Joan Caley, RN, MS, CNS, CNL, NEA, BC has always pushed herself towards the highest levels of clinical excel­lence while also pushing the nursing profes­sion forward.

Joan was a pioneer with the American Nurse Creden­tialing Center, serving in the original cohort of Magnet Recog­ni­tion appraisers. As a champion of the Magnet program for over 20 years, she has visited over 40 organi­za­tions as an appraiser. Believing in the value of this type of program in other settings, she served from 2009 to 2012 on ANCC’s taskforce to promote the Pathway to Excel­lence program for long-term care facilities.

Joan has been a leader in promoting certi­fi­ca­tion in nursing by serving on the ANCC Commis­sion on Certi­fi­ca­tion from 1990 to 1992 and as a content expert for the Commu­nity Health Nursing Certi­fi­ca­tion Exam Content Expert Panel. As a leader in WSNA, she spear­headed efforts for CNS title protec­tion in Washington. She is proud to hold four active certi­fi­ca­tions: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Commu­nity Health Nursing (ANCC); Nursing Execu­tive, Advanced (ANCC); Geron­to­log­ical Nursing (ANCC); and Clinical Nurse Leader (AACN).

Over a 34 year career at the Portland VA Medical Center, Joan has made signif­i­cant contri­bu­tions to the care of veterans across the country. She began as a surgical and ortho­pe­dics nurse in 1972 and ended her career as the Admin­is­tra­tive Director of the Rehabil­i­ta­tion and Long-Term Care Division overseeing both insti­tu­tional and non-insti­tu­tional long-term care services for veterans.

While at the VA, Joan served as a member of the Resident Assess­ment Instrument/​Minimum Data Set (RAI/MDS) Steering Committee and her leader­ship helped imple­ment the RAI/MDS across the VA system. This clinical tool is used in the private sector and is a compre­hen­sive assess­ment used to plan care in long-term care facil­i­ties and collect quality measures. The VA’s adoption of the tool allowed the VA to have nation­wide quality measures and compare care across the VA system and to the private sector. This work has elevated the level of care veterans receive at VA long-term care facilities.

As a member of the Clark County Public Health Advisory Council, Joan has been a passionate advocate for her commu­nity. She was successful in ensuring that public health was included in Clark County’s Compre­hen­sive Growth Manage­ment Plan. As a result, growth must now address public health issues like access to parks, sidewalks and healthy neigh­bor­hoods. She has also advocated for impor­tant public health needs like the invest­ment of resources in metham­phet­a­mine abuse. Addition­ally, Joan has volun­teered with two organi­za­tions that serve the most vulner­able in Clark County – those with mental illness and those who are homeless.

A WSNA member since her initial licen­sure, Joan has made profound contri­bu­tions to the nursing profes­sion and to her colleagues. Joan has been a key leader in her district associ­a­tion, the Fort Vancouver Nurses Associ­a­tion, while also holding numerous WSNA elected and appointed positions over the years. A key achieve­ment during her tenure as District Presi­dent was supporting the estab­lish­ment of the Free Clinic of South­west Washington, now the largest free clinic in the state of Washington. She continues to improve our profes­sion in her role as an adjunct faculty member at Washington State Univer­sity – Vancouver where she is teaching her students princi­ples of commu­nity health along with valuable leader­ship lessons.

Through her pursuit of clinical excel­lence, advocacy in public health, leader­ship across numerous organi­za­tions, and commit­ment to teaching and inspiring a new gener­a­tion of nurses, Joan has ensured that nurses, her commu­nity, and nursing will be better for years to come.