Print E-mail


Rear Admiral (RADM) Kerry Paige Nesseler was appointed director of the Office of Global Health Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA) in May 2006. She was selected as the Chief Professional Officer for the Nurse Category effective 1 November 2009.

HRSA works to fill in the health care gaps for people who live outside the economic and medical mainstream. The agency uses its $7 billion annual budget (FY2007) to expand access to quality health care for all Americans through an array of grants to state and local governments, health care providers and health professions training programs. 

 As director of the Office of Global Health Affairs, Nesseler develops strategies to maximize HRSA's participation in efforts to improve health care for vulnerable populations worldwide; she also coordinates and advances international health policy and resource development within HRSA. Additionally, Nesseler serves as a consultant to the HHS Office of the Secretary's Global Health Affairs, other HHS agencies, the World Health Organization and other international groups on a variety of health and nursing issues, including health professions training and Pacific Basin health care needs. 

As Chief Nurse Officer for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), RADM Nesseler is responsible for providing leadership and coordination of the Public Health Service (PHS) nursing professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS). She will provide guidance and advice to the Surgeon General, the Nurse Professional Advisory Committee (N-PAC), and the Nation's nursing community on matters such as prevention, primary care, health systems development, recruitment, retention, readiness and career development of the PHS nurses. 

RADM Nesseler served as associate administrator for HRSA's Bureau of Health Professions from July 2002 until her current appointment. She was deputy associate adminstrator for programs for HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau from 2000 to 2002, and was senior nurse consultant at MCHB from 1993-2000. From1992-1993, RADM Nesseler was a nurse epidermiologist with Atlanta Regional Office. She began her PHS career with the Indian Health Service in 1986 at Fond du Lac Indian Reservation, located in Cloquet, Minnesota, as a Maternal Child Health Nurse Specialist. For her service, she was awarded the first Lucille Woodville Memorial Award.

RADM Nesseler received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of San Franscisco and a master of science in nursing from the University of Hawaii. She holds the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. 

Chief Nurse Updates Print E-mail

January 2011  (83kb)

November 2010  (74kb)

September 2010  (83kb)

All Hands Meeting 7-22-2010 (399kb)

May 2010 (74kb)

March 2010 (40.2Kb)

Chief Nurse Officer History Print E-mail

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). Lucile 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 Lucille Petry Leone
1966-1970 Margaret McLaughlin
1970-1987 Faye Abdellah (first nurse and the first woman to serve as Deputy Surgeon General)
1987-1992 O. Marie Henry
1992-1996 Julia Plotnick
1996-2000 Carolyn Beth Mazzella
2000-2005 Mary Pat Couig
2005-2009 Carol A. Romano

2009-Present Kerry Paige Nesseler
Chief Nurse Aide Print E-mail

Chief Nurse Aide
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it