GRS ’91, nursing), “expands learning opportunities for current nurse executives while also preparing new nurse leaders to be involved in the design, planning, management and delivery of care, and in the development and implementation of health policy at all levels.”

Supported by the Samuel and Maria Miller Foundation and the Summa Foundation, the program comes at a time of rising demand for nurse leaders and registered nurses. A recent survey by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership found that 45% of chief nurse officers and nurse executives reported staffing shortages as their biggest new challenge.

“Together with our hospital partner, Summa Health, we launched this program to empower nurse leaders with a diversity of perspectives and experience from academic settings to the boardroom,” said Joyce Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN (MGT ’92), the Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing at the nursing school and director of the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy.

“We are committed to providing our nurses with access to programs that offer advanced education and opportunities to grow as leaders,” said Penelope Gorsuch, senior vice president and chief nursing executive for Summa Health. “We’re pleased to be able to partner with Case Western Reserve University and look forward to our continued collaboration in the future.”

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2022 edition of Forefront Magazine.