August 18, 2022

Dunworth named nurse executive for Advanced Practice

Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA, NEA-BC, has been named associate nurse executive for Advanced Practice in Vanderbilt’s Office of Advanced Practice.


by Matt Batcheldor

Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA, NEA-BC

Brent Dunworth, DNP, MBA, CRNA, NEA-BC, has been named associate nurse executive for Advanced Practice in the VUMC Office of Advanced Practice, effective Sept. 1.

Dunworth succeeds April Kapu, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, who was prominent in the development of advanced practice provider models at Vanderbilt. Kapu left the position last year, after being named president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and subsequently becoming associate dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Dunworth, who served as chief certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), came to VUMC in 2015 as associate director of Advanced Practice in Anesthesiology. Under his leadership, the service of advanced practice providers expanded in the perioperative space to meet the patient care demands at Vanderbilt. The CRNA team grew by more than 50%, and is now present 24-hours a day, seven days per week across the enterprise.

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the Vanderbilt Preoperative Evaluation Clinic and Perioperative Enhanced Recovery Services have experienced similar gains as well.

“Through these efforts, the team has been able to enhance the Vanderbilt patient experience through dramatic reductions in hospital lengths of stay, complication rates and opioid consumption,” said VUMC Executive Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC. “I am so pleased to welcome Brent to this position. We look forward to partnering with him as the health system continues to grow.”

“I am delighted that Brent will be leading the Office of Advanced Practice and continuing the strong collaborative relationships with other clinical leaders at VUMC,” said David Raiford, MD, chief of Clinical Staff for VUMC.  “He is a proven leader who brings great experience to this important role.”

Dunworth holds a primary faculty appointment in the School of Medicine as an assistant professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and a secondary appointment in the School of Nursing as an assistant professor of Nursing. In addition, he is a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology.

VUMC is a national leader in advanced practice. Along with physician assistant colleagues, advanced practice professionals include certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists. There are more than 325,000 nurse practitioners and 150,000 physician assistants in the United States today, and more than 1,200 advanced practice clinicians are at Vanderbilt.

“I am very excited to work alongside our outstanding advanced practice clinicians in this new role,” Dunworth said. “As our enterprise continues to grow, these clinicians will be a key element to the clinical service delivery in so many important ways.”

Dunworth joined VUMC from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he was the senior director for Nurse Anesthesia and faculty for the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and Waynesburg University College of Nursing. He was responsible for organizational growth and operations for 16 hospitals and more than 450 nurse anesthetists.

Dunworth earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from University of Pittsburgh prior to obtaining a Master of Business Administration from Waynesburg University. He then received his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

He worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for 16 years. Prior to that, he worked as a professional nurse for Allegheny General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Throughout his career, Dunworth has received many awards, including the Nevin Downs, MD, Leadership Award from the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia; University of Pittsburgh Outstanding Young Alumnus; Ruth Perkins Kuehn Award; Didactic Instructor of the Year and the State of Pennsylvania Nightingale Award.

Dunworth is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He has published multiple articles, presented his works in national forums and served on numerous academic, hospital and national committees.

Dubree thanked two interim leaders who have guided the Office of Advanced Practice since Kapu’s departure: Michelle Terrell, DNP, APRN, PNP, who has led the office’s regional and ambulatory work; and Jill Kinch, MMHC, APRN, PNP, who has overseen the core Office of Advanced Practice work, supported the adult inpatient enterprise and served as the representative of advanced practice on the Nursing Enterprise Cabinet.