Dynamic nursing – Chief Nursing Officer shares her love of humanity
by James Coburn
In every aspect of Linda Fanning’s life, in every patient that she sees as the chief nursing officer at AllianceHealth Deaconess, Fanning knows the value of a family member.
“I think of that patient as my mother, brother or sister,” said Fanning, who has been CNO at Deaconess for nearly six months.
They are seen as a son, grandchild, husband or daughter-in-law.
“I’m from a very large family and there’s a lot of health history there,” Fanning said. “I don’t just see them as a patient in a bed, a number or somebody from another state. I think about the compassion I’d want my family to feel.”
There is a love and tenderness she takes home when leaving Deaconess at day’s end. She wants to enrich the quality of somebody’s life.
“If you don’t have that, you don’t need to be a nurse,” she said.
Fanning has studied the life of Florence Nightingale and the prescriptions that Nightingale used in her daily life when caring for patients long ago. Every bit of Nightingale’s compassion applies to nursing today, Fanning added
She often wonders what Nightingale would think if she walked the halls of Deaconess, would she be proud that the Deaconess nurses strive altruistically to better their profession.
“I take a lot of pride in being a nurse,” she said. “And I want the nurses that I work with to be the same way. I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people that don’t want to be compassionate.”
She empathizes with the experience of patients and their family members. During the past two years of her life, Fanning has had many family members in the hospital. She experience the death of her father and the birth of a premature granddaughter.
“I have had that full spectrum of being on the other side,” Fanning said. “I’ve been on the other side with a premature granddaughter who spent time in the NICU, to my father who passed away while on hospice care. As chief nursing officer, Fanning is motivated to advocate for the patients while wanting the nursing staff to have the passion the need for a caring profession. Nurses at Deaconess are empowered by their leadership team to excel.
“Nurses don’t have to have an order to get patients out of bed, to give compassionate care or to maintain proper infection prevention standards.“
“Treat them with respect or to take care of infection control,” Fanning continued. “There are things you can always do as a nurse that don’t always require a physician’s order. And that comes from the heart.
Fanning’s inspiration for a nursing career was sparked as a child living with asthma. The nurses who cared for her were gentle and kind. Her young curiosity was intellectual, so she would study the care she received. They were part of a collaborative team.
She carries the values that were instilled in her character during her youth as she moves forward as CNO at AllianceHealth Deaconess.
AllianceHealth Deaconess is part of 10 hospitals belonging to the Alliance Health Oklahoma Network that spreads all across the state of Oklahoma.
Fanning also knows the value of an active personal life. She just returned from a vacation to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
“I love it. We went hiking,” she said. “I love to go to Boston; I have another son that lives there. My husband and I like to travel. We’ve been to Europe and Alaska. But sometimes I just like staycations just to stay home and swim and love my dogs.”
Fanning does not have a shortage of things to do in life.
“Deaconess is like the best-kept-secret in town,” she said. “There’s just a lot of opportunity here that I can’t wait to be a part of. We have a great team of professionals working here.”
Fanning also in mindful to take care of her own well being.