Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Nurse Professional Advisory Committee

In 1949, the position of Chief Nurse Officer was created in the Office of the Surgeon General, with the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (the equivalent of Rear Admiral). RADM Lucille Petry was appointed to the new post and became the first nurse and the first woman to achieve flag rank in the Public Health Service and in any of the uniformed services of the United States.


Past Chief Nurse Officers

1949-1966        RADM Lucille Petry Leone (first woman and nurse to be Assistant Surgeon General)

1966-1970        RADM Margaret McLaughlin

1970-1987        RADM Faye Abdellah (first nurse and the first woman to serve as Deputy SurgeonGeneral)

1987-1992        RADM O. Marie Henry

1992-1996        RADM Julia Plotnick

1996-2000        RADM Carolyn Beth Mazzella

2000-2005        RADM Mary Pat Couig

2005-2009        RADM Carol A. Romano

2009-2013        RADM Kerry Paige Nesseler

2013-2016        RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams (also served as acting Surgeon General)

2016-2019        RADM Susan Orsega (also served as acting Surgeon General)

Page Last Modified on 1/16/2022

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