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  • Awkward Networker

Awkward Networking with Regina Cunningham – Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Updated: May 29, 2019

Nursing and Networking in the C-Suite

How about that awkward moment when…

You’re running an hour late for a business meeting because you’re stuck in traffic.  So, you call the person you were supposed to meet and cancel.

How about that awkward moment when…

The person says “No, I’ll wait an extra hour for you to arrive.”

How about that awesome moment when…

That meeting you almost canceled leads to you becoming the first woman and first nurse to be named CEO of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).

Welcome to Awkward Networking with Regina Cunningham.

As the husband of a proud nurse and the son of two proud nurses, I know there are two certainties in nursing:

  1. When nurses get together there is a 0% chance they’ll talk about anything BUT nursing.   Usually the conversation starts with nursing, but quickly transforms into conversations about the people they encounter while nursing.

  2. You can’t find a more comforting, caring group of people than a floor of nurses (even after two consecutive night shifts eating only graham crackers and ice chips).

  3. What I’m trying to say is that I love nurses.  I profusely respect their profession.  I find their character, resolve, and educational attainment inspiring, and I believe nurses (aside from teachers and social workers) have the most difficult and most underappreciated jobs in America.

Regina Cunningham

Thus, when Regina Cunningham, the first nurse CEO of HUP agreed to an Awkward Networker interview to discuss networking in nursing, my excitement caused me heart palpitations (“palpitations” is a term nurses LOVE, and I think I used it correctly… just let it go).

From the Nursing Floor to the Executive Floor

In this episode, we explore Regina’s ascent from the nursing floor to the executive floor, and all the relationships she forged along the way.  But before you enjoy the episode… a quick caveat:

How about that awkward moment when you finally get to interview an incredible CEO, only to completely lose your voice 10 minutes before recording due to a developing cold your kids brought back from daycare.  Luckily, Phyllis (Regina’s assistant) brought me multiple green teas to preserve my vocal cords enough to complete the interview.

Thank you, Phyllis!  You’re a real one.

Green teas abound, I navigated my way through the interview, but apologies for any raspiness or throat clears.  Enjoy the episode!

P.S. HUGE thank you to my producer Maddie Clark from La Salle University for helping make me sound like a legit podcaster.  In lieu of a formal headshot, here’s an awkward prom pic I found on her facebook:

OK, I can’t put Maddie on blast like that and not include my own awkward prom pic (circa 2003).  #skinfade  #Phillyswag  I ended-up marrying my date btw… I’m THAT good at the Electric Slide.

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