Meet the AORN Board of Directors

Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM

Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM


Missi Merlino, MHA, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM has been a perioperative nurse and member of AORN for 29 years. She currently works as a Staff Nurse II at Scott & White Medical Center- Pavilion Surgery Center in Temple, TX. Her work experience includes OR staff, management, educator and informatics positions. She received her ADN from Central Texas College, Killeen, Texas, her BS in health care management, and MHA from Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska. She has served her local chapter in the offices of president, vice president, and board of directors as well as on the Texas Council of Operating Room Nurses as secretary, board of directors and the Scholarship/Awards committee.

She is currently the President of AORN. Her service to AORN includes: 2018 elected President-elect, 2016 elected AORN Vice President 2014, elected to AORN Board of Directors, 2010 elected to the AORN Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, serving as Chair 2011-2012. Committee work includes AORN Governance Strategic Task Force, Bylaws Committee, Organizational Structure Task Force, and the Awards Committee, and is a member of the Leadership, Perioperative Nursing Informatics, and Clinical Nurse Educators Specialty Assemblies. Missi has served as the board liaison to the Bylaws Committee, Safe Surgery Task Force, Scholarship Committee, Continuing Education Approval Committee and the RNFA Specialty Assembly, Perioperative Nursing Informatics Specialty Assembly, Clinical Nurse Educators Specialty Assembly. Other professional association memberships include the American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, District 7, Tau Epsilon chapter of STTI, and the American Nursing Informatics Association. Missi is the 2010 recipient of the AORN award for Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship.

David A. Wyatt, PhD, MA, MPH, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR

David A. Wyatt, PhD, MA, MPH, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR


David A. Wyatt, PhD, MA, MPH, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, is vice president, perioperative enterprise, and associate nursing officer, surgery patient care center, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Medical Group, where he is responsible for operational management and clinical leadership for the inpatient and ambulatory adult surgical division. David is involved in strategic development and physician relations for the surgery service lines, and information technology implementations in the perioperative setting, including scheduling, intraoperative documentation, and selection processes for hospital-wide systems. He has also worked on performance improvement, patient outcome management, and patient safety projects, designing methods of data collection based from computerized documentation. Wyatt has served on the AORN Board of Directors, 2008-2012, and is the recipient of the 2015 AORN Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing.

Holly Ervine, MSN, RN, CNOR

Holly S. Ervine, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CNOR

Vice President

Holly S. Ervine, MSN, RN-BC, CNOR is a Surgical Services Professional Educator, Nursing for WellStar Health System in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Georgia Medical's Surgical Technologist Program in 1994, received her ASN from Floyd College in 2001, obtained her BSN from Kennesaw State University in 2006, and received her MSN from Walden University in November 2014. As a nursing student at Floyd College, Holly was recognized with the Leadership Award in 2001 for Outstanding Leadership in the school and selected for Who's Who in American Junior Colleges. After nursing school, Holly joined AORN and became an involved member of the Northwest Georgia Chapter. She has held various positions in the chapter including on committees, the Nominating Committee, Board of Directors and President. She has been selected as the Perioperative Nurse of the Year four times. In Georgia, Holly has been a member of the Georgia Council of PeriOperative Nurses serving as a member of the Board, Chair-Elect, and Chair. She has served on numerous national committees including the Next Generation and Career Life Cycle Task Force, Congress Education Planning Committee, Continuing Education Approval Committee and was selected as the Chair of the 2012-2013 AORN Nominating and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC). She has been honored by receiving two National AORN awards: the Next Generation Achievement Award in 2007 and Outstanding Volunteer Leadership in 2014. Holly is also a member of the Leadership Specialty Assembly and served as the Chair of the Coordinating Council in 2010-2011. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau ~ Pi Nu Chapter and the Golden Key International Honour Society ~ Walden University Chapter. Holly is currently serving as the AORN Vice President.




Elizabeth S. Pincus, MSN, MBA, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR, is a Clinical Nurse at Regional Medical Center, San Jose, California. She earned her bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut; her bachelor of science in nursing from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York; her master of science in nursing as an adult health clinical nurse specialist and her post-master’s certi?cate in nursing education from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; and her master of business administration in health care administration from City University of New York, Baruch College, New York.

Lizz is currently serving as the AORN Secretary and as the co-chair of the New York State Council. Prior to being Secretary, Lizz was a member of the Board of Directors for 2 years. She is a peer reviewer for the AORN Journal and has been a mentor to AORN Foundation scholarship winners. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) and volunteers for the NACNS. Lizz is a medical volunteer for NY Road Runners and has been a medical volunteer for Global Smile Foundation. She has volunteered with CCI for both the CNOR and CNS-CP examinations.


Vangie Dennis, MSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO


Vangie Dennis is the executive director of perioperative services for WellStar Atlanta Medical Center and Atlanta Medical Center South, in Georgia. Vangie has been a nurse for 45 years. Professional organization memberships include AORN and AORN Specialty Assemblies, Laser Institute of America, American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopist, and the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery. She is presently the system laser safety officer for WellStar Health System. Her professional activities and accomplishments include past chairperson for the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, past chair for AORN Advanced Technology, past secretary for the organization, and member of the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists. She is on the editorial board for the Journal for Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery, Outpatient Surgery and for OR Nurse. Vangie has been published and cited in numerous publications, Ms. Dennis is an independent consultant, lectures on lasers and nursing practice. Vangie has lectured nationally and internationally for AORN, AORN Chapters, Advanced Technology Specialty Assembly, American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, The International Laser Safety Conference, Canadian Nurses Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, American Association Gynecological Laparoscopists, MedSun CODA Conference, and Medical Societies and facilities. Vangie is on the Board of Directors for Laser Institute of America, the Board of, Directors for AORN National and the chair for the National Certification on Lasers. She is a recipient named in Strathmore’s WHO’s WHO, the recipient of the 1996 Nursing Excellence Award from the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, awarded the 2011 R. James Rockwell Jr. Educational Achievement Award, and the 2011 AORN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Clinical Nursing Education. Vangie is a member of Emory Alpha Epsilon Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She recently was the recipient of the March of Dimes Distinguished Nurse of the Year and presently the AORN National Treasurer.

Nakeisha M. Archer, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CNOR, CSSM

Nakeisha M. Archer, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CNOR, CSSM

Nakeisha Archer has over 15 years of formal leadership experience in various progressive roles, and has led several teams successfully. She has a Masters in Business and Healthcare Management, is in the process of obtaining her DNP, as well as has attended many conferences, and Quality training courses to master this concept. She is currently in an organization that has many change initiatives underway at which she is leading teams to integrate Perioperative services policies, procedures, and standards in everyday practice. She is past President of the Greater Houston chapter of AORN, and she is always on the cusp of change and innovation in her chapter and her organization.

Stephen Balog, MSN, RN, CNOR

Stephen Balog, MSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA

J. Stephen Balog MSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA has been involved in a variety of local, state and national activities. He has served as the chair of VCORN and on the Board of Director of his local AORN chapter in South Carolina. Nationally, he has served on a variety of committees and taskforces. He was a member of the Nominating Committee and helped to develop a tool to evaluate potential national candidates for office. He currently serves on the AORN Board of Directors.

Vicki Barnett, MSN, RN, CNOR

Vicki Barnett, MSN, RN, CNOR

Vicki J. Barnett, MSN, RN, CNOR, has 35 years of nursing proficiency in a career punctuated by progressive clinical experience, challenging leadership projects and fulfilling management roles in complex perioperative settings. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and is on the Board Chapter Visits Committee, liaison for the National Legislative and Membership Forums, and the Leadership Specialty Assembly. Vicki is a candidate on the current ballot for a second term on the Board. Recognized for her professional contributions by the March of Dimes, she received the “Georgia Nurse of the Year” award in 2015, the award for Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Management and Georgia Council Outstanding Perioperative Nurse of the Year in 2005. Having held numerous chapter offices, she is currently on the Board of Directors for AORN Peach State Chapter #1116.

Vicki speaks at conferences nationally and internationally on perioperative topics including transformational leadership, surgical facility design, and patient safety. She advocates for women’s healthcare and education on the Advisory Board for the Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI), and as an active member of P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization supporting the international advancement of women’s education.

William (Bill) Duffy, MJ, RN, CNOR, FAAN

William "Bill" J. Duffy, RN, MJ, CNOR, FAAN

William "Bill" J. Duffy, RN, MJ, CNOR, FAAN, is the director for the health systems management masters of science in nursing program at Loyola University of Chicago. Bill was the 2004-2005 National President of the AORN, where he led the Association's initiative for National Time Out Day to eliminate wrong site surgery. He has spoken nationally and internationally on health law and nursing leadership topics in addition to being an accomplished author of many articles in nursing journals and publications. Mr. Duffy has received numerous recognitions including the Nursing Spectrum's National Award for Excellence in Leading the Profession, the Loyola University's School of Nursing Distinguished Alumnae Award, AORN's Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing, and, in 2011, he was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Bill is a firm believer in the power of nurses to touch the lives of their patients and to shape the future of healthcare.

Brenda Larkin, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR

Brenda G. Larkin, MS, RN, CNOR, ACNS-BC

Brenda G. Larkin, MS, RN, CNOR, ACNS-BC, is a Clinical Nurse Specialist for perioperative services at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center and Aurora Memorial Hospital Burlington. She has been a member of AORN Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter 5001 since 2002. Brenda has been a lead facilitator for the OR Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialty Workgroup since 2003. This group provides educational programs for orientation and clinical development to the nursing staff at participating hospitals in our hospital corporation. Brenda supports the nursing staff at both hospitals to perform quality improvement initiatives either as part of the shared governance council work, or in support of their formal educational programs. Brenda has presented several educational sessions at national professional organization meetings on perioperative nursing topics.

Darlene Murdock, BSN, BA, RN, CNOR

Darlene Murdock, BSN, RN, CNOR, TNCC

Darlene B. Murdock, BSN, RN, CNOR, TNCC is a clinical staff nurse IV at Memorial Hermann Hospital (MHHS) in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) where her expertise is caring for trauma patients. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University at Health Science Center at Houston. She has been a perioperative nurse for over 25 years and has been certified as an operating room nurse for 22 years. Murdock is actively involved nationally and locally in her professional organization, Association of periOperative Register Nurses (AORN), where she has served on national committees and locally as chapter president. As AORN chapter president, Murdock led her chapter to be recognized nationally as a ‘Chapter of Excellence’. Murdock is an AORN Journal writer, AORN National Convention podium and poster presenter, and editor-in-chief of two newsletters. Murdock serves on and provides leadership for two Magnet committees at MHHS-TMC. She is committed to lifelong learning, dedicated to providing safe evidence based care to all patients and is passionate about the professional development of herself and others.

Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR

Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR

Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR, is a clinical nurse III specializing in neonatal surgery, pediatric team leader, the ANCC Magnet nurse ambassador chair for Woman's Hospital and part-time house supervisor and charge nurse at Woman's Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kristy has been a perioperative nurse for over 30 years and a member of AORN for over 30 years and has coauthored several AORN Pulseline, Connections and Journal articles and spoken at conferences on perioperative research, disaster nursing, pediatric and neonatal surgery, ANCC Magnet process, fetal surgery EXIT procedure, and the Future Nurse Club she established in her community.