Claire Baldwin's career of conviction: aligning personal and professional service

Claire Baldwin

“The impact of Graduate Education in the College of Nursing and my affiliation with Villanova has been powerful and continuous” explains Claire Baldwin ’86 MSN, RN, NEA-BC. She serves on the College’s Board of Consultors and has been a significant connection between the College and the Main Line Health system for many years. She recalls that the strong influence of talented colleagues and faculty were important in developing her career. This summer, she retired as the vice president for Patient Services and the chief nurse administrator at nearby Bryn Mawr Hospital. During her last year of service, she also served as the health system’s chief nursing officer. She held positions at Bryn Mawr Hospital for 28 years. Her current plans include summers on Cape Cod, winters in Florida, golfing, traveling and enjoying life with her husband, Peter Lindley, her children and grandchildren.

Baldwin earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and has had a career as an educator, supervisor of the operating room and most particularly, in key administrative positions. She credits the faculty with teaching her critical skills that assisted her in providing leadership and in developing relationships that led to progressive change. Included in the repertoire are research, publishing and coaching staff to achieve their professional goals for themselves and their patients. Supporting ethical and moral choices, and combining management acumen and compassion with a sense of humor is her recipe for a satisfying career.  “I am sure that I will continue to use those skills in retirement, as I serve on boards and community projects, including coordination of our move to Florida,” she notes.

“I still think that the most valuable part of my education was its broad based foundation and the focus on excellence,” says Baldwin, “It has been the springboard for a humbling career and an incredible opportunity to lead an organization that is philosophically aligned with all that I believe.” As a nurse, service to others is integral to her life. Helping others to attain goals is a joyful experience for her. She views that kind of engagement as a responsibility stemming from a belief in giving to others that was instilled by her parents and family.  She takes the same interest in the College of Nursing as a member of its Board of Consultors.

“As a board member, I would like to see Villanova’s partnership with Main Line Health flourish. The synergy between these two community centers of education and healthcare is exquisite and should continue to thrive,” Baldwin comments. As she looks to the future she focuses on the shift in health care delivery settings. “We need to assure that graduates of our nursing program enter the workforce with the right tools to meet the changing needs of people and healthcare systems.  Care will no longer be focused and targeted on hospitals,” she states. She understands the transition to community-based care and the importance of a more seamless system to serve people at various stages of life and health.

Baldwin is an exemplar for her peers and for aspiring nurses and nursing leaders. She is a past recipient of the College’s Medallion for Distinguished Leadership in Nursing and Health Care. Dean Fitzpatrick cites her as an inspirational person who has been an outstanding ambassador to the community served by Main Line Health.

According to Dean Fitzpatrick, “Claire has always understood that in addition to her talent for working with physicians and nurse colleagues and for being nursing’s voice at the table, she played a critical role as the advocate for the patients and their families. She understood that Main Line Health serves people who are its neighbors and who are the friends and families of those who provide the care. She understands what community means.”

In explaining why she chooses to maintain the connection with the College of Nursing and Villanova, Baldwin says that she is inspired by Dean Fitzpatrick and awed by the outstanding nurses who are prepared by the College.”They are just terrific, and I am so proud to be associated with them.”

As Claire Baldwin moves into the next phase of her life and career, she plans to serve as a volunteer in the health care arena. She is proud to be counted among the nursing alumni, which she defines as “a spectacular cadre of professionals.”