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Office of Nursing Services (ONS)


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About VA Nursing

Vision: VA is the leader in the creation of an organizational culture where nursing excellence is valued as essential for the delivery of quality healthcare to those who served America. VA nursing is a dynamic, diverse group of honored, respected, and compassionate professionals.

About The Office of Nursing Services (ONS)

Mission: The Office of Nursing Services (ONS) provides leadership, guidance and strategic direction on all issues related to nursing practice, nursing education, nursing research, and nursing workforce for clinical programs across the continuum of care and across the spectrum of care delivery sites that impact our Veterans.


Key ONS Staff

Linda McConnell 

Linda McConnell, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Chief Nursing Officer  (Bio)

Alan Bernstein 

Alan Bernstein, MS, RN
Deputy Chief Nursing Officer  (Bio)


Karen Ott 
Karen M. Ott, DNP, RN
Director for Policy, Education and Legislation
Christine Engstrom 
Christine Engstrom, PhD, CRNP, AOCN, FAANP
Director, Clinical Practice
Kathy Barry 
Kathleen J. Barry RN, MHA, NEA-BC 
Director, Workforce and Leadership
Sheila Sullivan 
Sheila Cox Sullivan, PhD RN VHA-CM 
Director, Research & Analytics
Lisa Jensen 
Lisa Jensen, DNP, APRN 
Associate  Director, Workforce and Leadership
Suzanne Thorne-Odem 
Suzanne Thorne-Odem, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Clinical Practice Program Manager
Chris Kasper 
Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, USUHS, Graduate School of Nursing
Mary Pat Coiuig 
Mary Pat Couig, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Intermittent, Special Projects
Nursing Emergency Management
  Storm Morgan
Storm L. Morgan, MSN, RN, MBA
Pressure Ulcer Prevention Coordinator
Patient Aligned Care Team 
Pressure Ulcer Prevention
706-993-8915 (Blackberry)
Michelle Lucatorto 
Michelle A. Lucatorto, DNP, RN, FNP-BC 
Clinical Program Manager, Specialty Care

Elizabeth Czekanski 
Elizabeth Czekanski, DNP, MS, RN-BC, NE-BC, VHA-CM
Mental Health Clinical Nurse Advisor (ONS Staff)
(412) 801-1125
Penny Kaye Jensen 
Penny Kaye Jensen, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, FAAN, FAANP
Liaison for National APRN Policy


Office Staff

Ila Flannigan, MHSA
Executive Assistant

Matthew Rystrom, MHA
Health System Specialist - Research and Academics
Carmen Kestner
Staff Assistant

Austin Moore, MS
Management Analyst

Kelly Morrow
Program Specialist
269-966-5600  x36431

Shameka Jackson
Program Specialist

Office of Nursing Services Main Telephone Number: 202-461-6700

VA Headquarters (10A1)
810 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20420
Office Fax: 202-461-0933
email ONS