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AORN Member Spotlight

AORN Member Spotlights

This year, we are celebrating inspirational members who are a leading example in perioperative care. View our spotlighted members below.

Ma Leilani Hall, MSN, RN, ANP, CNOR, CRCST

Sterile Processing Service Educator

Leilani Hall“Leilani Hall is very active with the San Diego AORN Chapter. She has served as Chapter President and strives to make a difference in her profession. Leilani works in Sterile Processing, where she makes a difference leading and educating her staff. Leilani is committed to providing excellent service.”

Charlotte Dorsey, MSN, RN, CNOR

Quality and Infection Manager, Emory Healthcare Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Charlotte Dorsey“Charlotte Dorsey is a long time AORN member. She has served on multiple committees and task forces. She always supports the activities of our membership. Charlotte is a great educator and is active with the Georgia Council.”


Perioperative Staff Nurse, Naval Hospital Bremerton Washington State

Reynalda McBee“Reynalda McBee, a Houston Texas native, has been serving the military community for the past 17 years. Her commitment to her patients has been demonstrated by her involvement in patient safety. She has been Command Champion for Naval Hospital Bremerton on TeamSTEPPS, to improve the teamwork culture for effective, efficient, and safe care. Her most recent achievement is her board certification as a professional in patient safety ( CPPS) from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Her commitment to patient safety whether in the hospital or austere environment is inspiring.”

Laci Soper, BSN, RN, CNOR

Operating Room Educator, Sanford Medical Center Fargo

Laci Soper“I have had the honor to work with Laci in the OR for the past several years. She is one of the most dedicated OR Nurse Educators I know. She holds her certification and incorporates the standards daily into her work practices. Peri-op 101 is utilized with all new staff hires. She reviews the concepts with each new hire, demonstrates procedures, and follows up in the OR with them as they begin their work with individual preceptors. She believes in the standards and works with passion to educate others about them. Laci is one of the kindest and approachable nurse educators around. She is supportive, effectively communicates, and demonstrates a high standard of perioperative care. She leads by example with all OR nurses. She has been nominated for the Lamp of Knowledge award multiple times. Laci's approach is so positive and non-threatening she is able to get other staff to change their practice without confrontation. She knows the why behind the need to comply and utilizes this as one of her teaching methods. Laci has great attention to detail, communicates clearly, speaks up for safety, and has a questioning attitude. To maintain connections and stay current on issues related to the OR, Laci maintains her membership with the organization and attends AORN congress. She also has presented a poster for her work related to the OR. We are very lucky to have an individual and educator like Laci to instill the standards and high quality of care to a new generation of OR nurses.”

William Duffy, RN, MJ, CNOR, FAAN

Program Director, Nursing and Healthcare Administration MSN, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Bill Duffy“Bill Duffy has led AORN and always promotes safe practices. He is a great speaker who is known for creating the surgical time out. Bill is an advocate for safety and positive outcomes for all perioperative patients. Bill also promotes AORN's members as our greatest asset. Bill's knowledge and dedication have made AORN a better organization.”

Kristy Simmons, MSN, RN, CNOR

Pediatric Team Leader Woman’s ANCC Magnet Chair, Perioperative Story Teller and most recently Perioperative Covid Team Leader

Kristy Simmons“Kristy Simmons is a member of the AORN Board of Directors. Kristy is a great perioperative staff nurse who believes in the power of AORN. Kristy is an incredible story teller and teaches through her stories. She is engaging and dedicated to supporting AORNs membership.”

Vickie Pierce, BSN, RN, CNOR


Vickie Pierce“Vickie Pierce is known as the chapter spirit guide for her chapter. She promotes the business of AORN while supporting their leadership. She encourages the utilization of "Roberts Rules" within her chapter, always helping to prepare future leaders and chapter delegates.”

Cynthia Spry, BSN, MA, MSN, CNOR(E)

Recently Retired from Consulting

Cynthia Spry“Cynthia Spry is a past AORN President. She has served AORN well as a leaders and chair of multiple committees and projects. Cynthia is passionate about infection control and has spent much of her career supporting safe practices, especially in the sterile processing areas.”

Vangie Dennis, MSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO

Executive Director Perioperative Services Wellstar Health System

Vangie Dennis“Vangie Dennis is a leader within AORN, the Laser Institute of America, and Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center. You can find Vangie sharing her expertise on Surgical Smoke, Lasers, Leadership, and Patient Safety to name a few around the globe. Vangie builds lasting relationships while promoting AORN.”

Julie Jagot Roth, BSN, CNOR

Weekend Charge Nurse & Staff Nurse

Julie Jagot Roth“Julie Roth is a great perioperative nurse and friend. Julie is a long-time member and supporter of AORN and perioperative nurses everywhere. She advocates for safe patient care and is a competent and experienced clinical nurse. Julie always lends a helping hand to projects which support nursing.”

Shelia Holleran, RN, BSN, CNOR, CRNFA

OR Clinician

Shelia Holleran“During this pandemic, Shelia has run a COVID collection center and while still being the OR clinical coordinator, She volunteered herself to do the collections knowing that it would be weeks at a time before she could see her parents again. She selflessly devotes many hours to this project and has come in on the weekends to run the collection center on her days off.

Recently Shelia has decided to further her education and is currently enrolled in a masters in nursing for leadership. Her plate is full with all that has been going on in the world but she doesn’t complain. Her devotion to make our OR the best it can be and give the safest care is what makes her a great candidate for this spotlight.”

Darlene B. Murdock, BSN, BA, RN, CNOR, CSSM

Registered Nurse IV in the OR

Darlene Murdock“Darlene Murdock is a perioperative leader from Houston. She frequently visits different chapters, meeting and supporting our members. Darlene is a leader within her institution and always advocated for the programs that support perioperative nursing. She mentors and develops both seasoned and new AORN members.”

Kevin J. Metzing, BS, RN, CNOR

OR Supervisor, Dept of Surgical Services, Advent Health Orlando

Kevin Metzing“Kevin Metzing is a strong supporter and advocate for FCORN. He has served as chair and always promotes their membership. Kevin is the Volunteer Coordinator for AORN EXPO 2021 in Orlando. Kevin has served on numerous AORN Committees, task forces, and volunteers for special projects.”

Laura Gayton, MHCA, RN, CNOR, CSSM

Associate Director, Standards Interpretation - The Joint Commission

Laura Gayton“Laura Gayton has served in many capacities within AORN. Currently she is serving as Chair of the Nominating Committee. Laura promotes AORN with members of several chapters, the Leadership Specialty Assembly, and often visits and presents perioperative topics during her travels.”

Linda K. Connelly, PhD, MSH, APRN, CNS, CNOR

Professor RN BSN Program Director; COL (retired) USA Nurse Corps

Linda Connelly“Linda Connelly promotes perioperative nursing as a member of FCORN. She is a professor and encourages her students to attend AORN meetings. She has created a perioperative nursing course at her university. Linda is a champion promoter of AORN.

She is very proud of the work she has done at a Kenyan clinic. She has traveled there yearly with her students to see 100 patients a day as opposed to 35-50 patients. She is a retired COL from the U.S. Army and combat veteran. She led her nurses to teach an OR/ER class to local Irai nurses while deployed. She teaches a perioperative elective every spring and has successfully introduced over 200 student nurses to periop nursing. They don't all go on to be perioperative nurses, but they all gain a better understanding of OR nursing. Lastly, she has taught nursing at UBT University in Kosovo, where she worked with general hospitals to utilize AORN Guidelines.”

Vicki J. Barnett, MSN, RN, CNOR

Consultant, VjB Perioperative Consulting; Board of Directors, AORN; US Navy Nurse Corps

Vickie Barnett“Vicki Barnett has served AORN on the national level as a member of the Board of Directors. She served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and in civilian perioperative leadership roles, making a difference to our country and to perioperative nursing. Vicki is knowledgeable and always willing to share information. Vicki brings joy to perioperative nursing.”

Girannie Dilchand, RN, BS, CNOR

Staff nurse

“Girannie Dilchand is a great perioperative nurse. She is passionate about attending AORN EXPO. In her free time, you can find Girannie planning and taking various mission trips around the world. Girannie always strives to leave the world a better place. Girannie is an asset to humanity and perioperative nursing.”

J. Stephen (Steve) Balog, MSN, RN, CNOR(E), RNFA

Staff Nurse, Hilton Head Hospital, Hilton Head Island, SC

“Steve Balog is a long-time perioperative nurse who is a member of the Board of Directors. Steve has successfully advocated for RNs as Circulators in his state. Steve has a wealth of knowledge and experiences which he willingly shares. Steve continually makes perioperative nursing better.”

Susan Renée Guerra, MN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC

Business Manager, Cardiac Surgery, Medtronic Mexico

“Susan Guerra is a long-time promoter of perioperative nursing. She is an international colleague who has stayed active with the e-chapter and many committees nationally. Susan is a great resource for all things related to leadership, mentoring, safety, and perioperative nursing.”

Patricia (Pat) Thornton, MS, RN, CNOR

RNFA and Surgical Consultant, Surgical Director, Dermatology Institute For Skin Cancer + Cosmetic Surgery, Newnan, Georgia

“Pat Thornton is a great advocate for perioperative nursing. She has actively served on a number of committees and task forces. She is active in her local chapter and has recently served as the Georgia Council Chair. Pat is also involved with promoting surgical smoke bill legislation in Georgia.”

Karen M. Knapp BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA

Travel Nurse/Consultant

“Karen Knapp is a perioperative travel nurse who supports AORN no matter where she is assigned. Karen is one to ask the difficult questions to make AORN better for all of us. Karen passion is for first assisting, where she always supports AORN Standards while delivering quality patient care. She is also a strong supporter of certifications.”

Gerry Yosores Asuncion, BSN, RN, CPHQ, CNOR, CSSM

Registered Nurse III, PeriOperative Services

“Gerry is an exceptional, dedicated, and committed nurse leader. He has earned all his education with flying colors. He applies all of that through teaching his trainees the intense understanding of patient-nurse dynamics. He has great respect for people from all walks of life. He is also fun and exciting to share duties with. His team has earned his respect for all the nursing safety and guidelines he has created for our hospital. He just doesn't stop until he achieves all his goals for his nursing profession. Because I'm one of the people who has been inspired by him to strive further, I am currently pursuing my studies for CNAMB and CNOR. I thank him for helping me to do more and learn more. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a Leader " - Quincy John Adams.

Ellen Adams, MN, BSN, RN, CNOR, CPAN

Perioperative Educator

“As our OR staff educator, Ellen continually provides learning opportunities for residents, new nurses and experienced nurses. Ellen has created an orientation curriculum for all new nurses in the OR which includes AORN's peri-op course and final exam. As a new nurse in the OR, I feel like Ellen's guidance and passion to provide continual education for all staff members is both inspiring and admirable. I hope to someday be as knowledgeable as Ellen is in the perioperative setting. She sets the bar extremely high, but is always more than ready to assist, research, or teach where necessary. Ellen creates a better work environment by helping all the OR nurses become competent, knowledgeable, and caring OR nurses.”

Andrea Mary Dyer, RN, MSN

Operating Room Nurse, Specializing in Pediatrics

“Andrea Dyer is a nurse's nurse and a true advocate of AORN. She is always supportive of the organization, and volunteers and stands up for her patients and staff. Andrea has been a champion for smoke evacuation and constantly spreads the word. She is her chapter's president-elect and recently participated in a ConMed video on surgical smoke. What a great nurse!”

Cassandra Eilers, BSN, RN, CNOR

Staff Nurse III, Operating Room

“Cassandra recently received the Nightingale Award at our facility. She’s always searching for ways to improve our work flow and environment. She shares the knowledge she acquires and constantly promotes AORN and its mission. She encourages her team members to further their education and take on roles to grow their careers. She is a light and provides an energy that is appreciated by many.”

Sheila Holleran, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA

Operating Room Clinician

“During this pandemic, Shelia has run a COVID-19 collection center as well as serving as an OR clinical coordinator. She volunteered to do the collections knowing that it would be weeks before she could see her parents again. She selflessly devotes many hours to this project and has come in on weekends to run the collection center on her days off.

Recently Shelia has decided to further her education and is currently enrolled in a master's degree program in nursing for leadership. Her plate is overflowing with all that has been going on in the world, but she doesn’t complain. Her devotion to make our OR the best it can be and give the safest care is what makes her a great candidate for this spotlight.”

Christina Dickerson, RN

Certified Surgical Technologist, Perioperative Services

“Christina is always smiling and always willing to go above and beyond for our team and patients. She used to be a certified surgical technologist and went on to become an OR nurse. Every time I work with her, she is ready when we need her. She never hesitates and only questions when she feels something is not right. She makes every patient who comes into the operating room comfortable and puts her patient's needs first. You can always hear her saying, "This is serious what we do. This is someone's life. I treat my patients like my family. She has also been a preceptor to new employees and a mentor to many OR nurses.”

Susan Nutter, RN, CNOR

Clinical Nurse 3

“For over 50 years, Susan has exemplified what it means to be an excellent registered nurse. Her dedication to our industry has moved us forward through her teaching and encouraging new nurses in the operating room. Her commitment to professional nursing is immeasurable. She is also a recent cancer survivor. Her oncologist wants her home now during this health crisis for her own safety, but she can't wait to be back in the operating room. Our surgical service has benefitted greatly from a nurse like Susan. She has inspired and taught me to become the nurse that I am today. She has been a member of AORN for close to 30 years or more. She also gets recertified every five years. This beautiful lady knows the rules, but more importantly she knows how to implement those rules to advocate for her patient's safety. Please consider Susan Nutter for this most distinguished award. There are many deserving nurses in our industry, but Susan is the complete package and a beacon of hope and light for all of us.”

Dawna Fox, BSN, RN, CNOR

Clinical Manager, Surgical Services

“Dawna is the OR clinical manager at our hospital. We recently had a very messy code that didn't end well and not only was she in the OR assisting during the code, she was on her hands and knees wiping blood off the floor and the bed. She stayed with the staff to make sure they were okay. She set a great managerial example for the four new hires impressed with her level of involvement in the well-being of the operating room. She is amazing and I hope I can be as great of a nurse as she is someday.”

Sarah Bosserman Matulewicz, MSN, RN, CNOR

Perioperative Clinical Nurse Educator

“In November 2019, she spearheaded a three-hour educational event for over 700 high school students. We recruited 40 healthcare professionals to provide a simulated, interactive event, which highlighted the perioperative team and the role of the perioperative nurse.”

Dave Calubaquib, BSN, RN, CNOR, RN-BC

Registered Nurse III

“Dave has dedicated his career to process improvements and the education and career enhancement of his colleagues. He's been promoted two times this past year at Houston Methodist Hospital within their clinical ladder for his dedication to staff and process improvements. He constantly aims for excellence through research and evidence-based practices.”

Brenda Larkin, MS, RN, ACNS-BS, CNS-CP, CSSM, CNOR

Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist

“Brenda Larkin leads a team, consisting of a staff RN, surgical operations coordinator, and an OR manager, that educates all team members, including physicians (surgeons and anesthesia providers). This team also trialed various smoke evacuators from multiple vendors as part of the AORN Go Clear Award Program initiative in their small rural community hospital. This initiative was also the staff RN's baccalaureate capstone project, which led to the use of smoke evacuator equipment by all surgeons and in all cases performed. The team was also recognized at the Gold level during the inaugural year of the AORN Go Clear Award Program. Subsequently, this same manager and surgical team along with a sister hospital opened an ambulatory surgery center in which smoke evacuation was the standard of care. This site also qualified for the AORN Go Clear Award at the Gold level in its first year of operation. This past year, the sister hospital also achieved Gold level status in the program. The first two sites are now in the process of requalifying for the Gold level.”

Dawn Myers Yost, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM 

Manager, Surgical Support Services; Perioperative Services Business Manager

“Dawn is a long-time supporter of AORN and has been an OR nurse since 1982. She makes a difference in the perioperative profession through her knowledge of perioperative nursing practice and sterile processing. She has held a CNOR since 1990 and CSSM since 2015.  She has served on the Board of Directors for AORN, Competency & Credentialing Institute, Nursing and Medical Services Committee, and other various committees, task forces, state council groups, and her local Chapter.”

Patricia C Seifert, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN

Independent Perioperative Cardiac Consultant 

“Trish Seifert is a great past AORN President and Cardiac Surgery Resource. She retired/resigned from the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute’s CVOR in late 2016 and was asked to serve as a community volunteer to the Inova Health System’s Evidence-Based Practice and Research Council. This has given her the opportunity to work with enthusiastic and intelligent novice and experienced nurses, creating innovative evidence-based practice projects such as videos in Spanish for emergency rooms, prewarming projects for patients going into surgery, and more. She continues to teach patients in cardiac rehabilitation who have had heart valve surgery. She also serves as a docent for a cardiac surgery observation dome. Trish is always willing to answer a question or help a colleague. When she stands up and speaks, she has the voice of experience and wisdom. Trish is a published author, speaker, leader, and resource for perioperative nursing practice.”

Deborah L Spratt, MPA, BSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, CRCST, CHL 

Executive Director Perioperative Services

“Deb Spratt is a Past President who remains very committed to Clinical Practice, Safety, and constantly advocates for perioperative nursing practice. She recognizes others in our field for excellence and is a willing resource for clinical practice with our members and other perioperative colleagues.”

Paula Graling, DNP, RN, CNS, CNOR, FAAN 

Vice President, Nursing, Inova Surgical Services 

Paula Graling is a past AORN President. She is a role model and a mentor. Paula remains an active supporter of AORN, patient safety, and AORN members. She is a great speaker, who is very knowledgeable and a great resource for perioperative nursing practice.”

Jane E. Hamilton, RN, BSN 

Director Surgical Services 

“Janie Hamilton is a perioperative nursing leader at her facility. She is well loved and respected by her staff. She believes that perioperative nursing is just a part of her. She has made a positive difference for her patients, staff, and the institution in which she works.”

Michele Hughes, MSN, RN, CNOR 

Clinical Nurse II 

“Michele Hughes is a long-time AORN member and supporter. She has been active with her local chapter, the Virginia Council, and has served on several committees. Michelle is a positive advocate for our caregivers, safety, and for optimizing outcomes for our patients. Michelle is an asset to nursing.”

Lady Sue Bell, RN, MBA/MHA, BSN

Registered Nurse - Retired

“Lady Sue is a leader in AORN’s Silent Auction which supports the AORN Foundation. She has been a member and chair of a committee that has raised significant funds to support perioperative nurses. Lady Sue is a fantastic, competent, and very talented perioperative nurse.”

Michael J Garufi, BSN, RN, CNOR(E), CRNFA(E)

Retired First Assistant Manager, Ross Heart Hospital, Wexner Medical Center at THE Ohio State University

“Mike is a leader in the RNFA community as well as with the e-Chapter. Mike’s knowledge of perioperative nursing is vast. He willingly shares this with his colleagues and always strives to improve and promote perioperative nursing practice and safety. Mike is a colleague, friend, and mentor.”

Beverly A. Kirchner, BSN, RN, CNOR, CASC

Chief Compliance Officer for an ASC company

“Beverly is a leading authority on Ambulatory Surgery where she oversees regulations, standards, quality, infection prevention, and safety. She taught many of us what we know about the world of Ambulatory Surgery. Beverly is a leader, having served as a National AORN Board of Director and as chair of TCORN. Beverly elevates safety and perioperative nursing to higher levels.”

Cecil King, MS, RN

Medical Nurse Case Manager

“Cecil is an incredible educator. His presentations are well attended and very well-received. He is knowledgeable about perioperative nursing, ethics, trauma, the perioperative nursing data set, and addictions. He is always willing to share his knowledge with others. He makes a difference.”

Nathalie Walker, MBA, RN, CNOR

Louisiana Nursing Supply and Demand sub-committee member of Louisiana Health Works Commission, Periop Consultant

“Nathalie is a fantastic volunteer leader. She is a spokesman for AORN, perioperative clinical practice, and AORN members. Nathalie has encouraged many nurses to join AORN. She clearly articulates the value and benefits of belonging. Nathalie believes in and supports the AORN Foundation.”

Barbara Wiemann, RN, BSN, CNOR

Staff Nurse 

“Barbara is an extraordinary role model for RN professionalism and life-long learning. She has been in neurosurgery for 33 years and pediatrics for 25 years. She served as an AORN chapter member in every capacity and nationally. Barb’s true calling as a nurse is to care for kids in surgery. She is giving and a tireless volunteer. She is the bedside nurse for her pediatric patients as they take a frightening journey through a tunnel that connects the pediatric hospital to the intraoperative MRI suite in the main OR. Her dedication to caring for kids has taken her around the globe on medical mission trips. She also developed standards for the intraoperative nursing care during complex fetal surgery at her organization.”

Brenda Ulmer, MN, RN, CNOR 

Perioperative Nurse Educator

Brenda Ulmer“Brenda Ulmer advocates for perioperative practice by becoming a lead perioperative smoke buster in Georgia. She is promoting a smoke-free environment through teaching, legislative advocacy, and the promotion of perioperative smoke free environments. She is a champion smoke buster.”

Karen White-Edwards, MBA, BSN, RN, CNOR 

Education Specialist II 

Karen White-Edwards“Karen is an amazing educator, preceptor, and mentor. She was instrumental in developing and operationalizing the five-month PACU Residency Program at Houston Methodist. The program is mirrored after our OR Nurse Residency Program. She has contributed to the educational attainment and growth of perioperative nurses in all three phases of care. She is an Education Specialist II that facilitates the six-month OR Nurse Residency program at Houston Methodist Hospital. This year, there are 25 OR nurse residents in the winter program. She coordinates the learning responsibilities of the OR nurse residents with the other OR clinical educators within the organization and system. Karen spearheads an annual Perioperative Changing in Patient’s Condition Seminar that yields 7.4 CEUS and is taught by advanced and certified nurses. She encourages, coaches, and mentors others aspiring to enter the perioperative field. She willingly writes recommendations, answers questions, and assists nurses with learning basic skills prior, throughout, and even after acceptance in a perioperative residency. Her impeccable talent, zeal for teaching, and continued commitment to perioperative education over the years makes her an excellent member to be spotlighted!”

Amy Boone, MBA, BSN, RN 

System Director of Perioperative Services

Amy Boone“Amy Boone has a vision to make training new perioperative staff more exciting, efficient, and effective. She has been the leader across the U.S. and one of the first to use iPad and Virtual Reality Simulation with measurable results.”

Ebony Mitchell, MSN, RN, BSH 

RN IV/Night Weekend Charge RN and RN OR Scheduling Coordinator 

Ebony Mitchell“Ebony promotes an excellent standard of education for nurses through a commitment to diversity and fostering an environment of inclusivity. She provides internal and external resources to others that empower them to achieve excellence. Ebony assists with the training and teaching of others, serving as a mentor for BSN and MSN students locally at colleges and universities, aspiring and upcoming AORN chapter 4407 leaders, her employees, and nationally (serving as an ANA and AORN mentor). She also serves as an AACN graduate nurse liaison for PhD and doctoral students of Walden University. As a legislative activist, Ebony initiated discussion on surgical smoke evacuation at the state level, authoring a draft of a Smoke Evacuation Bill that her Senator, Borris Miles, followed through on. She has also been instrumental in the Texas Perioperative Nurses Acceptance of a Proclamation and visiting the Governor’s chambers with his legislative aides, an activity we continued this past year through TCORN.”

Antonia (Toni) Hughes, MA, BSN, RN, CNOR

Perioperative Consultant

Toni-Hughes“Toni is a 39-year member (almost lifelong!) and a recipient of the Jerry G Peer's Award. She teaches Prep for CNOR Live and has spent her career in perioperative nursing. She continues supporting perioperative nurses by supporting their quest to gain CNOR certification. She has been instrumental in not only teaching nurses all over the country, but developing the CNOR course.”

Camila Mendonça de Moraes, PhD, RN

Associate Professor at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Pos-Doc at Federal University of Alfenas (UNIFAL)

Camila-Mendonca“Camila is a nurse, professor at UFRJ, and author of ELPO. This level is essential for the professional practice of perioperative nurses, raising the level of care during surgical positioning. Her enthusiasm and commitment to nursing is contagious! Her work on ELPO and research is empowering perioperative nurses in Brazil.”

Michelle Stacey, RN,CNOR

Administrative Charge Nurse

Michelle-Stacey“Michelle works as a Perioperative Charge Nurse. In this role, she mentors, coaches, and develops perioperative nurses. Michelle is a strong advocate of AORN’s Guidelines in her practice and always strives to deliver quality patient care, safety, and positive outcomes.”

Denice Morrison, RN, MSN, NPD-BC, CNOR

Perioperative Education Coordinator

Denice-Morrison“Denice Morrison is a perioperative educator. She promotes AORN with all nursing staff. Denice believes in teaching by the Guidelines and always utilizing research and strong evidence-based practice. She has instilled the best practices and quality as she educates and inspires new nurses.”

Kathryn Schroeter, PhD, MA-Bioethics, RN, CNOR

CNE Professor of Nursing/ Nurse Scientist / Clinical Ethicist

Kathryn Schroeter“Kathryn Schroeter is an ethics expert as well as a perioperative nurse and college professor. She is a strong advocate for AORN but also works with the ANA chairing their Ethics Advisory Board at the Center for Ethics and Human Rights. She is a contributing author of the current ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses and lead author for the AORN Explications of the ANA Code of Ethics to perioperative nursing practice. Over the past decade, she has been teaching courses in Perioperative Nursing at two colleges and has completed multiple research studies related to perioperative nursing practice.”

Joanne D. Oliver, BSN, RN, CNOR-E 

President, Healthcare Resources

Joanne D Oliver“Joanne has been a lifetime supporter of AORN. She has attended 57 AORN Congresses/Expos. She is a mentor and past leader of TCORN and the Greater Houston Chapter. Her first job as a registered nurse was at the then St. Luke’s Episcopal & Texas Children’s Hospital where she became the first cardiovascular head nurse for international famous cardiovascular surgeon Denton Cooley, MD and as a result, made many talks across the country related to cardiovascular surgery. She was an operating room manager for many years, then had an opportunity to develop operating room computer management software within the industry. She wrote the first AORN administrative standards that have evolved over the years to be part of the recommended practices. She was one of the team leaders in establishment of the current legislative principles used by National AORN today. Joanne’s career has been rich with opportunities, which she has embraced with passion, commitment, and excellence.”

Joan M Spear, MBA, RN, CNOR, CRCST

Independent Consultant 

Joan Spear“Joan is a role model for perioperative nurses everywhere, but especially for her chapter members. She is an authority on clinical practice and sterilization. Joan serves on the sterile processing and supply chain management specialty assembly. She also serves on the AORN Foundation Board. Joan is very knowledgeable and is the voice of excellence.”

Susan Riddleberger, RN, CNOR 

Retired Johns Hopkins Cardiothoracic Staff Nurse

Susan Riddleberger“Susan spent her career as a cardio-vascular perioperative nurse.  She is a member of AORN and has served her chapter in Baltimore just about every capacity. She supports the work of our chapter and helps to mentor our chapter members, developing their volunteer leadership skills.”

Sheila L. Allen, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA(E)

Self-employed Clinical Educator 

Sheila L Allen “Sheila is an inspiration, role model, and a friend. Sheila is a Past President and a past Secretary of the IFPN. More importantly, Sheila is an advocate for perioperative nurses and safe patient care. Sheila is approachable and encouraging to perioperative nurses around the globe.”

Daphny Peneza, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM, TNCC 

RN IV / Neurological Practice Specialist for Education 

Daphny Peneza“Daphny is an international perioperative nurse who works in Texas.  She is committed to AORN and our membership, serving her chapter as President-Elect, the educators specialty assembly as chair, and on the EXPO Planning Committee. She makes a difference in nursing globally.”

Barbara Nalley, RN, BSN, ANP-BC, NP-C, CNOR

RNFA Nurse Practitioner

“Barb is a RNFA Nurse Practitioner. She always supports AORN in her clinical practice. She is active with both the leadership and APN specialty assemblies, and a member of RNFA specialty assembly. Last year at Expo, she was the winner for Periop Clinical Practice Award. She also serves on the Awards Committee currently and volunteers at the chapter level.”

DeShon Burton-Essia BS, BSN, RN IV 

CVOR, Trauma, Transplant Staff Nurse IV 

DeShon Burton-Essia BS, BSN, RN IV“Deshon mentors graduate perioperative nurses, assisting with Periop 101 course teachings. Additionally, she serves as a mentor and preceptor for new employees. As an encourager of excellence, she welcomes student nurses during chapter meetings and provides her personal information so she can assist them with any educational needs. She possesses a BSN degree, but encourages others like me who are pursuing higher nursing degrees to be steadfast, focused, and prayerful on the journey. She has advocated for nursing at the local and state level, boldly speaking in support of nursing legislation for all nurses across Texas at Nurse Day at the Capitol and Texas Perioperative Nurse Day. DeShon has impeccable perioperative skills and is a promoter of diverse, safe, competent, and compassionate care.”

Shilo Covey MBA, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEBC 

Staff Nurse 

Shilo Covey MBA, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEBC“Shilo is a shining example of a dedicated nurse that advocates for an excellent standard of perioperative education. While a nurse manager, she pushed for educating nurses on relevant and new information to keep her staff knowledgeable and informed. Currently, she is a nursing instructor leading the way for brand new nurses. She is teaching students how to be a nurse and is guiding them toward perioperative nursing as well. She has worked very hard for her chapter in different leadership positions to provide various education opportunities for our members. Some of these events included a leadership seminar, education on new prepping products, and education on new ways to gather business data for her department.”

Crystal Bricker MSN, RN, CNOR

Nursing Professional Development, Specialist-Perioperative Services 

Crystal Bricker MSN, RN, CNOR  “As a strong advocate for surgical smoke evacuation, I contacted Crystal to assist me in the effort to prepare for introducing smoke evacuation legislation in Illinois to create better working environments in the OR. Crystal enthusiastically volunteered to help with our journey. I have known Crystal for three years and she is a phenomenal perioperative nurse, leader, and PhD student. Crystal serves as a mentor to nurses pursuing  specialty certifications and recently served as a CCI CNOR coach. She coordinates operating room clinical experiences for undergraduate nursing students as a mechanism to combat the nursing shortages in the OR environment. Crystal also showcases her perioperative knowledge by participating at a surgical booth to attract 8th grade students to consider a career in perioperative nursing. I sincerely appreciate her commitment to the perioperative nursing profession.”

Vicky Gresham RN, BSN 

Director of Surgical Services 

Vicky Gresham RN, BSN  “Vicky is an exemplary RN who goes above and beyond in her role as surgical services director to ensure the highest level of care to our patients and the success of our staff. She is a true treasure who puts the needs of our patients above all else.”

Rebecca Vortman DNP, RN, CNOR

Clinical Assistant Professor

Rebecca Vortman DNP, RN, CNOR  “Becca is actively contributing to the goals designated for the Year of the Nurse by serving as an advocate for surgical smoke evacuation legislation in Illinois. Additionally, Becca is involved in mentoring relationships to assist OR nurses with implementing surgical smoke evacuation polices at a large academic hospital system in Illinois. Her dedication and commitment as a surgical smoke evacuation policy advocate and expert will help establish safer working environments for OR nurses in Illinois. Becca is also a perioperative education consultant. In this role, she provides education and support for nurses interested in achieving the CNOR certification. Becca plays a pivotal role in influencing nurses to pursue advanced degrees in nursing leadership that will strengthen the healthcare delivery system for improved patient outcomes. Becca is a dedicated OR nurse leader and is committed to advancing the nursing profession through policy, leadership, research, and evidence-based practices.”

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