Cindy Dawson

Cindy Dawson, MSN, RN, CORLN

Chief Nurse Executive (CNE)


"Being part of an internationally renowned academic medical center that is on the cutting edge of patient care, research, technology, and education is gratifying and rewarding. Nursing plays a critical role and impacts all these areas. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics leads the nation in advancing the nursing profession. Being designated as a Magnet organization four times speaks to ongoing commitment, ability to achieve outstanding results, and skill in translating nursing research and evidence-based practice into practice at the point of care." — Cindy Dawson

Prior to being named interim chief nursing officer in June 2016, Dawson was the director of nursing services for ambulatory nursing. She has more than 40 years of experience at UI Hospitals & Clinics, beginning as a staff nurse in otolaryngology in 1975 and moving into leadership roles soon after. Over the years, her nursing experiences have come from a variety of settings, including adult/pediatric ambulatory care, adult inpatient, and adult/pediatric procedure areas. 

Dawson is a frequent presenter at regional and national meetings, and the author or co-author of many articles and book chapters focused on clinical care and evidenced-based practice.

Dawson is a member of several professional societies, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives, The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nursing (SOHN), and The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. She held several leadership roles within SOHN, including president.

Among the awards she has received during her career is being named as one of the 100 Great Iowa Nurses. 





  • MSN, Nursing Administration, University of Phoenix, Tempe, Ariz.
  • BSN, University of Iowa, College of Nursing, Iowa City, Iowa