December 1, 2022

Pediatric nursing leader Krause set to retire

After nearly four decades of service to children and families, Kathie Krause, MSN, RN, NNP-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, is set to retire.

Kathie Krause, MSN, RN, NNP-BC, NEA-BC

by Christina Echegaray

After nearly four decades of service to children and families, Kathie Krause, MSN, RN, NNP-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, is set to retire.

Krause became CNO of Monroe Carell in 2015, which marked a return to Vanderbilt, where her career began, or as she likes to say, the place where she “grew up.” She first worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse from 1984 to 1991, leaving as other nursing opportunities arose before her return to Monroe Carell 24 years later.

“When I started my career as a NICU nurse here in 1984, I never thought I’d leave. And when I left, I never planned to come back. But when I returned to Monroe Carell, I knew I’d never leave again,” Krause said.

“And now here I am, leaving the place that first taught me to be a nurse, shaped by the people who taught me the value of teamwork, collaboration, leadership and a curiosity to learn, and helped me turn a passion for patients and those who care for them into an amazing and satisfying career. For that, I will forever be grateful to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carell.”

Krause will remain in her role until a successor is named following a national search, currently underway.

“In her two tours of duty at Vanderbilt, Kathie has been passionate about constantly improving the care of our youngest patients and their families,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Executive Chief Nursing Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Leading by example, she has elevated nursing practice at Monroe Carell. It has been such a pleasure to be her colleague, and I wish her the very best in all of her next adventures.”

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Krause’s passion for nursing stemmed from watching her aunt, a now-retired nurse, prepare for shifts at a local hospital. Deciding she wanted to pursue nursing too, she chose to attend nearby Kent State University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

It was following a tour of a neonatal intensive care unit where Krause witnessed tiny infants fighting for lives that she found a passion for caring for children.

After graduation in 1984, she moved to Nashville, where her parents had relocated, and began working as a NICU nurse at VUMC, when the pediatric unit consisted of three floors inside the adult hospital. Krause became part of a groundbreaking team, one of eight people who would embark on establishing Vanderbilt’s first pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program — now one of the most well-regarded ECMO programs in the world.

While at Vanderbilt, she also earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the School of Nursing in 1992.

As career opportunities took Krause to Alabama and across Tennessee, she accepted administrative roles in which she found joy in caring for “people who take care of people” and making “a better environment for patients and families.”

Since returning to Vanderbilt, Krause has built a nursing department focused on putting the needs of children and families at the center of the care and nursing practices.

Additionally, she has prioritized creating the infrastructure to encourage and support professional development of staff and leaders through further education or clinical advancement, specialty certification, the use of evidence-based practice, and national recognition for their work.

“It has been a true privilege to work with Kathie. She was one of my earliest nursing colleagues as a brand-new intern. I was thrilled when she returned to Vanderbilt for her last career chapter,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Monroe Carell.

“She is passionate about excellence in patient care and equally committed to advancing the practice of pediatric nursing. I treasure her insight from a quality, education and business perspective. She influenced my learning as a new physician and has continued to offer guidance to me as a senior leader. Her sense of passion is infectious, her commitment admirable and her humor a blessing. She will be missed by me and our entire leadership team.”

As part of the Monroe Carell executive leadership team, Krause has led and guided nursing teams through the hospital’s significant growth and ongoing four-floor expansion.

Additionally, she has seen Monroe Carell through two American Nursing Credentialing Center Magnet review processes, one in 2017, and again with the most recent successful survey that resulted in the fourth Magnet designation.

Another proud accomplishment for Krause was helping secure Monroe Carell’s first facility dog, Squid, in 2020, made possible by the generosity of Mars Petcare.

Krause’s impact and achievements are felt by many, including John Thomas, MD, Chief of Staff for Monroe Carell, who highlighted how she was one of his biggest advocates as he entered that role.

“In order to be as successful as possible, the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief of Staff have to support one another and be an example of the dyad model of physician and nurse leadership that is on display here throughout Monroe Carell,” Thomas said.

“I have learned and grown so much in my position because of the wisdom and problem-solving skills Kathie has graciously bestowed upon me over the last few years. I will always remember what I refer to as “Kathieisms,” as they will serve me well going forward. Kathie has been a phenomenal resource and an even more phenomenal friend. I will miss her very much.”