Joan Caley


Joan Caley, RN, MS, CNS, CNL, NEA, BC has always pushed herself towards the highest levels of clinical excellence while also pushing the nursing profession forward.

Joan was a pioneer with the American Nurse Credentialing Center, serving in the original cohort of Magnet Recognition appraisers. As a champion of the Magnet program for over 20 years, she has visited over 40 organizations as an appraiser. Believing in the value of this type of program in other settings, she served from 2009 to 2012 on ANCC’s taskforce to promote the Pathway to Excellence program for long-term care facilities.

Joan has been a leader in promoting certification in nursing by serving on the ANCC Commission on Certification from 1990 to 1992 and as a content expert for the Community Health Nursing Certification Exam Content Expert Panel. As a leader in WSNA, she spearheaded efforts for CNS title protection in Washington. She is proud to hold four active certifications: Clinical Nurse Specialist in Community Health Nursing (ANCC); Nursing Executive, Advanced (ANCC); Gerontological Nursing (ANCC); and Clinical Nurse Leader (AACN).

Over a 34 year career at the Portland VA Medical Center, Joan has made significant contributions to the care of veterans across the country. She began as a surgical and orthopedics nurse in 1972 and ended her career as the Administrative Director of the Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care Division overseeing both institutional and non-institutional long-term care services for veterans.

While at the VA, Joan served as a member of the Resident Assessment Instrument/Minimum Data Set (RAI/MDS) Steering Committee and her leadership helped implement the RAI/MDS across the VA system. This clinical tool is used in the private sector and is a comprehensive assessment used to plan care in long-term care facilities and collect quality measures. The VA’s adoption of the tool allowed the VA to have nationwide quality measures and compare care across the VA system and to the private sector. This work has elevated the level of care veterans receive at VA long-term care facilities.

As a member of the Clark County Public Health Advisory Council, Joan has been a passionate advocate for her community. She was successful in ensuring that public health was included in Clark County’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan. As a result, growth must now address public health issues like access to parks, sidewalks and healthy neighborhoods. She has also advocated for important public health needs like the investment of resources in methamphetamine abuse. Additionally, Joan has volunteered with two organizations that serve the most vulnerable in Clark County – those with mental illness and those who are homeless.

A WSNA member since her initial licensure, Joan has made profound contributions to the nursing profession and to her colleagues. Joan has been a key leader in her district association, the Fort Vancouver Nurses Association, while also holding numerous WSNA elected and appointed positions over the years. A key achievement during her tenure as District President was supporting the establishment of the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington, now the largest free clinic in the state of Washington. She continues to improve our profession in her role as an adjunct faculty member at Washington State University – Vancouver where she is teaching her students principles of community health along with valuable leadership lessons.

Through her pursuit of clinical excellence, advocacy in public health, leadership across numerous organizations, and commitment to teaching and inspiring a new generation of nurses, Joan has ensured that nurses, her community, and nursing will be better for years to come.