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An Integrative Review of 21st-Century Roles, Responsibilities, Characteristics, and Competencies of Chief Nurse Executives: A Blueprint for the Next Generation

Crawford, Cecelia L. DNP, RN; Omery, Anna DNSc, RN, NEA-BC; Spicer, Jerry DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000245
Original Articles

Executive nursing practice is experiencing “head-snapping change.” Health care has transitioned from the managed care era to the disruptive innovation era. As chief nurse executives (CNEs) navigate evolving care delivery models, they must consider retooling their roles and responsibilities related to emergent models. This integrative review's purpose was to examine evidence for the roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies of CNEs and system CNEs to better guide future generations of nurse executives. Ganong and Cooper's integrative review methodology was chosen to guide the evidence synthesis. Seventeen articles were identified that pertained to the clinical inquiry. The evidence is inconsistent for specific CNE roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies due to many areas of overlap and an absence of definitions. The evidence does describe who CNEs are, what they do, and how they articulate executive practice. Embedding evidence regarding emerging roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies into the personal journeys of nurse executives helps articulate shifting paradigms and the CNE's role in transforming health care. Review results have the potential to create a blueprint for the recruitment, development, and retention of the next generation of nurse executives. New knowledge for the ever-changing worlds of CNEs is needed by robust research studies and other evidence.

Regional Patient Care Services, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena.

Correspondence: Cecelia L. Crawford, DNP, RN, Regional Patient Care Services, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 393 E. Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91188 (

This integrative review received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

No conflict of interest has been declared by the authors.

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