Nurse Executive Competencies This grounded theory study investigated what basic social processes exist as competencies for success, as perceived by nurse executives who had successfully avoided a layoff in a transformed organization. Following data collection, data were coded and analyzed simultaneously using grounded theory method. The substantive theory of Integrated Knowledge was developed. The areas of Integrated Knowledge were leadership/management and communication. Leadership/management included the business processes used by the nurse executive in managing from the bottom up. Communication included the processes required by the nurse executive to talk the talk and walk the walk. An emotional response was also discovered. The emotion was an outcome of living day by day with the ongoing changes in the workplace, finding a place within the new organization, and the overwhelming commitment by the nurse executives to stay in the organization.