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Joan Kavanagh, MSN, RN - Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland, OH, US

Joan Kavanagh, MSN, RN

Associate Chief Nursing Officer, CCHS | Cleveland Clinic


Joan Kavanagh ensures that the right nurses are matched to the right jobs and that professional development keeps them engaged





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Joan Kavanaugh, MSN, RN: Nursing Education




Joan M. Kavanagh, MSN, RN, is the Associate Chief Nursing Officer (ACNO) of Professional Development at Cleveland Clinic (CC) in Cleveland Ohio. She earned a BSN (The Catholic University of America), and a MSN in Medical-Surgical Nursing (Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University).

She has received several honors and awards: she received the Innovator Award from CC in 2007 for development of the Faculty Allocation Optimization Tool; the Honors Award from ANCC Magnet in 2010 for her leadership in establishing the Deans’ Roundtable Faculty Initiative; the Nurses Choice Award for Media Support from the Ohio Nurses’ Foundation in 2011 for the creation of the video “The Legacy Continues with You” and was honored as the Nurse Leader of the Year in 2012 by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Publications have focused on innovative strategies to mitigate the nursing faculty shortage and education designed to assist students and new nurses navigate the electronic health record. Contributions to medical-surgical textbooks included several chapters on cardiovascular assessment and physiology in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions of Phipps, Long and Woods, Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing.

In 2005, she co-founded and led the Deans’ Roundtable Faculty Initiative and helped to create a robust electronic database matching nurses who wish to serve as part-time clinical faculty with open positions in schools of nursing in Northeast Ohio. To date, the faculty initiative has helped fill more than one hundred open clinical rotations. In collaboration with the Deans and faculty of participating schools, she developed a faculty boot camp to introduce clinical nurses to the roles and responsibilities of serving as clinical faculty. With experience as a former nursing faculty and a NLNAC accreditor, she has provided nursing education consultation to hospitals in Abu Dhabi and a school of technical Nursing in Egypt. With the CC Lerner College of Medicine at CWRU, she is involved in creating simulation based programs to develop interprofessional competencies in communication and teamwork in the clinical setting.

Current research and clinical interests focus on assessment, development and maintenance of clinical competency, as well as the development of a simulation-based nurse residency program for newly licensed registered nurses.

Industry Expertise (4)

Health Care - Services

Health Care - Facilities

Health and Wellness

Health Care - Providers

Areas of Expertise (8)

Nursing and Faculty Shortage

Competency Assessment

Nursing as A Career

Simulation in Nursing Education

Preparation to Practice Gap


Onboarding and Professional Development

Nursing Education

Accomplishments (2)

Nurse Leader of the Year 2012 (professional)

By Crain's Cleveland Business

Nurses Choice Award 2011 (professional)

The Ohio Nurses' Foundation awarded Joan Kavanagh for creation of the video "The Legacy Continues with You"

Education (2)

Case Western Reserve University: MSN, Medical Surgical and Nursing 1979

The Catholic University of America: BSN, Nursing 1977

Affiliations (3)

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • The Catholic University of America
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University

Event Appearances (4)

Nursing Across an Integrated Health System

Executive Visitors' Program  Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Patient Experience

Empathy & Innovation Summit  InterContinental Hotel, Cleveland, Ohio


Opening Remarks

Nursing Research Conference  Cleveland Clinic (Lyndhurst Campus)


Ensuring a Competent Nurse Workforce: Bridging the Preparation-Practice Gap

Samson Global Leadership Academy  Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute


Sample Talks (1)

Nursing Education

Ms. Kavanagh shares how an organization can create an evidence-based Registered Nurse Residency Program for newly graduated medical-surgical nurses, helping them to develop into confident, competent, compassionate caregivers. Nurses learn to recognize changes in patient conditions, implement relevant interventions, understand the rationale behind those actions, and communicate with the healthcare team. Ms. Kavanagh also shares how nurses and physicians collaborated to develop education around p


  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader