Symposium Speaker


Kathleen Bartholomew


Before turning to healthcare as a career in 1994, Kathleen Bartholomew held positions in marketing, business, communications and teaching.  It was these experiences that allowed her to look at the culture of healthcare from a unique perspective and speak poignantly to the issues affecting providers and the challenges facing organizations today.

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN has been a national speaker for over 15 years.  As the manager of a large surgical unit in Seattle, Kathleen quickly recognized that creating a culture where staff felt a sense of belonging was critical to retention.  During her tenure as manager, staff, physician and patient satisfaction reached the top 10% as she implemented her down-to earth strategies. Despite the nursing shortage, Kathleen could always depend on a waiting list of nurses for both units. 

Kathleen’s Bachelor’s Degree is in Liberal Arts with a strong emphasis on Sociology. This background laid the foundation for her to correctly identify the norms and particular to healthcare – specifically physician-nurse relationships and nurse-to-nurse hostility. For her Master’s Thesis she authored “Speak Your Truth: Proven Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication” which is the only book to date which addresses physician-nurse issues.  In December of 2005, Kathleen resigned her position as manager in order to write a second book on horizontal violence in nursing. The expression, “why nurses eat their young” has existed for many years in the nursing profession (and has troubled many in the profession).  In her book, “Ending Nurse to Nurse Hostility” (2006), Kathleen offers the first comprehensive and compassionate look at the etiology, impact and solutions to horizontal violence. Kathleen won the best media depiction of nursing for her Op Editorial in the Seattle P.I. - and in 2010 she was nominated by Health Leaders Media as one of the top 20 people changing healthcare in America.

Kathleen’s passion for creating healthy work environments is infectious. She is an expert on hospital culture and speaks internationally to hospital boards, the military, leadership and staff about safety, communication, cultural change and power.  With John J. Nance, she co-authored, “Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare” in 2012 which is the sequel to “Why Hospitals Should Fly” 2008.  From the bedside to the boardroom Kathleen applies research to practice with humor and an ethical call to excellence that ignites and inspires health caregivers and leaders to unprecedented levels of excellence.