Over the course of her career, Meredith A. Lahl, Nu’99, GNu’02, has distinguished herself as a leader committed to advancing the nursing profession. Recognizing this dedication, Cleveland Clinic named Meredith its first-ever associate chief nursing officer (ACNO) of advanced practice nursing in September 2016.

For five years prior, Meredith led Cleveland Clinic’s advanced practice nursing program as senior director, providing strategic leadership for Cleveland’s advanced practice nurses and supervising the health system’s 40 inpatient clinical nurse specialists. In her new role, she is responsible for the oversight and supervision of the scope of practice, recruitment, quality, credentialing and privileging of Cleveland Clinic health system’s more than 1,000 advanced practice nurses. Cleveland Clinic is the largest employer of APRNS in the state of Ohio and one of the largest in the country.

Meredith cites her time at Penn Nursing as a leading driver in her development as a trailblazer in the field.

“My Penn Nursing education was the foundation in preparing me to be a nurse leader. The extraordinary faculty and my fellow students pushed me to think anything was possible as a future nursing professional.”

With dual certification as a CNS and as a nurse practitioner in pediatrics, Meredith has spent much of her career focusing on the pediatric oncology patient population. Her expertise is noted throughout the healthcare industry, and she has been recognized by several organizations, such as the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She is the National Secretary for APHON and the Board Liaison to ONCC. Additionally, she served as a content expert and chair for the ANCC’s pediatric CNS exam and role definition study. Currently, Meredith is working on her executive MBA at Case Western Reserve University, which she will complete spring 2017.

In addition to her research and clinical practice, Meredith continues to be a committed teacher, having served as a skills lab instructor for Penn Nursing, an independent nurse education consultant, a lecturer to new staff within Cleveland Clinic’s pediatric nursing orientation, and as a certified pediatric nurse review lecturer. Among her other leadership at Cleveland Clinic, Meredith also serves as the chairperson of the Cleveland Clinic nursing’s image and branding council, and legislative and health policy council.

In early 2017, a main focus of her role as ACNO will be launching a Cleveland Clinic APRN Fellowship. Meredith and her colleagues have spent several years strategically developing this fellowship in an effort to further train the growing number of nurses in pursuit of advanced practice roles. It is designed to train participants to successfully transition into the clinical decision-making role required of advanced practice nurses.

In creating this fellowship, Meredith has thought back to her own education and experiences, and hopes to be able to pay it forward to prepare the next generation of nurse leaders.

 “I remain deeply grateful for my Penn Nursing education,” said Meredith. “The high-level thinking and challenging curriculum significantly contributed to my career advancement. My approach and decision-making has remain influenced by this academic foundation, and will continue to shape my work at Cleveland Clinic.”