Debra C. Callender, DNP, RN, CNOR, CSSM

Administrative Director of Surgical & Orthopedic Services, AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida

Candidate for Nominating Committee (Two to be Elected) 

Debra C. Callender, DNP, RN, CNOR, CSSM, is the administrative director of Surgical & Orthopedic Services, AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida. She earned an associate degree in nursing from Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, Brooklyn; a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing, St Louis, Missouri; and a Master of Science in nursing education and Doctor of Nursing practice from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Callender has been a perioperative nurse for 16 years and a member of AORN for 16 years. She is a member of

  • AORN of Central Florida (2019-present),
  • the Leadership Specialty Assembly (2013-present),
  • the Sterile Processing/Supply Chain Management Specialty Assembly (2014-present), and
  • the Ambulatory Surgery Specialty Assembly (2017-present).

She has been a member of

  • the Clinical Nurse Educator Specialty Assembly (2013-2016).

Callender has attended Congress eight times in the past 10 years, one time as a delegate.

Highlights of Callender’s service to AORN include that she is

  • president of AORN of Central Florida (2019-present);
  • a member of the Continuing Education Approval Committee (2022-present); and
  • a Periop 101 administrator at AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida (2017-present).

She has been           

  • a Periop 101 administrator at University Hospital, New Jersey (2014-2016).

In other leadership roles, Callender is

  • chair of the Orthopedic Steering Committee at AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida (2018-present);
  • educator and mentor for first- and second-year medical students in the surgical environment at AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida (2018-present); and
  • chair of the Robotic Certification Steering Committee at AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida, (2019-present).

She has been

  • chair of the Executive Value Analysis & PeriOperative Steering Committee at University Hospital, New Jersey (2014-2016) and
  • educator and mentor for novice nurse leaders and nurse residents at AdventHealth, Sebring, Florida (2017-2022).

In her community, Callender is

  • a clinical educator and advisor for developing the surgical technician program at South Florida State College (2021-present).

She has been

  • team lead for the Multiple Sclerosis Stride for Life, Avon Park, Florida (2020);
  • team lead for the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life,” Sebring, Florida (2019); and
  • team lead for Adopt-a-Family, Highlands County, Florida (2019-2020).

Election Statement

AORN’s vision, mission, values, commitment to excellence, safe practice and life-long learning are the foundation of our association. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can be challenging, however, rewarding, as together we are stronger. AORN is committed to the principles of DEI, which is important to our growth as an association.

As we move through a pandemic that impacted the world (COVID-19), there were lessons learned and adaptation became the new norm: lack of supplies, delayed surgeries, increased mortality. Benjamin Zander commented on lesson learned, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” AORN is forever evolving and overcoming challenges that impact our practice. Through AORN leadership we are represented at local, state, national/international, and legislative levels.

As a perioperative leader, and nurse, with years of experience in academia, I mentor nurse residents, and incumbent nurses to perioperative practice. Currently I serve on AORN’s Continuing Education Approval Committee (CEAC), and the president of the Central Florida AORN Chapter. Serving on CEAC, and leading the Central Florida Chapter I acquired knowledge and experience to represent AORN and be your voice on the Nominating Committee.

As a candidate on the Nominating Committee ballot 2023–2024 I will uphold the goals, mission and vision of our prestigious association. I’ll be your voice as the candidate to represent us globally at all levels. I’d be honored to serve you on AORN’s Nominating Committee, if given the opportunity. I ask for your vote and thank you for your commitment to AORN.