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Riney Promoted to Chief Nursing Officer of North Oaks Health System

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  • Written By: Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto
Riney Promoted to Chief Nursing Officer of North Oaks Health System

Kirsten Riney, MHA, MSN, BSN, has been promoted to chief nursing officer of North Oaks Health System.

As chief nursing officer, Riney will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of quality, safe health care and exceptional patient experiences for the entire health system. She will do so in collaboration with senior leadership, the medical executive committees of North Oaks Medical Center and North Oaks Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as North Oaks Physician Group.

“With nearly 30 years of results-oriented nursing leadership experience and advanced education under her belt, Kirsten has the expertise, knowledge and tenacity to help guide the health system’s mission of improving lives and vision to become the region’s most trusted health care partner for exceptional quality, safety and experience,” affirms North Oaks Health System President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Sutton, FACHE. “We are fortunate to have someone of Kirsten’s caliber and tenure join the executive leadership team.”

A 26-year veteran employee of North Oaks Health System, Riney’s career has come full circle. As a new graduate in 1990, she first joined the North Oaks team as a Labor & Delivery staff registered nurse. After three years in this role, she departed North Oaks for her first foray into middle management at nearby Northshore hospitals.

Six years later in 1998, she returned to North Oaks as coordinator of Women & Children’s Services. She quickly rose through the leadership ranks to become Women & Children’s Services director in 2009, assistant vice president of patient services in 2012 and vice president of patient services in 2015.

As Riney’s career has progressed over the past two decades, so has recognition of her leadership abilities and commitment to quality on both state and national levels. In 2014, Riney was celebrated as North Oaks Health System’s Leader of the Year, and the Tangipahoa Parish District Nurses Association followed suit in 2015 honoring her as a “Top Nurse.”

Through her ongoing work with the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative, North Oaks Medical Center eliminated elective deliveries before 39 weeks in 2011 to help improve infant mortality rates in the state.

The hospital has maintained zero elective deliveries in the nine years since, earning national acclaim from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and other hospitals for pioneering the practice.

Also under Riney’s tutelage, North Oaks innovated a nurse residency program and reinstated nurse technicians as a job class to achieve a 93% retention rate among new graduate nurses. To promote ongoing professional development and career advancement for the health system’s nurses, she was likewise instrumental in the implementation of a charge nurse training academy and clinical ladder program.

Riney earned master’s degrees in both nursing and health care administration from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Professionally, Riney belongs to the Louisiana Organization of Nurse Leadership, American Nurses Association, American Organization for Nursing Leadership and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I accept this promotion,” Riney states. “I look forward to continuing to advocate for our patients, staff and the future of North Oaks Health System as chief nursing officer.”