James Cato, EdD, RN, MHS, MSN, CRNA, CPEHR,

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  • 2002 Alumni
    James Cato

System Chief Nurse Executive

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System

Corpus Christi, TX


With more than 35 years in the healthcare industry, Jim Cato, Ed.D, RN, CRNA, MHS, MSN, CPEHR is one of the most respected nurse executives in the nation.  Dr. Cato is currently the System Chief Nurse Executive for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, Texas where he oversees strategic planning, professional practice and clinical education for this hospital system. With 6 hospitals across the coastal bend of Texas, CHRISTUS Spohn is the largest health system in the region.  In addition, Dr. Cato provides executive leadership for pharmacy services across the region.  In addition to being a registered nurse, Dr. Cato is a certified registered nurse anesthetist.


Prior to joining CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, Dr. Cato was the chief nursing officer for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. From 2003-2010, Dr. Cato was the Chief Nursing Officer for Allscripts, a global health information technology company. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Cato served as Executive Vice President for Clinical Operations and system Chief Nursing Officer for NCH Healthcare in Naples, Florida.  Prior to 2000, Dr. Cato was Vice President of Nursing for Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Virginia.  Sentara, the largest integrated health system in Virginia is affiliated academically with Eastern Virginia Medical School.


Dr. Cato has written numerous publications and book chapters on topics specifically related to anesthesia nursing, clinical informatics and health care leadership.  Dr. Cato is on the editorial board for the AONE official journal, Nurse Leader and the Advisory Board of American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association.


Dr. Cato is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist for Scientific Writers.  Dr. Cato has served in many capacities for a variety of professional organizations such as serving as President of the American Informatics Association 2007-2008.  Most recently, Dr. Cato is serving on the AONE Technology Committee and on the IOM/Futures of Nursing Committee.  Dr. Cato serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA), the Board of Directors for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) and is a member of the leadership committee for the Texas Team Coalition for the Advancement of Nursing.  Dr. Cato is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Drexel University/Josiah Macy Foundation as well as a member of the Advisory Board for Tyler & Company.


Dr. Cato received his BSN from Southern Illinois University in 1978, His certification in nurse anesthesia from the Harris Hospital School of Anesthesia in 1983, His Master of Health Science degree from Texas Wesleyan University in 1990, His Master of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University in 1995 and His Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University in 2008.


Dr. Cato serves as adjunct faculty at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, College of Nursing, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.