Ena Williams Headshot

Ena Williams PhD, MBA, RN, CENP, FAAN


Senior Vice President / Chief Nursing Officer

Yale New Haven Hospital

Ena currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), a 1541-bed three-time ANCC Magnet ® designated, level I trauma Academic medical center. She is the very 1st African American CNO appointed at YNHH.

Ena began her career in Jamaica after graduating from the University Hospital of the West Indies. She migrated to the United States and in 1991 was employed as a staff nurse at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York. In 1992 she joined the staff at Yale New Haven as a staff nurse in the operating room and quickly progressed through several leadership positions: Laser Coordinator, Perioperative Educator, Patient Services Manager, Nursing Director, VP, and Associate Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Services.

Ena assumed the role of chief nursing officer in 2018 and most recently led the nursing team through the COVID-19 pandemic, leading clinical and operational teams across the health system. She was the first black nursing director, VP, and Senior VP of Nursing at Yale New Haven Hospital. Ena serves on numerous local, state, and national boards and is active in her community. She currently serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Joint Commission and the American Nurses Association Foundation, the Committee for Clinical Leadership of the American Hospital Association, the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Hospital Association and is a member of the Local Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. She also serves on the Gateway Community College Foundation, the University of Bridgeport Nursing Advisory Board, and the University of Connecticut School of Nursing DEI Committee. She is an active member of her church community serving in several capacities.

She has been recognized with the Hometown Hero Award from the Gateway Community College in New Haven (2020), the Trailblazer award from the National Black Nurses Association (2017), the Cornell Scott Health Leadership Award from the NAACP of greater New Haven (2015). She is a published author of nursing book chapters, journal articles and a frequent speaker at local, state, and national conferences.

Ena graduated from the University Hospital of the West Indies with a Diploma in Nursing, Western Governors University (BSN), Albertus Magnus College (MSM/MBA), and PhD, in Management and Leadership from Walden University. Ena is a graduate of the GE Health Management Nurse Executive Fellowship and is Board certified in Executive Nursing Practice from the American Organization of Nursing Leadership. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2023)

She is a member of the American Organization of Nursing Leadership, the American Nurses Association, the Organization of Nurse Leaders (New England), and a Lifetime member of the National Black Nurses Association. She was recently elected as President-elect for the American organization of Nursing leadership and will assume that role in 2024 and the presidency in 2026.