With more than 16 years of experience in nursing leadership roles, Sue A. Behrens, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, was appointed Chief Nursing Officer of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), the first U.S. multispecialty hospital outside North America. She will participate in strategic, tactical and capital planning processes for the 356-bed state-of-the-art hospital, in addition to overseeing all nurses practicing within the organization.
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Behrens believes the key to success during her 35-year nursing career – and as CNO at CCAD – is passion. “You need passion to inspire others,” she says. “If you don’t have passion for the work you do, or the mission and values of the organization you work for, then you are not going to be successful in driving outcomes and providing a world-class patient experience.”
Bringing the Cleveland Clinic model of care to Abu Dhabi
Behrens has been an integral part of the team at CCAD, joining the hospital in the United Arab Emirates in 2014, a year prior to its official opening. She has served in a variety of leadership roles where she was involved with the planning and opening of CCAD. During her time there, Behrens has helped create the advanced practice provider program, junior caregiver program, patient companion program, the Al Ain outpatient project and, most recently, the CCAD Nursing Academy for Emirati caregivers. In 2018, she published a journal article on constructing an APRN practice model in the UAE.
Prior to being named CNO, Behrens was ACNO and acting CNO at CCAD. “Sue has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in nursing leadership that will allow her to continue to excel in this new leadership role as the CNO for CCAD,” says Cleveland Clinic Executive Chief Nursing Officer K. Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC. “She is passionate about nursing and healthcare delivery, which allows her to continue to support the mission of the Nursing Institute.”
CNO with diversity
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic, Behrens spent most of her career at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center (SFMC) in Peoria, Illinois, an academic medical center with 616 inpatient beds. Before working in several leadership roles throughout the organization, she was a life flight nurse for 14 years. She also served as a faculty member of the SFMC College of Nursing’s graduate doctorate program from 2012 to 2016.
While at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Behrens partnered with colleagues to develop the first Disaster Preparedness Department in the state and led the accreditation for both Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, as well as overseeing the Emergency Department approval for a Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care Center.
Behrens’ dedication to the nursing profession extends beyond the walls of the hospitals where she works. She has more than 25 years providing medical care in Haiti, as well as being involved in local homeless clinics in her state. In the past decade, she has participated in speaker and poster presentations on a variety of topics, including succession planning for nurse leaders, sexual nurse examiner programs and stroke treatment. She also was principal investigator for a pediatric asthma project with the U.S. Children’s Hospital Association.
Behrens’ passion, commitment, knowledge and experience make her a true asset to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi as the hospital provides patients in the UAE direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers.