RADM Susan Orsega, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN
Chief Nurse Officer
United States Public Health Service
As the 11th chief nursing officer, Rear Admiral Susan Orsega leads the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) Nurse Professional Affairs, and advises the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of Corps nurse professionals.
RADM Orsega is a Senior Program Management Officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (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, RADM Orsega played a fundamental role in the United States Government (USG) 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.
RADM Orsega’s expertise in disaster care as evident by her selection to a United States Public Health Service (USPHS) medical team deployed after 9-11 as well as 13 other national and international disaster/humanitarian USG missions serving in roles with progressive nursing and leadership responsibilities. She was selected as the only USPHS nurse officer on the Advance Planning team, USS Pacific Peleliu Navy ship health diplomacy mission. Currently, RADM Orsega is a member of the Response Deployment Team-1.
RADM Susan Orsega began her career in the USPHS Commissioned Corps in 1989 in the Junior Commissioned Student Externship Program (COSTEP). At that time, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was unfolding, RADM Orsega 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. She has authored 14 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at 22 major scientific and nursing conferences around the world. RADM Orsega is the recipient of the NIH Director’s award in 2002 and the distinguished Uniformed Services University Graduate of School of Nursing Alumni of the Year award in 2015. She served as the Vice-Chair for the inaugural USPHS Federal Public Health Nursing Strategic effort that is in alignment with the U.S. Affordable Care Act, SG’s National Prevention Strategy, and the Future of Nursing Report.
RADM Orsega’s solid understanding of the USPHS organization is a direct result of her consistent and long-term involvement from a junior officer to leading and participating in multi-disciplinary and nursing PHS teams. Throughout her USPHS career, she has been actively involved in the Nurse Category. RADM Orsega served as Chair, Nursing Professional Advisory Committee (N-PAC) and on various NPAC subcommittees including Readiness and Response (Chair), Awards (Chair), and Events member. She has worked with nurse leaders in other uniformed services over the past 13 years in various working groups, sharing best practices, and is currently serving on the Uniformed Services University, Graduate Nursing Program Doctor of Nurse Practice Transition Team.
RADM Orsega’s leadership strength is in bringing multidisciplinary members from different governments, organizations, cultures and languages together towards a common mission, connecting talents with initiatives. One of her primary goals in every assignment is to disseminate knowledge to improve nursing practice and health systems globally.
RADM Susan Orsega received her Bachelors of Science Nursing degree from Towson University. In 2001, she obtained her Master’s degree of Science from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Nurse Practitioner program. In 2016, she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
CHIEF NURSE VISION FOR NURSE CATEGORY
As Chief Nurse, RADM Orsega’s vision for the category is: PHS Nursing-- Leading The Way To A Healthier America and World. It is her aim that PHS nurses will be highly regarded, innovative, proactive leaders in nursing practice and health care; who exemplify healthy lifestyles and apply health promotion strategies to their jobs, programs and communities; who identify, deliver, document and share best practices throughout nursing; and are ready to respond to complexities inherent to public health underserved populations both here in the US and around the world. It is her desire to foster a culture of commitment, character, collaboration, adaptability, and teamwork to achieve excellence within the category.
This will be achieved through the following goals:
- Promote prevention by putting it into practice
- Expand knowledge of nursing science and increase evidence based practice and within PHS
- Advance nursing practice through leadership alliances across services, organizations at the national and state level
- Prepare a highly effective PHS nursing force ready to respond in complex environments