Cleveland Clinic Announces New Chief Nursing Officer at Fairview Hospital

Tenured leader brings 40 years of experience to role

With nearly 40 years of experience and expertise in the nursing profession, Mary Beth Thoburn, BSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, has been named Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital.

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Thoburn has spent more than half of her career – 25 years – in esteemed positions of nursing leadership and has become a distinguished expert in operations, budget management, performance improvement, clinical research, leadership development, clinical program implementation, service expansion, and hospital and nursing unit construction.

As CNO, Thoburn will lead Fairview Hospital’s nursing strategy, operations and caregivers, overseeing functions that include fiscal planning and management, staffing and resource allocation, operational management of inpatient and outpatient care and support areas, oversight of quality, and safety initiatives.

Energetic, experienced nurse and leader

Thoburn’s clinical expertise is in pediatric critical care nursing as well as adult critical care, emergency services and acute care nursing. She began her career in 1979 as a staff nurse at University Hospitals of Cleveland (UH). She quickly worked her way up the leadership ladder, and in 2006 joined Cleveland Clinic health system.

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Since then, she has served in various leadership roles with two Cleveland Clinic regional hospitals – most recently, at Fairview Hospital as interim CNO, Director of Critical Care and Emergency Services and Director of Medical-Surgical Services. Among her colleagues, she is known as an energetic leader who seeks to inspire all nursing caregivers to provide best-in-class patient-centered care.

“One of my core values as a leader is that my nursing teams always feel appreciated, encouraged and supported,” Thoburn says. “Healthcare is fluid in nature, and thus the role of the nurse is always evolving. I continually aim to create a work environment that supports change and gives nurses the tools they need to practice to the best of their abilities.”

Committed to coaching the next generation of nurse leaders

Additionally, Thoburn strongly believes that all nurses have the potential to be leaders, no matter their job title or role. Throughout her career, she has dedicated much of her time to coaching aspiring leaders. She is an avid proponent of on-the-job mentoring, ongoing professional development, continuing education and advanced skills training.

Thoburn herself is a board-certified nurse executive-advanced by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is also a member of numerous regional and national nursing associations and organizations, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the Ohio Association of Nurse Executives.

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“Thoughtful, compassionate, driven, influential and more, Mary Beth is simply a great leader,” says Cleveland Clinic Executive Chief Nursing Officer K. Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC. “Her more than two decades of nursing leadership experience coupled with her commitment to develop the next generation of nurse leaders brings tremendous value to Cleveland Clinic’s executive nursing leadership team and will, no doubt, continue to raise the bar in nursing services and patient care at Fairview Hospital.”

Thoburn officially accepted her new role in March.