An experienced healthcare consultant

With a background that has touched on numerous nursing specialties -

Dr. Dawna Cato has a unique perspective on nursing preparation and education.

Professional Biography

My background includes a variety of nursing specialties which enable me to bring a full range of perspectives to nursing education. I obtained my BSN and Master’s in the Science of Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. In 2013, I received my PhD with a specialization in Nursing Education from Capella University.  I am involved in several local, state, and national organizations. My passion lies with advancing health and leading change to improve patient outcomes. Currently I am the Lead for the Arizona State Education Practice Collaborative (EPC) to advance the Institute of Medicines Recommendations (2010) to implement Nurse Residency Programs. I am also a member of the Education Committee to advise the Arizona State Board of Nursing as well as appointed to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commissioner on Accreditation. 

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I have a strong conviction towards preparation of the future nursing workforce and providing a seamless transition to professional practice. I have been teaching in both the academic and service sector since 2006 and can easily identify the gaps that lead to transition shock of new and experienced nurses entering a new practice arena. My Dissertation explored the relationship between a BSN Nurse Residency Program and evidence-based practice of the incumbent nursing workforce. I have taught a variety of courses and content in the practice and academic arena using effective modes of delivery such as; online, simulation, traditional classroom, precepting, and clinical instructor. My strengths lie in program design and development to meet the diverse needs of the adult learner. 

Work as a nurse and professor

Today Dr. Dawna Cato has more than 20 years of experience in the field of nursing. She has worked with many industry-leading institutions on her path toward becoming a global director of professional nursing development and academic partnerships.


Of course, teaching has been a big factor in her career; she's taught in both professional practices and academic settings since 2006. Her methods of instruction include online, simulation, traditional classroom, precepting and clinics.

Organizational involvement

A range of local, state, regional and national groups and committees have benefited from Dawna Cato's expertise.

For example, she is on the Education Committee that advises the Arizona State Board of Nursing. In addition, she serves as the Lead for the Arizona State Education Practice Collaborative (EPC) as it works on the Institute of Medicine's 2010 Recommendations to implement Nurse Residency Programs.

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