Project Description


Cornell University
, one of the nation’s leading and most distinguished universities, is seeking a collaborative and forward-thinking leader for the position of Director of Nursing & Clinical Support Services. This is a distinctive and exciting leadership opportunity as Cornell Health is moving toward its next level of excellence by creating a new department that brings together nurses and clinical administrative assistant (CAA) professionals into one cohesive department of Nursing & Clinical Support Services. This new alignment will enhance collaboration across Cornell Health, partnering with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), Medical Services, and Administrative Services, in the equitable support of student-facing clinical functions with a goal of advancing the unit’s long-standing aspiration of providing holistic, whole person care. 

The Director of Nursing & Clinical Support Services will occupy a vital leadership role within Cornell Health, both reporting to, and serving as a key thought partner with, the Assistant Vice President of Student & Campus Life for Health and Wellbeing (AVP) in support of the AVP’s leadership of, and vision for, comprehensive student well-being at Cornell. The Director will lead a vibrant, student-focused, high-performing leadership team, including four nurse managers and an assistant director of clinical administrative support, plus staff nurses (RN/LPN/CMA) and CAA professionals in a department of approximately 60 dedicated permanent team members plus many valued per diem and temporary employees. The Director will oversee a large segment of Cornell Health’s clinical operations and will be responsible for the oversight of all aspects of nursing and CAA functions.  

The Director is a critically important partner in creating a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Cornell Health. This position will partner with the AVP and Senior Staff in the strategic direction of the unit, co-develop organizational policy, and collaborate in the direction and oversight of Cornell Health clinical operations, playing a key role in matters of public health.  The Director will share their professional expertise with the campus through relationships with key campus partners, and membership in campus committees.

This position is considered an Essential Employee, needed on campus to meet the needs of students, research programs, or general operations when the university is in reduced operating status or closed. 

Recognizing that no candidate will encompass every attribute described within, in general, Cornell Health leaders strive to demonstrate integrity, initiative, enthusiasm, professional and personal growth, mutually respectful communication, flexibility, and adaptability. A key member of the Cornell Health leadership team, the Director of Nursing & Clinical Support Services will ground decision-making in a principled approach while operating with a high level of independence, navigating an inter-professional clinical care environment and complex campus community. The Director will lead by example, fostering strong working relationships with Senior Staff and campus partners alike, and collaborating with colleagues at all levels and in all departments of the unit.

An advocate of a best-practices, data-driven approach to health care management, the Director of Nursing & Clinical Support Services will partner with unit leaders to steward and optimize Cornell Health’s many resources. With relevant experience in complex health environments requiring collaborative approaches, blended with a deep appreciation of the expertise of others, the Director will advocate for effective systems and build on a foundation of dedicated staff. The Director will seek to broaden and enhance professional skills through active participation in continuing education activities and professional organizations, through participation in ongoing Quality Improvement activities, and by maintaining a robust and relevant professional network.


About Cornell Health

Cornell Health is a fully accredited ambulatory care college health center committed to providing integrated and culturally sensitive mental health, medical, health promotion, public health, student accommodations, and occupational medicine care and services. Dually focused on holistic health of Cornell students and well-being of the larger campus community, the unit supports readiness to learn, to participate fully in the Cornell experience, and to achieve academic, work, and life success. Cornell Health benefits from many resources, most importantly including the more than 200 stellar individuals who compose the amazing Cornell Health team, as well as a $32M operating budget, an award-winning new building that was designed to facilitate interdepartmental collaboration, and an excellent reputation on campus, locally, and in the field of college health. Cornell Health is nationally recognized for innovation and leadership, and is committed to an ongoing journey toward integrated, cost-effective, and community-based services and campus health initiatives.


Responsibilities/Essential Functions

Leadership (40%)

  • As a vital member of the Senior Staff, set policy, support strategic vision for integrated care, and improve processes. 
  • Lead the department of Nursing & Clinical Support Services in a way that fosters team-based, inter-professional collegiality across the unit.
  • Develop, supervise, and mentor a strong, cohesive nursing and clinical support leadership team.
  • Foster a positive working culture based upon shared innovation, continual improvement, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among all team members through interpersonal interactions and policy decisions.
  • Evaluate and modify (as necessary) goals, objectives, and organizational structures to provide patient care and community health in alignment with the Quadruple Aim (better individual care, better population health, at low cost, and focused on students)
  • Collaborate with Cornell Health’s finance team to develop and implement budgets that meet the needs of the organization while appropriately resourcing nursing and clinical support services.
  • Represent Cornell Health to the broader university and local community, including campus and community strategic partners.

Operations (35%)

  • Partner with Senior Staff in leadership and direction of day-to-day clinical operations that are student-centered, culturally sensitive, efficient, and effective, through provision of nursing and CAA services that support optimal workflows throughout Cornell Health.
  • Ensure appropriate regulatorily-compliant nursing support for general clinic operations on multiple medical and CAPS units, and for major clinical programs (Sports Medicine, Women’s and Sexual Health Services, the Cornell Health Eating Program, and Behavioral Health Consultant Program), as well as for CAPS psychiatry.
  • Ensure efficient and effective care management and referral management for Medical Services and CAPS.
  • Ensure nursing services that abide by all the legal requirements, nursing laws and regulations, current trends, and unit policies.

Public Health Surveillance and Patient Care (10%)

  • Lead programs for communicable disease prevention and notification.
  • Ensure coordination of care for patients requiring isolation for communicable disease and collaborate with campus partners to ensure appropriate clinic operational and campus response for these patients.
  • Partner with the Health Informatics team on disease surveillance methods.
  • A leader by example, the Director pitches in to perform front line duties such as providing direct patient care, updating records, and entering patient data, when necessary to maintain appropriate patient care and flow.

Supervision (5%)

  • Ensure training, evaluation, hiring, retention, and career planning for the nursing (RN, LPN, CMA) and CAA leaders and staff, working with program managers and HR professionals.
  • Directly supervise managers in Nursing & Clinical Support Services in all areas of performance and talent management, to mentor strong leaders in the unit.

Quality Assurance & Improvement (5%)

  • Ensure adherence to policies and procedures of Cornell Health, both in observing and encouraging positive contributions and adherence, and also in recognizing potentially harmful or hazardous situations.
  • Take a data-driven, systems approach to monitoring operations.
  • Promote a culture of improvement in the workplace, encouraging staff to look for ways to improve policies and culture.

Administrative and Other Duties (5%)

  • Support health promotion and outreach efforts.
  • Support continuing education, orientation, and in-service trainings.
  • Participate in peer review activities.
  • Participate in Cornell Health and Student & Campus Life projects as assigned.
  • Additional duties as assigned by manager.


Position Requirements

  • MSN or equivalent combination of training and experience. Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in New York State, or eligible for licensure.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in acute or ambulatory care nursing.
  • Minimum 5 years of supervisory and management experience. 
  • Current CPR certification required; must be maintained throughout duration of employment.
  • Ability to apply the New York State Nurse Practice Act to ensure nursing clinical operations comply with all relevant regulatory requirements.
  • Familiarity with PC based computers, Microsoft Office, and comfort with electronic health record systems.
  • Ability to be a positive contributor to and leader of a team-based inter-professional environment with an innovative, improvement-oriented culture. Ability to diffuse emergency situations with a strong, yet compassionate, approach.
  • Knowledge of policy and procedure structure, development, and adherence. 
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information. 


Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nursing administration, DNP, completion of certificate program in nursing executive leadership or college health administration, or similar. 
  • Thorough knowledge of supervisory, budgeting, communication, and personnel principles.
  • Interest in and concern for health problems encountered in a diverse campus community.


Application Process and Timeline

The University has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.com. The subject line of the email should read “Cornell – Nurse Director.”  A confidential review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. All materials submitted by March 26, 2021, will be given full consideration. 

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to the K&A senior consultant leading this search, Dr. Jan Walbert, at jwalbert@KeelingAssociates.com.


EEO Statement

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement. 

Download a copy of the position profile, click here.