Diane Drexler, RN, BSN, MBA, FACHE, Takes Chief Nursing Officer Post
Growing up, Diane Drexler considered the idea of a nursing career. However, it was
while observing the nurses who cared for a critically ill high school classmate that she decided to pursue the profession.
“When I visited my friend,” she said, “I was always impressed by the nurses who cared for her. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do with my life.’”
Drexler understood then that she wanted to help people through illness and provide
support to their family members and friends. She’s been doing that for more than 20 years, first
as a caregiver and then in management and executive-level positions. In April, Drexler joined
Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) as its new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), the
hospital’s top nurse executive in charge of patient care services on both campuses.
“What has impressed me most is that everyone at YRMC—from staff members to board
members—embraces the hospital’s mission,” Drexler said. “It’s more than a plaque on a wall;
everyone is completely committed to it. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to be part
of this organization and community.”
Before joining YRMC, Drexler served as Vice President of Patient Care Services for
Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center (WRMC). She
helped open the hospital, located in Goodyear, Arizona, in 2008. Drexler also launched
WRMC’s “acuity adaptable unit,” the first such licensed unit in the state. The acuity adaptable
unit design allows patients to remain in the same room throughout their hospitalization.
Drexler’s nursing experience also includes 15 years at Banner Health in the Phoenix area.
In her most recent position at Banner, she was CNO of Banner Estrella Medical Center in
Phoenix. Again, she undertook the job of opening the hospital, which in 2005 was among the
nation’s first to introduce both an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Computerized
Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system.
According to Tim Barnett, YRMC’s President and CEO, Drexler’s experience will be an
asset to the hospital and community.
“She’s the right person at the right time,” Barnett said. “With the BreastCare Center at
YRMC ready to open this fall and the transition to EMR that the federal government is requiring
of hospitals, Diane’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable. Even more important, Diane
is devoted to the nursing profession and a true advocate of patients. We are very fortunate to
have her on our team.”
Drexler also is pleased to be part of the YRMC team. A successful nurse leader, she said,
listens and develops relationships throughout the organization. However, as a nurse, she never
forgets the most important relationships are with patients.
“I enjoy listening and talking to patients. I love hearing how we as nurses make an impact
on their lives and how we can improve,” she said.
Drexler is a firm believer in both lifelong learning and sharing her professional
knowledge. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of New
Mexico at Albuquerque and a Master’s of Business Administration from Arizona State
Drexler is a graduate of the Wharton Fellows Nurse Executive Leadership Program and
she was also selected for the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Executive
Nurse Fellows program. Only 20 nurse leaders from throughout the country participate in this
program each grant cycle. RWJ selects nurses who aspire to help lead and shape the U.S.
healthcare system. Additionally, Drexler earned board certification in healthcare management as
a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). She has published many
articles in nursing journals.
“I believe that if I have done something from which others can learn, I want to share my
lesson learned,” she said.
Drexler and her family—her husband and two children—are enjoying the people of
Prescott and the beauty of the area.
“For the first time, I know my neighbors and they know me,” she said. “We love to hike and kayak so we feel like it’s all at our back door now. It’s the best of all worlds.”