Nursing Institute Names Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Surgical Services

Outcomes-driven surgical nurse veteran leads strategy

The Cleveland Clinic Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute for Nursing Excellence announces the appointment of Carol Pehotsky, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, ACNS-BC, CPAN, as associate chief nursing officer (ACNO) of surgical services for Cleveland Clinic health system.

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Cleveland Clinic’s surgical nurses provide support for 10 clinical institutes located throughout Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, regional hospitals and outpatient centers. In her role, Dr. Pehotsky is responsible for leading the strategic direction of all surgical nursing services throughout the health system, as well as providing direct oversight and supervision for the surgical nursing areas within Cleveland Clinic main campus.

“Cleveland Clinic’s Executive Nursing Leadership team is extremely pleased to have Carol leading our organization’s extensive surgical nursing services,” says Executive Chief Nursing Officer K. Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC. “Her career accomplishments are nothing short of stellar, and I am confident her expertise and innovative strategic thinking will further advance our more than 280 enterprise-wide operating rooms as well as the professional practice of our roughly 2,000 surgical services nursing caregivers.”

Leader, educator and experienced practitioner

A known leader, educator and experienced clinician in perianesthesia and perioperative nursing, Dr. Pehotsky is committed to implementing and revising policies that ensure procedures reflect evidence-based practice and regulatory requirements. Throughout her career, she has also worked diligently to provide professional development opportunities for nurses, surgical technologists and surgical nursing leadership, in addition to advocating for surgical technology and perioperative nursing within the higher education setting.

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Prior to her current position, Dr. Pehotsky served as interim senior nursing director for surgical services at Cleveland Clinic main campus. Before that, she was a well-known leader within Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Nursing Education and Professional Development for six years and a clinical nurse specialist intern and perioperative educator for two years.

During this time, Dr. Pehotsky collaborated with organization departments to develop the curriculum for the surgical operations/surgical services nursing and perioperative departments. She also worked closely with area schools to create an ST-RN bridge educational program; developed partnerships with local colleges and universities to advocate for surgical technology and perioperative nursing; and she implemented a monthly educational series designed to support the professional development of Cleveland Clinic’s surgical nursing leadership.

One of Dr. Pehotsky’s most notable career highlights was the development of online annual competencies designed to increase knowledge among staff, promote flexible scheduling and streamline the intraoperative nurse orientation process – which resulted in significant organizational cost savings and a new hire retention rate of 93 percent.

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Committed to advancing surgical nursing

“Surgical nurses are truly the backbone of the surgical team and I am honored to have the opportunity to further advance Cleveland Clinic’s top-notch surgical nursing services,” Dr. Pehotsky says. “Our nurses are focused on delivering optimal outcomes and providing patients with safe, quality and effective care through the latest technology, innovation, research and education – and we are going to continue to make the practice of excellent nursing our top priority.”

Dr. Pehotsky is a member of three national nursing associations; holds certifications as an adult health clinical nurse specialist, advanced nurse executive and perianesthesia nurse; she presents on a variety of perianesthesia and perioperative nursing topics worldwide. In addition, she has served as an author, contributor and reviewer for several national nursing journals and publications.

She holds a doctorate of nursing practice degree from Chamberlain College of Nursing, a master’s and bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Akron, and an associate’s degree in nursing from Lorain County Community College. She also has a master’s degree in music education with a music therapy concentration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Dr. Pehotsky officially accepted her new position in April.