Donna L. Bertram, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, has announced she will retire in March from a 45-year nursing career that spans patient care, leadership, operations, research and education.
"I have been blessed to be in the best profession of nursing," Bertram said. "I am grateful for the many people who have encouraged and supported me. I have had so many wonderful opportunities to make a difference. This career has been the best dance ever."
Bertram is credited with spearheading many innovative developments that improve nursing and patient care, including establishing a healing-arts committee to explore alternative therapies; implementing a nursing knowledge expo where nurses can share ideas; launching the hospital's efforts toward gaining Magnet designation; and implementing a comprehensive residency program.
Bertram joined the hospital's administrative team in 2005 after serving 13 years as the chief operating officer/chief nursing officer of Penrose St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, CO. Before that, she was the vice president of nursing for Penrose St. Francis from 1988-92. She began her career at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 1972 as the director of med/surg nursing, director of the cardiovascular lab and in-service educator for critical care, and was promoted to vice president of nursing in 1984.
Bertram is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Texas at Arlington's School of Nursing and a member of Sigma Theta Tau. In 2009, she earned the highest recognition given by the American Organization of Nurse Executives - the Organizational Innovation Award for Nurse Executives. This year she was named one of Dallas/Fort Worth's Great 100 Nurses and recently earned the Legacy of Women Award.
During her retirement, Bertram plans to spend time with her twin daughters and grandchildren while following her passion for studying theology.