Cathleen A. Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP

Cathleen Wheatley

Cathleen A. Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP, currently serves as the system chief nurse executive and senior vice president of clinical operations at Wake Forest Baptist Health (WFBH) in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Wheatley joined WFBH in September of 2014.

In this role, Wheatley is responsible for nursing practice and operations throughout the health system, for patient experience, care coordination, clinical compliance and nursing education, and for clinical information systems training. She has extensive experience as a healthcare executive, both nationally and internationally.

Prior to joining WFBH, she served as the first corporate nurse executive of SEHA (Abu Dhabi Health Services) in the United Arab Emirates. During her tenure with SEHA, Wheatley was responsible for the professional practice and development of more than 9,000 Nursing and Allied Health professionals and for the coordination of care in the advancement of patient outcomes throughout SEHA’s 12 hospitals and 62 ambulatory care clinics.

Previously, she held senior leadership positions at Dekalb Regional Health System in Atlanta, Georgia, serving in various roles including senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer, chief nurse executive and chief quality officer.

Wheatley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Georgia State University and her doctorate in nursing practice at the University of Central Florida. She is board certified with the American Organization of Nurse Executives as a certified executive in nursing practice and has completed the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Nurse Leader Program.

Wheatley has professional affiliations with the American Nurses Association, N.C. Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, American Organization of Nurse Executives, North Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a board member of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) and a CNO Council member for both the Beryl Institute and the HealthLeaders CNO Exchange.

Wheatley serves on the advisory board of several schools of nursing including Capella University, the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, and Winston Salem State University. Wheatley’s philanthropic interests include the economic independence of women in developing countries and educational preparatory programs with a global focus. She is a current sponsor of Women for Women International and a past member of the board of trustees of the Atlanta International School.