Christy Dempsey, DNP, MSN, MBA, CNOR, CENP, FAAN

Chief Nursing Officer Emeritus

Health care is complex and ever-changing. We are impacting the lives of people every day, whether they​​ are sick or healthy, at some of their most vulnerable points in life. That is a privilege that I'm passionate about. Additionally, the people who care for patients every day need support. Advanced data and targeted insights empower health care leaders to optimize the experience for both their patients and caregivers.

Professional Biography

Christina Dempsey is Press Ganey's Chief Nursing Officer Emeritus. Prior to her retirement in May 2020, Christy was responsible for providing clinical guidance to help clients transform the patient experience. She remains available to participate in select speaking engagements as CNO Emeritus.

As Chief Nursing Officer, Christy led the team in our efforts to reduce patient suffering and develop compassionate and connected care across the continuum. In ​this role, as well as previously as leader of clinical and operational consulting services for Press Ganey, Christy worked to improve employee and physician engagement, improve the flow of patients throughout organizations, improve quality and efficiency, and prepare organizations for health care reform. Christy is a registered nurse with nearly three decades of health care experience in nursing, perioperative and emergency services management, medical practice, supply chain and materials management, and physician-hospital collaboration.

Christy frequently speaks and publishes nationally and internationally on patient experience, nursing, patient flow, physician-hospital collaboration, and balancing cost and quality. In November 2017, Christy released her first book, TThe Antidote to Suffering: How Compassionate Connected Care Can Improve Safety, Quality, and Experience, published by McGraw-Hill.

Christy has been with Press Ganey since 2009 and in her prior role led the clinical and operational ​improvement division and helped clients embrace the clinical components of the patient experience by both redefining and redesigning the way patients flow and care is delivered in organizations. Christy’s work has led to significant results including reducing waiting times by up to 70%, improving patient satisfaction by double digit percentiles, developing and enhancing teamwork and leadership, and improving operations through scheduling, staffing, and data integration.

In addition to her role as CNO of Press Ganey, Christy has been a faculty member of the Missouri State University Department of Nursing since 2008.

Prior to Press Ganey, Christy served as the senior vice president for consulting services at PatientFlow Technology from 2007 to 2009 and also as vice president for surgical and emergency services at Mercy St. John’s, a Level 1 Trauma Center in Missouri from 2004 to 2007. Additionally, she has held numerous leadership and performance improvement roles. In these capacities, Christy oversaw double digit growth in surgical and emergency department volumes, reduced cost, improved patient and provider engagement, and better coordination of care.


Christy is involved in many industry organizations and nonprofits. She is a board member of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) and President Elect of the Missouri Organization of Nurse Leaders, a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA), an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence® Appraiser, a board member of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research and an editorial board member for the Journal of Nursing Administration. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In 2020, Christy Dempsey was named one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s 50 Patient Safety Experts to Know.

Christy holds a doctoral degree in nursing practice and master’s degrees in both business and nursing and is certified in perioperative nursing and executive nursing practice. She lives in Springfield, MO with her husband, Tom. The couple has two daughters.

With more than 30 years of experience as a clinician and leader, Christy Dempsey is frequently called upon to inform and inspire audiences across the continuum. Her firm understanding of the relevant issues in health care and nursing, coupled with personal experiences in the system, enable her to provide perspective and strategies for improving the safety, quality and experience of care. Though Christy retired in May 2020, she remains available to participate in select speaking engagements as CNO Emeritus.
Speaking Topics
  • Balancing cost and quality
  • Clinical Outcomes
  • Compassionate, Connected Care
  • Culture
  • Empathy
  • High Reliability
  • Nursing
  • Patient Flow
  • Performance Improvement
  • Physician/nurse/hospital collaboration
  • Quality
  • Reducing Suffering
  • Staffing/Scheduling
Selected Articles & Publications
Recognizing the Commitment of Nurses (Press Ganey, by Christy Dempsey, 3/18/2020)

Building A Culture of Nurse Excellence to Drive Patient Satisfaction
(Patient Engagement HIT, by Sara Heath, 3/10/2020)

How Great Nursing Improves Doctors Performance (Harvard Business Review, by Christina Dempsey and Thomas H. Lee, 5/22/2019)

Technology and the Future of Nursing—A Virtual Panel
(Medium, by Cassie Solomon, 5/8/2019)

The 56-second fix to reduce patient suffering: 5 questions with Press Ganey's CNO Christy Dempsey 
(Becker's Hospital Review, by Mackenzie Bean, 3/26/2018)

Recent & Upcoming Engagements
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