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Rhonda R. Foster



Energetic, visionary, and insightful, Dr. Rhonda Foster is a published and highly sought-after hospital consultant with a penchant for driving change, quality, and organizational improvement.

Energetic, visionary, and insightful, Dr. Rhonda Foster is a published and highly sought-after hospital consultant with a penchant for driving change, quality, and organizational improvement. While she served as the vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Dr. Foster’s collaborative and transformative leadership style led to innovative patient-care programs and the esteemed ANCC Magnet Recognition®. Dr. Foster now works full time as a consultant and educator. She is based in California and serves clients around the world.

An expert in a variety of Health care topics, Dr. Foster has been a featured presenter at American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) conferences and seminars, and over the course of her esteemed professional career, Dr. Foster has traveled the globe conducting lectures and seminars on quality Health care delivery, hospital administration, and leadership. During her tenure as chief nursing officer of the St. Joseph Health System of Sonoma County, Dr. Foster was considered an empathetic advocate and was lauded for her ability to inspire and motivate others toward a common vision.

Dr. Foster’s primary strength is her ability to put theory into practice. Understanding the benefits of technological advances in Health care administration, Dr. Foster, a catalyst and early adopter, led the implementation of an electronic medical record system that provided computerized physician order entry and ease in nursing documentation and medication administration. In addition, prior to its becoming a widely accepted practice, Dr. Foster implemented a nurse residency program for new graduate nurses that resulted in a 40% reduction in turnover.

Credible and scholarly, Dr. Foster’s work can be found in the Journal of Nursing Management, Oncology Nursing Society publications, and other reputable print and online resources. Dr. Foster has a master of science degree from Georgetown University, a master in public health degree from the Northwest Ohio Consortium, and a doctorate of education in leadership studies from Bowling Green State University.

Summary of Services

  • Conducts readiness assessments and provides strategies for success.
  • Develops customized education and training to support organizational needs.
  • Assists organizations with document development and review.
  • Submits electronic documents.
  • Conducts comprehensive on-site assessments in preparation for site visits.
  • Works with all stakeholders to achieve organizational goals and strategic alignment.


  • ADN – Michael J. Owens Technical College
  • BSN – University of Toledo
  • MSN – Nursing Administration in Health Services – Georgetown University
  • Master's in Public Health Administration – Northwest Consortium for Public Health
  • Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies – Bowling Green State University


  • American Nurses Credentialing Center – Certificate Holder in Fundamentals of Magnet®
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center – Nurse Executive, Advanced

Professional Memberships

  • American College of Health Care Executives
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • National Association of Health Service Executives
  • Sigma Theta Tau International

I recently traveled to conduct a workshop, and a participant in the audience asked a question that I had never received at any prior meeting. She asked, “How many of the leaders in your organization have to be transformational leaders?” I thought about this for a few seconds and then asked a series of follow-up questions.

How many leaders in your organization can you afford to have who:

  • Do not have a vision?
  • Do not inspire trust from leaders and team members?
  • Do not contribute to a spirit of inquiry or intellectual stimulation?
  • Do not inspire followers?
  • Are self-centered as opposed to organizationally focused?
  • Are not able to facilitate planned or unplanned change?

The participant responded, “None, or very few.”

These NKC consultation tips are designed to provide you with an opportunity to think about leadership development opportunities in your organization. The execution of any strategic initiative or plan typically requires implementation at the service line, division, or departmental/unit level. For this reason, your team depends on leadership development at every level to gain the necessary skills to be successful when rolling out sustainable initiatives.

Consider enhancing leadership development in these areas:

  • Building the capacity for change.
  • Working with interprofessional teams effectively.
  • Developing the courage to lead.
  • Leading and promoting a spirit of inquiry and excitement.
  • Effective collaboration.

As we navigate today’s health care environment, we recognize that different skills and abilities are needed to execute strategy while balancing performance outcomes. We must identify leaders who can benefit from developing those skills, and provide support, guidance, and mentoring to those with a need and desire to learn.

Source: Foster, RR (2014). Identifying real change leaders, Nursing Management; 52-54.


This article was originally published in December 2016.

*Use of ANA Consultation Services does not guarantee you will achieve an ANCC credential. ANA consultants and staff cannot influence the actions of ANCC program staff nor decisions of the Commission on Magnet® Recognition, Commission on Pathway to Excellence®, or Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs and the Commission for Nursing Continuing Professional Development..

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