K. David Bailey
May 2022
K. David
Nursing Administration
Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center
Santa Monica
United States




David is fueled by compassion for excellent patient care and provides the resources for staff to thrive by elevating the voices of bedside nurses.
When I think of what leadership truly is, our amazing CNO David Bailey comes to mind. While in nursing school, I remember looking around for inspiration, someone I could look up to and try to emulate. Unfortunately, I never found that mentor, I was simply an outsider, a male nurse in a profession of predominately women. It wasn't until I started my career at UCLA Santa Monica, in the audience at a Welcome event, that I found that person. This event would completely change my life as a nurse.

When David started to speak...every single person in the packed auditorium was intently listening to him. David could pick out a new graduate nurse in the crowd - I have never heard of a CNO with such dedication to every single member of their organization! A few weeks later, David came up to our unit, introduced himself, and personally welcomed me to UCLA Santa Monica. I asked my fellow new grads at other institutions if their CNOs round on units and introduce themselves to staff, and I was met with ‘no’ from every single person. David models exactly what every single leader should strive to be. David displays the most amazing characteristic of leadership, and commitment to change no matter how difficult the situation may be. David encourages nurses to call him at any hour. He once shared a story where a nurse had called him in the middle of the night. There is no leader in nursing who would give out their phone number to staff, let alone field calls in the middle of the night to discuss patient care and staff wellbeing!

With every challenging situation, David consistently asks the question "What can we do to support you?" He has a method of facilitating discussion and guiding the conversation while allowing bedside nurses to drive the conversation. David is fueled by compassion for excellent patient care and provides the resources for staff to thrive by elevating the voices of bedside nurses. David above all is an amazing, compassionate, and humanistic person. As an example, I was waiting in line to be swabbed for COVID in early 2020. Behind me in line I heard a familiar voice, it was David. I was scared and nervous that I was sick. They called David's name before mine, although I had been waiting longer. David pointedly said, "My nurses can go before me." After being swabbed, David told me, "Although we may be living in a difficult time and a difficult situation, we will get through this together."

David is selfless, a champion for his staff, and an amazing person. Instead of worrying about himself, he was more concerned about my well-being. David is that guiding light pushing me to be a better nurse, leader, and person. Thank you, David, for inspiring me and so many others.