Victoria L. Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN

Chief Nurse Executive, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Associate Professor, Nursing Administration, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Dr. Victoria Rich is recognized for her leadership in healthcare, business and nursing education; and most notably for her pioneering work in patient safety and cultural diversity. She is the 2013 recipient of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Prism Diversity award and was featured on the cover of the national magazine Nurse Leader June 2013 issue.

Dr. Rich has developed numerous patient safety initiatives for healthcare systems both nationally and internationally. Her experiential knowledge enabled her to develop a model for creating a risk reduction culture in healthcare through the process of systemic mindfulness. She is an acknowledged expert in root cause analysis and in the development of corrective action plans for hospitals and state and federal agencies. In 1997, Dr. Rich co-founded Rich Consultants and has provided consultation and expertise in Patient Safety and Nursing Leadership Practice worldwide. She has been a visiting Scholar for numerous United States Schools of Nursing and also in the countries of Japan, China, Qatar, England, Switzerland and Botswana. Her passion, leadership, numerous presentations and publications on patient safety, cultural diversity and inclusivity have gained both national and international notoriety.

Dr. Rich, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, is currently Chief Nurse Executive and Associate Executive Director at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. She directs inpatient and outpatient nursing practice at the 802-bed, quaternary acute care academic center and 47 medical practice sites. Since 2002, she has served in this position as a senior hospital administrator to implement the academic center’s missions, strategic plans, patient care programs, and the Nursing profession’s budgets, resource allocations and operational plans. MAGNET designation for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania was achieved in 2007 and re-designation in 2012. For the last 10 years, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania has been ranked as one of Best Hospitals in the Philadelphia region and the the United States by US News and World Report.

Dr. Rich is one of the few Chief Nurse Executives in the United States who also is an Associate Professor of Nursing Administration at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing. This joint appointment has enabled her to impact the changing landscape of healthcare by embracing a vision of a decreased variation and continuity of patient care delivery systems. She co-developed the first on- line interprofessional patient safety and quality course for the University of Pennsylvania Health System physicians, nurses and allied health professionals.

This partnership included Satell Center, Penn Medicine Center for Innovation and Learning and the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing.

In 2011, this joint appointment and collaborative partnership with Dean Afaf Meleis, PhD, DrPS (hon), FAAN. FRCN, enabled Dr. Rich to host the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing North Star Invitational Symposium. Forty national Nursing thought leaders gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to develop a Nursing Administration/Leadership Research Agenda for the next 3-5 years. The findings were published in the spring 2012 Nursing Administration Quarterly Journal. Dr Rich was co-guest editor of this edition with Dr. Kathy Burke, PhD, RN.

Dr. Rich is on the editorial board of Nursing Administration Quarterly and a peer reviewer for both American Journal of Nursing and Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing. She is an active board member for a variety of healthcare organizations that expand and demonstrate her wide spectrum of interest and impact. These include (1) Board member for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, (2) Executive Council member of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, (3) Executive Council member for LIFE (Living Independently For Elders) – a PACE program, (4) Board member for Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and a (5) National Board member for the Value Purchasing Steering Committee developed by Voluntary Hospitals of America.

Dr. Rich’s background includes numerous honors, awards and grants. In addition to being named director for a variety of endowed projects, in the past she has received the National Leadership Award for Hospital Pharmacy Clinical Effectiveness from the Voluntary Hospital Association in 2001. In 2006 and 2007 respectively she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Nursing and the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is a Virginia Henderson Fellow for International Sigma Theta Tau.

Dr. Rich earned Bachelor of Science in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1979 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She received a Master of Science and Doctorate degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984 and 1991 respectively.

Dr. Rich is the co-leader and innovator with the Chief Medical Officer, Patrick J. Brennan, MD in the development of the PENN Medicine Blueprint for Quality and Patient Safety. This strategic initiative has created an interdisciplinary model of care in which a physician, nurse manager and quality coordinator provide unit leadership. Dr. Rich and Dr. Brennan have been nationally recognized in numerous forums for this prescient work. Since the implementation of the interdisciplinary model in 2007, statistically significant rate decreases have been sustained in blood stream infections, ventilator related pneumonia, urinary tract infections and nosomical pressure ulcers.

Currently, Dr. Rich has created the Rich Leadership Academy. The Academy is comprised of expert Nurse Leaders who customize day long programs to nursing organizations who are requesting nurse renewal strategies, tool kits for patient and employee safety and patient satisfaction innovative approaches to engage clinical staff to be accountable “when no one is looking”. The hallmark of the Academy is to assist leaders to move from transactional leadership to transformative leadership through the art of executive narrative and storytelling strategies that can result in measureable patient outcomes.