NRHA Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program 


Serve your patients and community with the highest quality care and confidence, by earning the NRHA Rural Hospital CEO Certification.

Enroll Now!

Kickoff is October 21st at 4 pm EST! 


Developed for Rural Hospital CEOs, by Rural Hospital CEOs.

Participants engaging in this program will be empowered to lead rural hospitals as CEOs to thrive, not just survive, and to improve the quality of life in rural America by effectively leading their hospitals and communities to create a culture of wellness.


Watch this short video to learn more about the CEO Certification Program from Program Director, Dr. Bill Auxier 

View FAQs about the Program Here

Get ready to make a difference!

Program Structure

In the CEO Certification Program, two weeks are spent on each module. With a total of 18 modules, the Program is approximately 10 months in length. Below is a detailed description of the time commitments and requirements for the CEO Certification Program: 

  • In week 1, Participants watch pre-recorded video lessons from the module preceptor/subject matter expert that takes no longer than 60-minutes. These videos, as well as all of the content you might need, are uploaded to a private website that you get access to where everything is available on demand, any time of the day.
  • In week 2, the Cohort comes together for a 90-minute, discussion based Zoom meeting on Tuesdays at 4 pm EST on a bi-weekly basis. We spend the entirety of this call focused on the module you watched the videos on in conversation through small breakout rooms, large group discussions, Q&A, as well as other conversations along the way. 80% attendance to these live Zoom sessions is required to earn the certification.
  • Testing: Participants must complete the four online exams with a 90% score or higher. Exams are multiple choice, true or false, select all type questions and are taken online at the end of a building block. A review video is shared for each exam as well.
  • Earning the Certification: To earn the CEO Certification, participants must:
    • Watch the module video lessons
    • Attend at least 80% of the live Zoom sessions
    • Complete all exams with a 90% score or higher
    • Complete the program pre and post-assessments
    • Tuition is paid 
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Want more information?

Complete the short form below to receive an informational flyer for the CEO Certification Program!

What difference does leadership make?

All the difference! Study after study confirms the relationship between leadership effectiveness and organizational success. That is why rural hospital CEO excellence is a must have! It is not an option in today’s disruptive world! We also need to be prepared for CEO turnover. Did you know that hospital CEO turnover leads all other industries? And when the CEO leaves the hospital, initiatives come to a screeching halt, and other leadership positions usually turnover as well.

With over 130 rural hospital closures since 2010, and more than 40% of all rural hospitals at risk, there has never been a greater need for leadership excellence.

In response to the rural hospital CEO Turnover Study and hospital closure crisis, we are introducing the Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program to arm rural CEOs with the competencies and skill sets to take on the unique challenges of rural hospitals and be or continue to be a top performing rural hospital CEO.

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Hear from our February 2020 Cohort:

“I have worked with boards and CEO’s for quite some time, but this class today gave me a different perspective of how different leadership styles and thought patterns succeed depending on the people they are influencing.” 

"Being a part of this program at this time couldn't be more beneficial!"

"I found the material to be beneficial and the time spent to be valuable. I enjoyed learning and interacting with others; especially liked the time in the break out rooms."

Our Mission 

Our mission is to improve life in rural America by stabilizing rural hospitals through education and engagement of current and future rural hospital CEOs to achieve leadership excellence resulting in healthy communities. We continue to work tirelessly with successful rural hospital CEOs to develop this rural hospital leadership program. This program is designed to take successful rural hospital CEOs to a new level of excellence, and to take aspiring rural hospitals CEOs to a solid foundation for leadership excellence. Leadership excellence in rural healthcare is critical to rural America!


The building blocks that make up the course curriculum were developed by successful rural hospital CEOs by answering this question:  What do you know now that you wish you would have known then? 

22% of the participants have been promoted!


In our February 2020 Cohort, 14 participants were CEOs and 9 were aspiring CEOs.

Today, 18 of those participants are currently CEOs, as well as one Director who is now a C-Level executive.

Alania Pendarvis Cedillo, Administrator - Marion General Hospital, Jefferson Davis Community Hospital


Hunter Nostrant, CEO - Helen Newberry Joy Hospital


David Doorn, Administrative Director - Sublette County Rural Health Care District


Jason Bleak, CEO - Battle Mountain General Hospital 


Brian Williams, CEO - Coal Country Community Health 


Anna Anna, CEO - Tyrone Hospital


Jenni Word, CNO - Wallowa Memorial Hospital


John McReynolds, CEO - North Valley Hospital