Gayle Novack, BSN, HNB-BC
WCSI Faculty Associate
WCSI Caritas Coach®
Master of Arts Organizational Management
Gayle Novack is Chief Nursing Officer at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. She has practiced nursing for 48 years in a variety of roles: approximately 20 of those years in clinical practice and the remainder in management/leadership positions. Gayle views nursing as her vocation and knows she was called to the profession. She remembers the day of the call although not the exact year. It was either her fifth or sixth year during an episode of play with her cousin when Gayle was the “midwife” guiding the newborn out into the planet via “mother’s” navel. That episode of play was the first known brick in her pathway for life. Most of her clinical practice has been in Women’s and Children’s Health.
Gayle earned a diploma in nursing from Grace Hospital School of Nursing in 1971. She later earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Detroit in 1989, followed by a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix in 2002. As her core work shifted from direct care of patients to “care” of healthcare workers, her awareness of the suffering of healthcare workers particularly nurses and the diminishing of compassion accompanied by a focus on tasks, Gayle began spending more and more time studying holistic nursing as well as emerging theories of leadership and management where her passion lay. Those studies led her into partnership with a likeminded nurse at her place of employment to begin building a foundation of holistic nursing practice in her workplace. While simultaneously introducing holistic nursing theories and basic practices to small groups in the workplace, Gayle prepared herself to continue to lead the work in the organization. She completed the Integrative Healing Arts Program offered by The Birchtree Center for Healthcare Transformation and subsequently earned board certification in Holistic Nursing.
Gayle’s focus has been and continues to be that of leadership and the application of the Caritas Processes® to all providers of caring. Along with a dedicated team of board certified holistic nurses, Gayle has implemented multiple policies, practices and programs within Ascension St. John Hospital that are now becoming more widespread across Ascension, the largest Catholic healthcare organization in the United States. Among many other programs, the hospital offers advanced immersion into holistic nursing practice and modalities including in-depth study of the Theory of Human Caring and the Caritas Processes as Dr. Jean Watson is the hospital’s chosen Nurse Theorist.
Gayle facilitated ten other nurses at the hospital in completion of the Caritas Coach Education Program before determining she really needed to complete it herself (2018 completion).
Gayle is a member of AONL, AHNA, AACN and the International Association of Human Caring. Gayle’s work is now dedicated to the formal spread and transformation of true caring within our systems of healthcare – to make apparent the miraculous energy that is available to each being in the presence of universal love.