Cathleen A. Wheatley, MS, RN, CENP

Cathleen Wheatley, MSN, RN, CENP

Cathleen Wheatley became chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical operations of Wake Forest Baptist Health in September 2014.

In her position, Wheatley is responsible for the overall performance of assigned clinical care operations across Wake Forest Baptist, including oversight of nursing care for patients throughout the health system. She also has responsibility for clinical compliance, nursing informatics, patient experience and clinical information systems training.

Prior to joining Wake Forest Baptist, Wheatley worked for 2 years in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) as system chief nurse executive. SEHA includes 12 hospitals with 2,600 beds, 62 ambulatory care clinics and 17,000 employees.

At SEHA, she established enterprise-wide nursing and allied health integration through standardized evidence-based clinical competencies and productivity measurement. She also developed a system-level capacity management plan subsequently adopted by the regulatory body and a standardized model for care coordination, utilization management and operational measurement.

Before going to Abu Dhabi, Wheatley was senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer and chief nurse executive at DeKalb Regional Health System. Prior to that, she served as the health system’s chief quality officer.

Her accomplishments at DeKalb Regional include reducing length of stay, reducing hospital-acquired infection rates and establishing a Center for Nursing Practice to optimize nursing excellence at the bedside and to recruit and retain top nursing talent.

Wheatley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and a graduate certificate in gerontology at Georgia State University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Degree at the University of Central Florida. She is a certified executive in nursing practice (C.E.N.P.) as credentialed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the North Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

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