November 14, 2019

Ivory named director of VUMC Nursing Research

Catherine Ivory, PhD, RN-BC, RNC-OB, has been named senior director of Nursing Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Catherine Ivory, PhD, RN-BC, RNC-OB, assistant professor of Nursing, has been named senior director of Nursing Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Catherine Ivory, PhD, RN-BC, RNC-OB

For Ivory, it’s a homecoming. Her passion for obstetrics nursing and a lifelong interest in technology led her to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she completed her PhD in 2011. She subsequently joined the Nursing faculty and began a secondary appointment in the Department of Biomedical Informatics.

She left Nashville for the last two years to become associate chief nurse executive and vice president for Professional Practice and Care Transformation for Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.

She said she is pleased to be back in a leadership position that combines the disciplines she is passionate about.

“It’s a very, very good mix of my academic, research and administration skills,” she said. “My greatest areas of interest in research are really to demonstrate the value of nursing and the value of professional, evidence-based nursing practice, research that clearly allows us to verbalize and quantify the unique contribution of nursing to either the health of individuals or outcomes for patients. Because we’re just as focused in nursing as maintaining health as curing illness.”

Ivory brings decades of progressive nursing leadership to the role. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Florida, her nursing career began in Georgia. She earned her MSN from Georgia College and State University and spent most of her 20-year obstetric nursing career in Atlanta-area hospitals and practices. She maintained dual certifications as an informatics nurse and in inpatient obstetrics.

From there, she moved to Mountain States Health Alliance in Johnson City, Tennessee, where she served as clinical specialist and then corporate director for Women’s Services.

“Catherine brings a wealth of experience to this crucial role guiding our research and evidence-based practice enterprise,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Executive Chief Nursing Officer. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome her back to Vanderbilt.”

Ivory said her interest in informatics budded during her graduate education.

“I think it has been proven to be tremendously valuable to nursing professional practice because the old adage in nursing is if you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it,” she said. “How do we make that documentation valuable? And how do we make use of all this data that we’re collecting and make some sense of it? That’s really what prompted me to get into informatics and how I’ve stayed interested in it.”

Ivory will also serve on the faculty at VUSN, where she looks forward to continued research collaboration between the school and VUMC. She said her vision is to build on the tremendous living legacy of Nancy Wells, DNSc, RN, who retired last year after 25 years as director of the research program.