Baptist Health Hardin welcomes new Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Woods

Baptist Health Hardin. January 10, 2023

Jennifer Woods MSN, RN, CENP, joins as vice president and chief nursing officer (CNO)


ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (Jan. 10, 2023)Baptist Health Hardin is pleased to announce that Jennifer Woods MSN, RN, CENP, has joined the hospital’s senior leadership team as vice president and chief nursing officer (CNO).  Woods officially assumed the new role on Monday, Jan. 9.

As CNO, Woods will lead the charge in using evidence-based practice to drive quality and patient safety initiatives. She will focus on patient-centered care and continued enhancement of the patient experience. As the leader of the nursing team, she will support and strengthen recruitment and retention efforts and focus on empowering and engaging staff to sustain a culture of excellence.

“We are very excited to have Jennifer join the Baptist Health Hardin team,” said hospital President Robert Ramey. “She is a proven leader whose vision and innovation will help guide us into the next era of healthcare. I am confident that she will build upon the strong foundation established by previous nursing leadership through initiatives that advance patient safety, quality and engagement, and continue to make Baptist Health Hardin the region’s choice in healthcare."

Woods brings with her more than 30 years of nursing experience and has served in an executive capacity for 14 years. She most recently served as vice president of patient care services and chief nurse executive at McLaren Northern Michigan, one of 15 hospitals owned by McLaren Health Care, a healthcare system headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

As an executive leader at McLaren, Woods led the organization to achieve its second and third American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Designation and second ANCC accreditation of the Nursing Residency Program. She was influential in the hospital’s recognition as a Top 100 Hospital and Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital, as ranked by IBM Watson Health. Under Woods’ leadership, McLaren was awarded an “A” safety rating from the Leapfrog Group for three consecutive years and achieved a 5-Star Hospital rating for quality and safety from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Woods served a lead role in the design and construction of a new $175 million building and renovation project at the hospital, as well as a multi-vendor integrated technology system to support clinical workload and enhance patient safety and the patient experience. Additionally, she served as the executive and clinical lead for the hospital’s Incident Command throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

Prior to working on the executive team, Woods served as senior director of acute patient care services, clinical nurse manager, and other leadership roles at McLaren. She has previously served in nursing leadership for Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, as well as other patient care nursing roles throughout her career.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, Woods earned a master’s degree in nursing from Walden University. She is a member of the American Organization for Nurse Leaders. She has participated in multiple advisory panels on nursing and education and has presented at national and state nursing conferences. Woods has also served in a variety of community service roles, including her most recent role as trustee for the Board of Education in Pellston, Michigan, and as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

“I am so thrilled to join the team at Baptist Health Hardin, an organization that has been long dedicated to building a tradition of excellence,” Woods stated. “By combining evidence-based practice with forward-thinking innovation, I believe we are in an excellent position to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of this growing region. I look forward to standing with this team and leading the charge on patient safety and quality. Together, we will build on these traditions and deliver outstanding and compassionate care for generations to come.”

Woods is an Ohio native who began her nursing career at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She and her husband Jody have been married for 29 years and share three sons, the oldest of whom is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army serving in Clarksville, Tennessee. Her other sons are currently completing their college education. In her free time, Woods and her husband enjoy exploring the outdoors in various capacities.