Peter Berry

Peter is an exemplar for professional growth and academic progression.  Thirteen years ago, while in nursing school, he joined Duke Raleigh Hospital as a Nursing Assistant and Health Unit Coordinator on the night shift.  As an RN, he worked in the ICU, became Nurse Manager of the Intensive Care and Neuroscience Stepdown Units, and served as a Clinical Operations Director, before being promoted to Associate Chief Nursing Officer.  A talented leader, Peter encourages staff to talk about their thoughts, perspectives and concerns.  With staff input and buy-in, he has led projects to significantly improve patient outcomes and employee engagement.  Of note:  Reducing by 60% the time patients spent awaiting discharge; and the “Bed Ahead” initiative, which helped get ER patients into an inpatient room nearly two hours sooner.


This collaborative transformational leader role-models integrity in all his actions.  He owns decisions made and coaches others to do the same.  He creates an environment where team members feel personally and professionally safe to share experiences, practices, and contribute to learning from events.  He supports team members to share lessons learned and creates an environment of growth.  This year, this nurse has led an ED status project by collaborating with the ED leaders to identify opportunities to improve patient flow and ensure the team has the resources needed to support care delivery for the shift.  When first starting the project, this nurse was transparent that he was unsure what it would look like, but the team would work together to work on the process and outcomes as the project continued.  Today, this project encompasses the entire inpatient environment and the ED.  He creates a safe space for nurse leaders to share thoughts, perspectives, concerns; and models transparency for leaders to create genuine engagement.


This double-certified nurse advances the nursing profession through providing extraordinary support, leadership, and devotion to nursing.  He engrains patient-centered care, promotes excellence in practice, and encourages personal and professional growth of nurses.  This nurse is a living role model, progressing from a unit secretary to a senior nurse leader role in the health system.  This doctorally-prepared nurse leader, also pursuing a post-DNP Quality Scholar Certificate, stays active by attending a diverse number of state and national conferences.  He is a true leader by acting as a resource for a broad array of nursing staff, Charge Nurses, and Managers. This nurse mentor actively engages leaders in stretch projects facilitating nurse managers and leaders’ professional development and personal growth.  He coaches others to go to where the work is done to gain a better understanding of the work, challenges, and develop partnerships to improve the work environment.


This nurse mentor helped develop and initiate a 24/7 ICU Rounding Nurse Program at the hospital which helped to decreasing the number of Code Blues by 32%, decreasing the number of Rapid Response Team (RRT) calls by 30%, and decreasing the number of RRT patients transferring to the ICU from 25% to only 8%.  As a change agent, he presented a poster about this extraordinary program at state and national conferences, advocating for collaboration between nurses to proactively initiate assessment of declining patients in the inpatient setting.  In addition, this nurse shared the program design with other hospital systems inquiring about initiating similar programs to improve patient outcomes.

This nurse led an interprofessional project focused on improving patient falls and hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPIs).  He partnered with frontline team members to understand challenges and resources needed to improve patient care.  Based on team member feedback, he worked with leaders across the system to pilot a new role called the Patient Safety Attendant Aide.  This innovative role focuses on early ambulation, proactive toileting, turning and range of motion.  This project has not only improved patient outcomes related to falls and HAPIs, but it has also had a positive impact on the patient experience, staff satisfaction and nursing retention.


This certified nurse collaborates with the entire healthcare team to improve nursing practice and quality outcomes.  As part of the total quality management system and our organization’s commitment to zero harm, he partnered with the Duke Quality System (DQS) coaches and teams to develop and implement swarms to investigate, solve to root, and test experiments when harm events occurred.  Swarms are conducted on patient falls and employee injuries to learn what happened, and to put a containment strategy in place to prevent the event from occurring in the future.  He worked with infection prevention to swarm on hospital-acquired infections and across the disciplines, to create an inclusive problem-solving team focused on real-time learning and improvement of patient outcomes.  Currently, the organization swarms on harms closest to the time of the event, on all shifts.  Findings are shared through the tiered huddle system to establish awareness across the organization and to share best practices.  This dynamic leader saw a gap in communication between the providers and nurses regarding communicating critical information.  Through partnership with the Hospitalist Team, they developed a critical, versus routine, communication pathway for patient information from nurses to providers.


This nurse demonstrates and exemplifies Swanson’s Theory of Caring in nursing practice through a commitment to the patient experience and outcomes.  This nurse was involved throughout the hospitalization of a young patient admitted to the ICU with a complicated and unexpected diagnosis.  He guided the family through challenging conversations and difficult decisions by facilitating communication with the interdisciplinary team.  He consistently advocated to follow through with the patient’s wishes by coordinating meetings daily.  Through extensive collaboration, he helped develop a care plan that met the patient’s medical needs and adhered to their wishes.  He continued to encourage the patient and family to believe in the patient’s recovery.  This nurse symbolized empathy and compassion and provided a continuum of emotional support alongside pastoral care and their church group’s support.  Throughout the patient’s stay, this nurse empowered the family to continue advocating for the goals of their loved one and projected the core of Duke’s values, while remaining committed to the patient.


This transformational nurse leader and mentor advances the nursing profession through innovation in care delivery models, improving patient outcomes, and creating a culture of professional growth.

Peter Berry

Peter Berry


Associate Chief Nursing Officer
Medical, Surgical and Critical Care
Duke Raleigh Hospital


Hill-Rom Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice



Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021