Karen K. Davis, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Associate Vice President, Chief Nursing Executive, University of Rochester Medical Center

Karen K. Davis, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, a nursing leader with 30 years of experience at Johns Hopkins Health System, has been selected as Associate Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive (CNE) with nursing oversight responsibilities for Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, and affiliated UR Medicine hospitals. For each hospital, Davis will work with the respective nursing leaders and CEOs to establish consistent and outstanding nursing practice, announced Steven I. Goldstein, President and CEO of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals.

As CNE, Davis will oversee the largest single department at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), providing leadership for more than 3,500 nurses and patient technicians at Strong, an 846-bed teaching hospital which also includes the Wilmot Cancer Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Highland, a 260-bed community hospital.

She will also be appointed assistant dean for clinical practice at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Davis will begin her new roles on June 1.

Davis joined the Johns Hopkins Health System in 1989 as a nurse on the Neuro Critical Care Unit and served in a variety of roles in subsequent years, including nurse manager and director of medical and radiology nursing. She was also a faculty associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing for the past 20 years. In 2014, she was named CNO at Howard County General Hospital, a Johns Hopkins Health System affiliate, where she led a staff of more than 1,200 nurses and techs to significant improvement in patient care.

Throughout her tenure at Johns Hopkins, Davis has focused on improving the patient experience. She was instrumental in designing and implementing throughput initiatives to help alleviate crowding in the Emergency Department and workflow throughout the hospital, and she has led the effort to reduce readmissions, a benefit for both patients and the hospital’s finances. She has been actively involved in the organization’s journey toward systemization.

An upstate New York native, Davis earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Towson University and her master’s and PhD in nursing from Johns Hopkins. She is a speaker and published author in heart failure self-care, cognitive impairment, and leadership development, and is board-certified as an Advanced Nurse Executive.


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