What does it take to become a CIO, if you're coming out of a clinician background? Repeatedly executing successful clinical IS implementations, said three senior IT executives with nursing backgrounds, two of them CIOs, on Saturday. During the first day of activity at HIMSS 2009 in Chicago, Aurelia Boyer, R.N., senior vice president and CIO at the gargantuan New York-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City; Nympha Kleidel, R.N., CIO, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Massapaqua, N.Y., and Suzanne Carter, R.N., Ph.D., vice president of IS customer services at the eight-hospital MedStar Health based in Baltimore, all agreed that showing strong competency as a clinician informaticist in leading clinical IS implementations is the road to becoming a CIO or moving in that direction. They spoke at the nursing informatics symposium, one of several symposia held on what used to be the "day before" the HIMSS Conference's official opening, but is now simply the first day of activity. With the HIMSS Conference hitting Chicago for the first time, it will be interesting to see whether the choice of this city as a venue has any concrete impact on healthcare IT's biggest annual event. Of course, it may be hard to parse the choice of venue apart from the impact of the recession; but HIMSS officials quashed rumors that attendance would be down significantly (solid preliminary numbers should be available Sunday); and they also confirmed that HIMSS 2010 will be in Atlanta, and HIMSS 2011 will return to Orlando, site of HIMSS 2008. Also confirmed was the semi-permanent nixing of the possibility of a HIMSS in Las Vegas, because of the hotel industry's inability to close the deal on an expansion of available breakout rooms. Meanwhile, for all those coming to Chicago this year, welcome to Chicago! I'm wishing all HIMSSters an excellent conference.