Diane M. Sauro

Diane has been a nurse for almost four decades, a Nurse Practitioner for 27 – and a Duke Nurse since 2009.  In 2019, she completed the Duke Johnson & Johnson Leadership Program.  This leader is visible and skilled in the clinical space, staffing on the Cardiology Team and rounding on her team of Advanced Practice Providers.  She supports approximately 100 APPs who care for thousands of cardiology patients across Duke University Hospital and in a partnership in Wake County.  During the pandemic, Diane started a Zoom-based series of free continuing medical education courses for APPs; volunteered in Duke vaccination clinics; and partnered with the Community Outreach Team at Duke Raleigh Hospital to stand up a vaccine clinic for the underrepresented Latino community near her home.


This Nurse Practitioner (NP) supports more than 90 Advanced Practice Providers across Duke Health.  She is a champion for staff and patients to ensure fairness, equity and respect are provided to all.  She leads by example and always does the right thing, despite how difficult the situation may be.  This NP partnered in Duke Heart to create a new way to support cardiac device interrogation that would reduce patient wait times by removing the need for a vendor for Emergency Department (ED) patients, using new technologies and workflows.  She shared this across the heart inpatient units and ED to ensure patient care is timely and within compliance standards.  This issue had been a challenge across various areas, and this nurse spent time working to mitigate this issue that was impacting the patients, their families and teams.


This dual-certified NP is also leader who is visible and skilled in the clinical space, staffing on the cardiology team and rounding in the clinical space to ensure excellence in care delivery.  Her more-than-30-years of clinical experience serves as a strong platform to enhance care delivery across the Heart teams.  She completed the Duke Johnson & Johnson Leadership Program and recently became certified as a Nurse Executive to further her professional development.  She shares her expertise by activities such as co-authoring an article on new electrophysiology (EP) therapies around subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators in the journal for the Heart Rhythm Society.

During the pandemic, this leader created the first Duke Heart APP zoom educational series to allow Duke providers to obtain continuing education credits.  This format was live and recorded, and has served as an example for other areas who are now replicating this type of series.


In collaboration with industry partners and our EP Physician Team, this NP led a project to roll out a simplified, point-of-care iPad program to allow for real-time bedside device interrogation without risk of device reprogramming.  The program allows immediate interrogation by nurses and APPs, with quick training on how to power up and hover over a device.  Because there is no risk of reprogramming involved, more staff can support interrogation, which is transmitted within 15 minutes for EP Team evaluation.  This technology was rolled across the inpatient heart teams and shared with the ED to enhance patient care and throughput.

In addition, this nurse supported her teams during the pandemic by starting a Zoom-based APP educational series with free educational credits by partnering with Duke’s Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development.  The attendance is high, and sessions recorded for those unable to watch real time.


This NP supports 90 inpatient APPs in Heart Services at Duke University Hospital and partners in Wake County to support the Heart APP team.  She has been a critical team member of the Duke Heart Team in Duke’s Wake County efforts and partnership.  In the past year, she has supported seven team members across DUHS, helping recruit, train and support new roles to enhance care delivery in much needed areas.  She is quick to support team members’ moving across roles in the system to support, create and grow new teams and roles to ensure success and optimal care deliver.  She rounds across the system and shares workflows and system learning in a seamless way, and is a tremendous resource across Duke Heart.  This nurse has created standard work and practice across the Duke System Heart APP teams.


During the pandemic, this nurse donated her time to work in Duke vaccination clinics.  She sought support to stand up a vaccine clinic for the underrepresented Latin community near her home in Raleigh.  She partnered with the Community Outreach Team at Duke Raleigh Hospital to recruit a team of Heart Team Spanish-speaking providers to staff the clinic.  Her dedication to Duke and the community are evident in her actions every day.  This nurse meets patients and families where they are and aims to support them in decision making and receiving culturally appropriate care.


This nurse is a dual-certified Nurse Practitioner who leads by example, as seen during the pandemic when she supported providers with a virtual Continuing Medical Education (CME) program, and supported the community by volunteering in the Duke Vaccine Clinic, and recruited Spanish-speaking heart providers to staff a vaccine clinic for the Latin community near her home.

FON Photos edited x Sauro

Diane M. Sauro


Director – Advanced Practice

Duke Heart Center

Duke University Hospital


Mary Ann & Robert H. Peter Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021