Alumna leads nationally through VA

Alumna Cynthia D. Cleveland is Associate Director of Patient Care Services at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Cleveland Cynthia webBy Laura Lesley

Cynthia D. Cleveland, DNP, RN, NE-BC, is Associate Director of Patient Care Services at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a role in which she is responsible for the oversight of nursing and clinical practice of more than 800 staff.

With more than 20 years of experience in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Cleveland has held prior positions as Chief Nurse of Acute and Tertiary Care, Nurse Manager of Cardiac and Surgery Intensive Care Units, Acting and Interim Associate Medical Center Director and Assistant Medical Center Director.

Notably, through her service as the Nursing Clinical Lead for Veteran Integrated Service Network 7, she collaborated with other nurse executives throughout the country to develop tools to enhance the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader within the VA system. Cleveland is also a trained negotiator and has served as Chief Negotiator for union contracts.

“I am a strong proponent of education, and I advise everyone I mentor to return to school soon after earning their BSN,” she said. “I am fortunate I was able to work a full-time job and be a full-time student. My doctoral degree from the UAB School of Nursing has empowered me to speak up and to use the knowledge I gained to move my sphere of influence forward.”

Cleveland’s advice to young nurses is to keep their patients as top priorities — “We all became nurses to help others. Treat patients and their families as your own, and communicate clearly, honestly and professionally.”

“Mentorship is also important,” she said. “Identify a trusted colleague early in your career who can guide you. Even today as a hospital administrator, I greatly value my mentors, and in return, I mentor others as my way of giving back.”

Read 2211 times Last modified on January 20, 2021

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