UI Health Care names Kimberly Hunter chief nursing executive

Nursing leader comes to Iowa from Cleveland Clinic; past experience includes Mayo Clinic

University of Iowa Health Care leaders have named Kimberly D. Hunter, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing executive (CNE) at UI Hospitals & Clinics.

Hunter will begin April 15 and report to Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, CEO of UI Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president for UI Health Care.

As CNE, Hunter will lead the UI Hospitals & Clinics Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care and provide administrative oversight to nursing services, the division of care coordination, and the departments of rehabilitation therapies and respiratory care.

Kimberly Hunter, portrait
Kimberly D. Hunter, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC

“We are thrilled to have Kim as a member of our senior leadership team,” Gunasekaran says. “She brings a wealth of experience and leadership—in inpatient and ambulatory care management; staffing and resource allocation; continuous quality improvement; and nurse recruitment and retention. Also, Kim’s experience and insight regarding the Magnet® re-designation process will be extremely valuable as we begin our journey toward a fifth Magnet® designation next year.”

Hunter brings more than 30 years of health care management experience to the CNE position at Iowa—including nearly 20 years at two of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals: Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. She currently serves as associate chief nursing officer of Cleveland Clinic main campus and director of nursing for Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute and its Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Institute.

I am very excited to join the UI Hospitals & Clinics team as the chief nursing executive. UI Hospitals & Clinics has such a rich nursing legacy and has long been recognized as an excellent provider of health care for the citizens of Iowa and beyond. I look forward to working with all members of the health care team to build upon that foundation as we serve our patients and families.

— Kimberly D. Hunter, chief nursing executive

At Cleveland Clinic, Hunter has been responsible for the nursing practice of nine institutes, overseeing 569 inpatient beds on the main campus, numerous ambulatory clinics, and approximately 1,700 caregivers. She oversees clinical operations at the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute, which includes 122 inpatient beds, all neurosurgery, neurology, and stroke center outpatient areas, and more than 400 allied health care providers. Similarly, she leads clinical operations for the Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Institute inpatient and ambulatory areas, which includes 34 beds and 150 caregivers.

Hunter was instrumental in the Cleveland Clinic’s attainment of Magnet® re-designations in 2013 and 2018 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes health care organizations that exemplify excellence in nursing. UI Hospitals & Clinics was the first in Iowa to earn Magnet® designation in 2004, and it has been re-designated three times (2008, 2013, and 2018).

During her time at Mayo Clinic, Hunter led administrative functions for numerous clinical divisions, provided operational expertise, managed annual budget planning, analyzed financial performance, and developed and operationalized several new strategic programs.

Hunter succeeds Pamela Johnson-Carlson, DNP, RN, NE-BC, chief administrative officer of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, who has served as interim CNE following the retirement of Cindy Dawson, MSN, RN, CORLN, FAAN, in December 2020.

“I really appreciate Pam’s commitment to leading the Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care in addition to her administrative duties with the children’s hospital. She also chaired the search committee for the CNE position, so special thanks to her—and the entire search committee—for doing such great work,” Gunasekaran says.