Connie Barden, Chief Clinical Officer
of Critical-Care Nurses
Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN-E, CCNS, serves as the first chief clinical officer of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, joining together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses. AACN’s mission recognizes that patients and their families rely on nurses at the most vulnerable times of their lives. Acute and critical care nurses rely on the association for expert knowledge and the influence to fulfill their promise to patients and families. AACN drives excellence because nothing less is acceptable.
Barden provides strategic leadership that drives the development and implementation of clinical practice resources, products and programs that reflect state-of-the-art acute and critical care practice. She also ensures standards and guidelines meet the rigors of a rapidly changing healthcare environment as AACN addresses current and emerging practice needs.
As AACN president from 2002-2003, Barden launched the Bold Voices initiative, which galvanized the commitment of individuals and groups to relentlessly influence change in situations where barriers impede safe care and quality outcomes for patients and families.
In 2005, she led the task force that framed the landmark “AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments: A Journey to Excellence.” More recently, while tele-ICU clinical nurse specialist and then director of telehealth initiatives for Baptist Health South Florida in Miami, she co-led the task force that developed “AACN Tele-ICU Nursing Practice Guidelines.” Barden was previously director of clinical safety and innovation at Miami’s Mercy Hospital, with previous staff nurse and clinical nurse specialist appointments at other Miami hospitals.
A frequent speaker and respected author on topics such as cardiovascular nursing and issues impacting healthcare, Barden holds an undergraduate nursing degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in nursing from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She holds CCRN-E certification in critical care nursing and CCNS certification as an advanced practice nurse.
AACN honored Barden with lifetime membership and the first Flame of Excellence Award for her regional and national contributions to acute and critical care nursing. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing recognized her as alumna of the year. She has received Mercy Hospital’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Health Care Hero Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.