Chief Nursing Officer, UVA Health

Kathy Baker, PhD, RN, NE-BC

Kathy Baker, PhD, RN, NE-BC, Chief Nursing Officer



Kathy Baker, PhD, RN, NE-BC, serves as chief nursing officer at UVA Health. Baker came to UVA from VCU Health, where she had more than two decades in nursing leadership, including most recently as associate chief nurse and associate vice president of nursing. Baker also serves as adjunct faculty for the VCU School of Nursing’s master’s program in Nursing Leadership. While at VCU, she oversaw transformational efforts to strengthen the nursing workforce, increase the focus on quality and patient safety, and improve overall operational efficiency. At UVA Health, her priorities include advancing new nursing care models to ensure UVA Health is making the best use of all team members’ skills and supporting the recruitment, retention, and mentorship of outstanding nurses.

Baker is also a prolific author and nurse scientist, with a research focus in work environments, patient safety, and workplace satisfaction. Her recent publications include:

  • Wolf, L, Delao, A, Perhats, C, Baker, K, Olson, C, Development of Nurse-Sensitive, Emergency Department-Specific Quality Indicators Using a Modified Delphi Approach. Journal Nursing Care Quality, April, 2022. 
  • Baker, K Commentary: Creation of a Nursing Confidence Scale.   Journal Research in Nursing. Accepted for publication – November 2020.
  • Baker, K Commentary:  Student Outcomes in an International Learning Collaborative to Develop Patient Safety and Quality Competencies in Nursing.  Journal Research in Nursing. Accepted for publication – October 2020.
  • Dow, A, Baernholdt, M, Santen, S, Baker, K, Sessler, C (2019) Practitioner wellbeing as an interprofessional imperative, Journal of Interprofessional Care, November 2019.

Baker has also served on a variety of national and state workgroups to advance the contributions of nursing.   Recent efforts include:

  • Co-Chair (2015-2016) for the American Nurses Association Professional Issues Panel – Examining Barriers to Top of License Practice for Frontline RNs
  • Chair (current) Virginia Nurses Foundation Mental Health Round Table – Access to Care Workgroup
  • Chair (current) for the Emergency Nurse’s Association National Quality Council – Developing Nurse Sensitive Quality Indicators for Emergency Nurses
  • Board Member (current) – Virginia Nurses Foundation
  • RWJF Future of Nursing Summit – Virginia Nurse’s Association Representation 2022

Baker has a PhD in nursing and an MS in nursing administration from VCU.