Sue A. Behrens, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, is chief nursing officer for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), the first U.S. multispecialty hospital outside North America. She was instrumental in the planning and opening of CCAD and has served in a variety of leadership roles there since 2014. Behrens believes that passion is the key to success. As a leader, she strives to inspire others, promote the mission and values of Cleveland Clinic, drive positive outcomes and provide a world-class patient experience.
Behrens spent more than 25 years at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, an academic medical center in Peoria, Illinois, in multiple leadership roles before joining CCAD as executive director, ambulatory, emergency services and imaging. In 2016, Behrens became director advanced practice in addition to her existing responsibilities. In that role, she helped develop the United Arab Emirates scope of practice for advanced practice providers and oversaw creation of the CCAD advanced practice provider program. She served as ACNO and acting CNO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi before being named CNO in 2019.
- Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership, Arizona State University, 2016
- DNP, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, Peoria, Illinois, 2012
- MSN, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, Peoria, Illinois, 2006
- BS, University of Saint Francis, Joliet, Illinois, 1996
- Diploma, Methodist Medical Center, Peoria, Illinois, 1984
- Board Certified Advanced Nurse Executive (NEA-BC), American Nurses Credentialing Center
- Board Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACNS-BC), American Nurses Credentialing Center
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Al Maryah Island
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
+971 52 905 0237
Behrens is a passionate leader and advocate for safety, quality and the patient experience. With more than 15 years of experience in nursing leadership roles, Behrens has an array of accomplishments. As CNO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, she participates in strategic, tactical and capital planning processes for the 356-bed hospital. During her tenure at CCAD, she has helped create the advanced practice provider program, junior caregiver program, patient companion program and Al Ain outpatient project. At OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Behrens partnered with colleagues to develop the first Disaster Preparedness Department in the state of Illinois and managed the hospital’s Magnet® designation process, as well as two recertifications. In 2016, she was part of the Executive Fellowship in Innovation Health Leadership cohort-based program to prepare professionals for executive leadership responsibilities that drive innovation.
Clinical Practice & Teaching
Behrens’ clinical areas of expertise include emergency services, trauma services, flight nursing and disaster preparedness.
Behrens served as a faculty member of the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing’s graduate doctorate program from 2012 to 2016. Earlier in her career, she was the Emergency Department educator at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. She has also served as a basic and advance trauma life support instructor, emergency nurse pediatric course instructor and course coordinator, and trauma nurse core course instructor and course coordinator.
Research & Publications
In the past decade, Behrens has participated in speaker and poster presentations on a variety of topics, ranging from succession planning for nurse leaders to sexual nurse examiner programs and stroke treatment. As a board member and Medical Advisory Committee Chair for Friends of Children of Haiti, she’s given several presentations related to caring for patients following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. She also served as principal investigator for a pediatric asthma project with the U.S. Children’s Hospital Association. In 2018, Behrens published a journal article on constructing an APRN practice model in the UAE.
- Member, Emergency Nurses Association
- Member, American Organization for Nursing Leadership
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
- Member, Society of Trauma Nurses
- Member, UAE Nursing and Midwifery Council
- Co-founder and Board Member, Antrepriz Vole Kayiman
- Board Member and Medical Advisory Committee Chair, Friends of the Children of Haiti
Honors & Awards
- Nursing Excellence Exemplary Professional Practice Award, Nurse Leader, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, 2013
- Excellence in Professional Nursing Award, Education Excellence, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, 2000
- Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award, 1991
Throughout Behrens’ career, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center achieved the following honors:
- Accreditation as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, Illinois Department of Health, 2014
- Lantern Award, Emergency Nurses Association, 2013
- Magnet® Designation, American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2005