As chief executive officer of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), Dana Woods partners with the organization's boards of directors to provide leadership and strategic vision for AACN and AACN Certification Corporation. Woods has focused her career on translating innovative business strategies to advance the missions of nonprofit organizations. She leads a team of more than 170 staff who are dedicated to furthering AACN's vital contribution to creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families.
Before becoming CEO in 2014, Woods served as a member of AACN's senior staff leadership group for over a decade, leading the teams accountable for strategic planning, marketing, communications, membership, certification, information technology and organizational effectiveness. She spearheaded strategy development and led implementation for several signature initiatives, including "AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments" and AACN Clinical Scene Investigator Academy. She also directed design and production of plenary sessions for AACN's annual National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition.
In addition to leading the extensive market research efforts for the association, Woods served as co-investigator and co-author of three collaborative national studies examining nurses" perceptions of the health of their work environment. She served as co-investigator for two national studies on how health professionals" communication skills influence patient safety. Woods also co-authored a landmark AACN white paper on certification. She authored or co-authored articles published in Critical Care Nurse and JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, and chapters on marketing for two editions of Huber's "Leadership and Nursing Care Management."
Woods holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Tufts University and a master's degree in business administration from University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Graduating with honors, she is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society recognizing business excellence.