APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Speaking to the World

Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta

Kathleen  Bartholomew

Kathleen Bartholomew

Author, Nurse Leader & Health Culture Expert


Before turning to healthcare as a career in 1994, Kathleen Bartholomew held positions in marketing, business, communications and teaching. It was these experiences that allowed her to look at nursing from a different perspective and speak poignantly to the issues that effect nurses today. Read More >

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN has been a national speaker for the nursing profession for the past 20 years. As the manager of a 57 bed surgical unit in Seattle, Kathleen quickly recognized that creating a culture where staff felt a sense of belonging was critical to retention. Throughout Swedish Medical Center Kathleen spoke to the numerous factors which propel our society toward isolation and encouraged staff to connect and value one another. During her tenure as manager, staff, physician and patient satisfaction improved significantly as she implemented her down-to earth strategies for creating community. Despite the nursing shortage, Kathleen could always depend on a waiting list of nurses for her unit.

Kathleen’s Bachelor’s Degree is in Liberal Arts with a strong emphasis on Sociology. This background laid the foundation for her to correctly identify the norms and particular to healthcare – specifically physician-nurse relationships and nurse-to-nurse hostility. For her Master’s Thesis she authored Speak Your Truth: Proven Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication which is the only book to date which addresses physician-nurse issues. In December of 2005, Kathleen resigned her position as manager in order to write a second book on horizontal violence in nursing. The expression, “why nurses eat their young” has existed for many years in the nursing profession (and has troubled many in the profession). In her book, Ending Nurse to Nurse Hostility (2006), Kathleen offers the first comprehensive and compassionate look at the etiology, impact and solutions to horizontal violence. Kathleen won the best media depiction of nursing for her Op Editorial in the Seattle P.I. and in 2010 she was nominated by Health Leaders Media as one of the top 20 people changing healthcare in America.

Kathleen’s passion for creating healthy work environments is infectious. She is an expert on hospital culture and speaks internationally to hospital boards, the military, leadership and staff about safety, communication, cultural change and power. With her husband, John J. Nance, she co-authored, Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare. From the bedside to the boardroom Kathleen applies research to practice with humor and an ethical call to excellence. Everyone that hears her is inspired. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Lessons from Nursing to the World | Kathleen Bartholomew | TEDxSanJuanIsland

Speech Topics

From Pandemic to Promise: A Care Plan for Nursing

The 2020 pandemic demanded the immediate and intense attention of nurse leaders to effectively respond to an on-going crisis. By nature and necessity, our focus narrowed. This session widens the lens by reviewing insidious national health issues that continue to contribute to the declining health of Americans. How can 4.6 million nurses actualize our potential, reverse current trends, and heal our profession? With a care plan for our beloved profession. In this session we asses and diagnosis our profession; providing a common framework from which to actualize the healing potential of nursing.

The Dauntless Nurse: Becoming a Skilled Communicator

Ultimately, it is the confidence and skill with which we hold our everyday conversations that will pave the way to a future time when our patients are safe, our voices are heard, and the skills and knowledge of this incredible profession are valued and utilized. Read More >

America needs nurses who are bold and intrepid; who have the confidence and skill to represent this noble profession. And at no other time in history have their voices been so desperately needed. Hospital based errors are now the third leading cause of death in America, despite our professional ethic of "First Do No Harm" - and yet recent surveys show that the majority of nurses are still avoiding the difficult conversations. In addition, the health of Americans is insidiously declining as the rates of cancer, diabetes and obesity steadily rise. Read Less ^

  1. Explain two reasons why our country needs nurses who are dauntless.
  2. Assess your confidence level in mastering challenging conversations.
  3. Identify a conversation that you have been avoiding and apply the DESC model.
  4. Discuss how and why courage plays a critical role in becoming dauntless.

A Passion for the Art of Nursing

Nursing is both a science and an art. The science of nursing requires us to engage our minds, while the art of nursing engages our soul. Using the power of story, Kathleen inspires nurses to be in awe and appreciation of nurses' work. This lecture challenges the way we perceive our own profession, reminding us of the moments where we have connected to another human being on the deepest of levels. When we encourage the role of nurse as artist, and integrate these qualities into our daily routine, we unleash our own personal power. Nursing then becomes a place to be nourished rather than drained. Read More >

Objectives Read Less ^

  1. Re-kindle your passion for the nursing profession
  2. Describe the benefits of practicing both the art and science of nursing for both patients and nurses
  3. Identify two situations in your practice where you have experienced or observed nursing as “art”
  4. Explain why the art of nursing has been portrayed as 'less than' science

Understanding Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Civility Matters

The expression “Nurses eat their young” is so far removed from our idea of the caring and nurturing nurse that we shudder to think it could possibly be true. Bur the truth is nurses are hurting each other. Stories from the 'front line' cannot be ignored. These stories are the voices of nurses telling the world about their experiences. The first step to healing our relationships is the most difficult: to recognize and openly discuss the problem. Only by understanding the origin and reasons for our behaviors can we even begin to create the healing environment that is so desperately needed in nursing- for ourselves, as well as our patients. Read More >

Objectives Read Less ^

  1. Understand that nurse-to-nurse hostility is an unconscious human behavioral response
  2. Explain why nurses experience un-caring behaviors from their peers.
  3. List one action that you can take to build a culture of healthy relationships and/or decrease horizontal hostility in the workplace.
  4. Describe the impact of horizontal hostility on the patient, our peers, and our profession

Strengthening RN/MD Relationships

The patient is the one who loses when nurses and physicians are in conflict. Research shows that not only do poor nurse-physician relations affect morale and retention, but also patient mortality. In order to achieve best practice, we need to understand why we play this game and how it started. Learn practical strategies for building good relations that will be ego-boosting for both nurses and physicians and leave this presentation with the courage and determination to improve your working relationships. Read More >

Objectives Read Less ^

  1. Identify two strategies that you can implement immediately to improve MD/RN relationships at your workplace.
  2. Explain one reason for the source of physician-nurse conflict.
  3. Recall a situation where you experienced or witnessed a power differential
  4. Describe a current situation in your practice where physicians and nurses play “the game”.