Monday December 18th 2017

Meet the new chief nurse officer of USPHS

Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is the new chief nurse officer of the United States Public Health Service.chiefnurseofficerorsega20161

The USPHS is the only uniformed service solely committed to protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of the nation. Members often serve on the frontlines in public health emergency and crisis situations, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the tragic shootings in Roseburg, OR, and most recently, in West Africa treating Ebola patients.

Orsega’s vision for Commissioned Corps nurses is that they are highly regarded, innovative, proactive leaders in nursing practice and health care, who apply health promotion strategies to their jobs, programs and communities, who identify, deliver and document best practices, and who exemplify healthy lifestyles. During her tenure, she will work to foster a culture of commitment, character, adaptability, leadership, and teamwork to achieve excellence within the category.

Previously a captain in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, Orsega began her new role following a change of command and promotion ceremony on Sept. 30 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. As chief nurse officer, she is responsible for leading the 1,700 nurse corps, and advising the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General and the federal Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention and career development of Corps nurse professionals.

Among her goals are to expand knowledge of nursing science and increase evidence-based practice within the PHS, expand nursing leadership alliances with universities and organizations, and prepare a highly effective PHS nursing force ready to respond in complex environments.

Orsega continues to serve as a senior program management officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of NIH. She is responsible for the operational management of international research partnerships with South African and Malian governments, involving 150 international nurses and researchers, and 7,000 research participants.

In 2015, she played a fundamental role in the federal government’s NIH Ebola response and was instrumental in the implementation of first human vaccine trial in Liberia and the operational management of first Ebola Z-Mapp trial in Sierra Leone.

Orsega’s expertise in disaster care is evident by her selection to a USPHS medical team deployed after 9-11, as well as 13 other national and international disaster and humanitarian missions serving in roles with progressive nursing and leadership responsibilities. Further, she was selected as the only USPHS nurse officer on the Advance Planning team, USS Pacific Peleliu Navy ship health diplomacy mission.

Orsega began her career in the USPHS Commissioned Corps in 1989 in the Junior Commissioned Student Externship Program. At that time, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was unfolding, she continued to advance her nursing and scientific knowledge with an emphasis on education, and is recognized as a subject matter expert in realm of HIV/AIDS global research, advanced nursing practice, health diplomacy and disaster response.

Orsega received her Bachelor’s of Science Nursing degree from Towson University, and obtained her Master’s degree of Science from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Nurse Practitioner program in 2001. In 2013, she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and recently inducted into the American Academy of Nursing. She is a member of the American Nurses Association.

Orsega was nominated by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to serve as CNO. Her predecessor is U.S. Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams.

 

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