Mary Jo Kocan, MSN, RN

Adjunct Clinical Instructor
Clinical Nurse Specialist - Neuro Intensive Care Unit/Stroke Unit/4B

University of Michigan Health System
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
UH 4605
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Telephone: (734) 764-8039


  • Ventriculostomy
  • Stroke
  • Educational strategies to improve critical thinking and performance of high risk nursing interventions

Ms. Kocan is the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, Stroke Unit and 4B Surgical Telemetry Unit at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS). She has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions in neuroscience and critical care nursing. Her focus is improving care for neuroscience patients through innovative and evidence based practice.  Current projects include developing an early mobility protocol for Neuro Intensive Care Unit patients and the use of a nursing swallow screen to identify dysphagia following stroke.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Co-Investigator - Retrospective Analysis of External Ventricular Drain Associated Infections: Evaluating the Efficacy of Antibiotic Impregnated Catheters.


In her clinical role, Ms. Kocan has a focus on staff development and orientation of new nursing staff. Recent projects include incorporating simulation into stroke educational programs.  She lectures on neuroscience nursing topics for both undergraduate and graduate courses. As a clinical preceptor for Clinical Nurse Specialist students, Ms. Kocan provides opportunities for students to gain experience in the care of neuroscience patients.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Sigma Theta Tau, 1980-present (Rho Chapter Governance Committee 2011-2013)
  • Member, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, 1983-present
  • Member, Michigan Nurses Association, 1990-present
  • Member, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 1992-present
  • Member, Washtenaw County Chapter American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 1992-present (member, Research Committee - 1994-95; member, Program Committee - 1995-96; board member and co-chair, Program Committee – 2006-07


  • MSN, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1988
  • BSN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 1981

Publication Highlights

  • Kocan, MJ & Lietz, H. (2013). Special Considerations for Mobilizing Patients in the Neurointensive Care Unit. Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, 36, 50-55.

  • Aebersold, M, Kocan, MJ, Tschannen, D & Michaels, J. (2011). Use of Simulation in Stroke Unit Education. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 43, 349-353.

  • Tschannen, D, Keenan, G, Aebersold, M, Kocan, MJ, Lundy, F & Averhart, V. (2011). Implications of Nurse-Physician Relations: Report of a Successful Intervention. Nursing Economics, 29, 127-135.

  • Kocan, MJ. (2008). “Neurological Disorders and the Cardiovascular System” in DK Moser and B Riegel, (eds.), Cardiac Nursing: A Companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease, St. Louis: Saunders, 1347-1355.

  • Lansford, CD, Guerriero, CH, Kocan, MJ, Turley, R, Groves, MW, Bahl, V, Abrahamse, P, Bradford, CR, Chepeha, DB, Moyer, J, Prince, ME, Wolf, GT, Aebersold, ML, Teknos, TN. (2008). Improved Outcomes in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Using a Standardized Care Protocol for Postoperative Alcohol Withdrawal. Archives of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 134, 865-872.

  • Park, P, Garton, HJL, Kocan, MJ & Thompson, BG. (2004). Risk of Infection with Prolonged Ventricular Catheterization. Neurosurgery, 55, 594-601.

  • Kocan, MJ. (2002). Ask the Experts – Ventriculostomy Irrigation. Critical Care Nurse, 22, 70-73.

  • Keenan, GM, Kocan, MJ, Lundy, F, Averhart, V, & Aebersold, M. (2001). Conflict and Collaboration: Relationships and Challenges. In JM Dochterman and HK Grace (eds.), Current Issues in Nursing (6th edition), St. Louis, Mosby, 466-472.

  • Kocan, MJ. (1999). Cardiovascular Effects of Acute Stroke. Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing, 14, 61-67.

  • Kocan, MJ. (1998). The Brain-Heart Connection: Cardiac Effects of Acute Ischemic Stroke. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 13, 57-68.

  • Kalisch, BJ, Kalisch, PA, Burns, SM, Kocan, MJ & Prendergast, V. (1995). Intrahospital Transport of Neuro ICU Patients. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 27, 69-77.

  • Kocan, MJ. (1988). Electrocardiographic changes following subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 20, 362-365.

  • Kocan, MJ & Hickisch, SM. (1986). A comparison of continuous and intermittent enteral nutrition in NICU patients. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 18, 333-337.

  • Swanson, SE, Chandler, WF, Kocan, MJ & Bogdasarian, RS. (1985). Flow-regulated continuous spinal drainage in the management of cerebrospinal fluid fistulas. Laryngoscope, 95, 104-106.

  • Swanson, SE, Kocan, MJ & Chandler, WF. (1981). Flow-regulated continuous spinal drainage: technical note with case report. Neurosurgery, 9, 163-165.