Aspirus Keweenaw’s Darcy Donnelly now certified as a Rural Hospital CNO by the National Rural Health Association

Darcy Donnelly, MSN, RN, RHCNOC, CPHQ, CPPS, Director of Nursing with Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital & Clinics, is now certified as a Rural Hospital Chief Nursing Officer through the National Rural Health Association. Donnelly is the only director of nursing in the Aspirus Health system to obtain and hold this certification. She was selected and sponsored by the Michigan Center for Rural Health to participate in the program. She is also one of four health care professionals in the State of Michigan to complete the program this cohort.

The program is intended to assist current and developing nurse leaders in strengthening their leaderships skills to help lead their hospitals to success.

“This certification allows me the ability to use my leadership skills and abilities to help lead nursing and the clinical care team to deliver the best health care in our rural area,” Donnelly said. “As an employer in a rural community, we are influential in how our local networks and communities function together for health services.”

Donnelly earned her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and her master’s degree in nursing administration from Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich. She obtained her Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) certification in 2016, and her Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) certification in 2017.

Donnelly has several years of experience in nursing, quality, operations and management. Most recently, she served as Director - Regional Quality for the Aspirus UP Region. In this role, she was responsible for performance improvement, patient safety and customer service for the Aspirus UP Region. Prior to this, she held leadership positions in quality and clinic operations and worked as a staff nurse in heart & vascular, progressive care, medical surgical and telemetry units at various facilities.

“Darcy’s broad experience in rural health care and her visibility as a leader in our communities is extremely vital to Aspirus and the communities we serve,” said Matt Krause, Chief Administrative Officer for Aspirus Keweenaw. “We are so proud of Darcy’s accomplishments, and I am thrilled to have her on our team as we continue to grow and navigate rural health care in the Upper Peninsula.”

Donnelly’s other notable accomplishments include being an MHA Quality and Accountability Committee Member since 2019 and Michigan Critical Access Hospital Quality Network (MICAH QN) Executive Committee Member since August 2021.

The 6-month-long NRHA Rural Hospital CNO Certification Program covers key leadership performance, operational performance, financial performance and clinical performance building blocks. Participants are paired with rural hospital CNO mentors who have obtained their certification. Donnelly was paired with Regina Wilson, RN, CNO, CEN, RHCNOC, from Share Medical Center in Alva, Okla.

“It was an honor and privilege to be paired with Darcy,” Wilson said. “Already an exceptional leader in my eyes, this certification allows for Darcy to continue to build and expand her network to be successful in a rural community! Congratulations!”

Aspirus Health appreciates the opportunity to participate in the NRHA Rural Hospital CNO Certification Program and its continued partnership with the Center for Rural Health Leadership.