Vision, Leadership and Direction

Since choosing a career in nursing, Diane L. Puccetti, R.N., BSN, MS has envisioned herself as an intensive care nurse, caring for critically ill patients, and looked forward to working on the front lines of health care, at the bedside. And after graduating from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, she did just that.

Diane became a staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and eventually found her clinical home: the operating room (OR) at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Diane specialized in the care of infants and children undergoing complex, high risk cardiac surgery. With 18 years of experience, Diane is an expert clinician and has earned the advanced position of specialty nurse in pediatric cardiac surgery. “I loved everything about the OR,” she recalls. “I loved the technology, the constant advances with new equipment, and new, lifesaving procedures. I never stopped learning.”

Nursing management and administration we not part of Diane’s early plans, but when her manager at Children’s left suddenly, she was offered the position and quickly adapted to the management position. “I learned that I could have a far greater impact as a manager. I could shape the caregiving environment to support nurses and enable them to give the highest quality care.”

Diane joined St. Clair Hospital in 2004 as manager of the OR, and in 2010, was promoted to Director of Perioperative Services. She served for a year as Executive Director of Nursing and last fall, was named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, succeeding longtime Administrative VP and CNO Joan Massella, R.N., M.ED., MBA, who, now retired, is largely responsible for St. Clair’s stellar reputation for high-quality nursing care and award-winning patient satisfaction.

As Chief Nursing Officer, Diane is a champion of the bedside nurse and provides vision, leadership, direction and resources to St. Clair’s nursing staff. Diane provides them with a practice environment that supports their learning, enables their professional advancement, and empowers them to continue providing patients and families with an outstanding level of care.

Diane’s vision for the future of nursing at St. Clair is two-fold:

“My goal is to maintain our level of excellence and, also, to stay aware of the big picture, of where the nursing profession is going. There are many complex issues confronting nursing: the coming retirement of the baby boomer nurses; advanced practice roles; increasingly complex technologies; and national trends in recruitment and retention. Nursing is a high-tech career, but it is equally about the humanity of the patient; the emotional skills are harder to teach.”

This story is an edited version of a full report published in our Spring 2017 edition of HouseCall. If you want to read the full write-up — which includes more information — you can visit the St.Clair website and download a copy of our Spring 2017 HouseCall here.