RWJBarnabas Health Leadership

Nancy Holecek, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, RWJBarnabas Health

Nancy Holecek Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services

As the Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, RWJBarnabas Health, Nancy has enhanced health care quality, education and professionalism in numerous ways. She began her career at Saint Barnabas Medical Center as a Registered Nurse in critical care. She has held several nursing leadership positions, with increasing responsibility, leading to her current position. Nancy has devoted her career to advancing the profession of nursing as a whole. She developed and oversaw implementation of a comprehensive nursing peer review process, created a formal competency assessment program, and established benchmarks against which trends in key indicators of patient care performance could be tracked over time and across settings. The following areas are particularly noteworthy:

  • Instituted 1st system Professional Nurse Practice Council
  • Implemented the 1st academic partnership for a senior practicum program, which was recognized and presented internationally
  • Facilitated implementation of Transition of Care Nurses and supported certification
  • Facilitated 1st Internship which was the impetus for a RN Residency implemented prior to the IOM Report and continues today
  • Created a Succession Planning Program for staff nurses recommended for advancement to leadership positions
  • Created the first formal nursing leadership development program in the system for new nurse leaders. Leadership Essentials provides new leaders with education and development regarding leadership concepts in alignment with ONL’s competencies.
  • Created multiple nursing collaboratives, including OB, Wound, and Perioperative to promote Evidence-Based Practice and networking
  • Facilitated the creation of the OR Simulation Center at Rahway

More recently, her passion for supporting employee safety has her fully engaged in co-leading the Workplace Violence initiative. Her support for the staff has led to her high credibility with nurses throughout the system who know her to be fair, especially when it comes to tough decision-making. Nancy is a leader who follows through until a resolution is achieved. Her innovative models of nursing care have been recognized within the nursing profession and serve as an example for other health care systems. She has contributed to nursing competency throughout New Jersey by envisioning programs that instill responsibility and leadership. In addition, Nancy has promoted the value of education for nurses as it relates to patient care, patient experience, nursing recruitment and retention, and utilizes the resources available to her to the fullest to achieve these goals.