Northern Westchester Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Presents at American Organization of Nurse Executives Conference

Lauraine Spano-Szekely, DNP, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Northern Westchester Hospital (right) with Joanne Clavelle, DNP, Regional Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, GetWell Network, Inc.

Lauraine Spano-Szekely, DNP, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Northern Westchester Hospital, presented a study on "Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership in Nurse Managers" at the American Organization of Nurse Executives Annual Meeting (AONE) in Baltimore.

Dr. Spano-Szekely discussed the science of emotional intelligence, and transformational leadership in nursing and other industries, integrating theory and the results of an exploratory study of 148-frontline, acute care nurse managers. Dr. Spano-Szekely, whose doctoral dissertation was on this topic, focused on the practical implications of these findings for Nurse Executives when hiring nurse managers and in leadership development. She also emphasized the benefits of emotional intelligence on the leadership at the Nurse Manager level on staff satisfaction and patient outcomes. 

“Studies have shown that nurse managers with emotional intelligence, defined as the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, build relationships that achieve positive results.  Further, studies show that emotional intelligence has a moderating effect on stress, burnout and compassion fatigue as well as on improving quality of patient care outcome measures,”  said Dr. Spano-Szekely. “In the current health care environment, we need more effective leadership in order to help employees cope with change and work to their highest potential.”

In the past, Dr. Spano-Szekely says that nurses have been promoted to management based on clinical rather than leadership skills. But today, institutions realize the important role emotional intelligence plays in transformational leadership, particularly in professions with a high degree of occupational stress and emotional labor like healthcare.  Managers who possess this trait or develop these abilities, which include both personal and social competence, are better able to manage behavior and react appropriately under a variety of circumstances which has a positive impact on others.  

Dr. Spano-Szekely believes it is possible to teach emotional intelligence and she has plans to develop a leadership program that will include training in the fundamentals of emotional intelligence and study its effects as the next step in her research.

In 2017, NWH, received Magnet® Recognition for the second time from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program®.  Magnet recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is a factor when the public considers health care organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care. 

The foundation of the Magnet model is comprised of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include a Transformational Leadership component with standards that address the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care. 

In addition, in 2016, NWH also received Planetree Designation with Distinction for the third time, a designation as a teaching hospital for patient and family engagement and patient-centered care.


About Northern Westchester Hospital
Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH), a member of the Northwell Health, provides quality, patient-centered care that is close to home through a unique combination of medical expertise, leading-edge technology, and a commitment to humanity. Over 650 highly-skilled physicians, state-of-the-art technology and professional staff of caregivers are all in place to ensure that you and your family receive treatment in a caring, respectful and nurturing environment. NWH has established extensive internal quality measurements that surpass the standards defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA) National Hospital Quality Measures. Our high-quality standards help to ensure that the treatment you receive at NWH is among the best in the nation. For more information, please visit and connect with us on Facebook.

About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners -- are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Gretchen Mullin
[email protected]