John J. Nance, JD
Best-selling Author and Pilot
Patient Safety Expert
Leadership Educator and Champion
Friday Harbor, WA
One of the key thought leaders to emerge in American healthcare in the past decade, John J. Nance brings a rich and varied professional background to the task of helping doctors, administrators, boards, and front-line staff alike survive and prosper during the most profoundly challenging upheaval in the history of modern medicine. Having helped pioneer the renaissance in patient safety as one of the founders of the National Patient Safety Foundation in 1997, his efforts (and healthcare publications) are dedicated to reforming American healthcare from a reactive cottage industry to an effective and safe system of prevention and wellness. A lawyer, Air Force and airline pilot, prolific internationally-published author, national broadcaster, and renowned professional speaker, John’s leadership is propelled by a deep commitment.
As a native Texan, John grew up in Dallas where he earned his bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor degree from SMU, and is still a licensed Texas attorney. Named Distinguished Alumnus of SMU for 2002, and distinguished Alumnus for Public Service of the SMU Dedman School of Law in 2010, he is also a decorated Air Force pilot veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF Reserve, well-known for his pioneering development of Air Force human factors flight safety education, and one of the civilian pioneers of Crew Resource Management (CRM). John has piloted a wide variety of jet aircraft, including most of Boeing’s line and the Air Force C-141, and has logged more than 13,900 hours of flight time since earning his first pilot license in 1965; he is still a current pilot. He was a flight officer for Braniff International Airlines and a Boeing 737 Captain for Alaska Airlines, and is an internationally recognized air safety advocate, best known to North American television audiences as Aviation Analyst for ABC World News and Aviation Editor for Good Morning America.
Before joining ABC, John logged countless appearances on national shows such as Larry King Live, PBS Hour with Jim Lehrer, Oprah, NPR, Nova, the Today Show, and many others. He is also the nationally-known author of 20 major books, including the acclaimed Why Hospitals Should Fly (2009), and, with co-author Kathleen Bartholomew, Charting the Course (2012). He has also written five non-fiction and 13 international fiction bestsellers. Pandora’s Clock and Medusa’s Child both aired as major, successful two-part mini-series on television. Why Hospitals Should Fly won the prestigious “Book of the Year” award for 2009 from the American College of Healthcare Executives.
John J. Nance has become one of America’s most dynamic and effective professional speakers, presenting riveting, pivotal programs on success and safety in human organizations to a wide variety of audiences, including business corporations and healthcare professionals. He and fellow author Kathleen Bartholomew (Charting the Course and Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat their Young and Each Other) are highly sought-after for their watershed presentations to boards, senior leaders, physicians, nurses, and staff on quality and patient safety. He is a pioneering and well-known advocate of using the lessons from the recent revolution in aviation safety to equally revolutionize the patient safety performance of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and all of healthcare.