Thelma Roach-Serry, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Thelma Roach-Serry, BSN, RN, NE-BC, is currently the Nurse Manager for Specialty Clinics, providing oversight for a number of medical and surgical clinical programs. She has been a nurse for 30 years. She joined the VA system in 1985 at Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC - Richmond, Virginia, and has varied nursing experiences encompassing the inpatient, critical care and ambulatory care settings. Thelma is a graduate of Howard University, Washington, D.C. She holds ANCC certification in Nursing Administration and a graduate certificate in Health Administration from Central Michigan University. She is a 2006 graduate of the VISN 6 Leadership Development Institute and a 2012 Fellow of the American Nurses Advocacy Institute.
Thelma Roach-Serry appreciates the value of nurse advocacy and strong involvement in nursing organizations. She has been an active NOVA member since 1995. She has held several offices in the NOVA Richmond Chapter 420, including Board Member, Vice President, Program Chair, and President. She was appointed to the NOVA Membership Committee in 2000. She joined NOVA’s Board of Directors in 2007 and is currently a Vice-President. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, for which NOVA is a proud Organizational Affiliate, as well as a member of the National Black Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau. She is also the current Vice President of the Virginia Nurses Association and Health Ministry Leader for her church.
Dedication, commitment and service with integrity are characteristics that are extremely important to Thelma. She values the importance of being actively involved in NOVA. Her goal is “to inspire professional VA nurses to join and become active members of the organization – action through service makes the difference.”
Kelly D. Skinner, MSN, RN, CRRN, CFCN, WCC, NP-C, GNP-BC
VA Boston Health Care System
Kelly D. Skinner, MSN, RN, CRRN, CFCN, WCC, NP-C, GNP-BC, currently serves as Membership Secretary of NOVA Chapter 226 where she also served as President, Secretary and Director. She is a member of the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Ms. Skinner is in her 23rd year of continuous nursing service at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She obtained a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Boston College in 1991, and a Master's Degree from the University of Massachusetts - Boston in 1999. Ms. Skinner is an Advanced Practice Nurse who is certified in rehabilitation and wound care. She has been functioning as the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Specialist at the VA Boston Healthcare System since 2001.
Ms. Skinner states that one of her goals for NOVA is to "promote the image and professional status of VA nursing." She enjoys working with other VA nurses at the national level who support the advancement of nursing and strive to provide quality care to those veterans who have served America.
Taryn-Janae Wilcox-Olson, MHS, RN
VA Black Hills Health Care System
Fort Meade, South Dakota
Taryn-Janae Wilcox-Olson, MHS, RN, has been with the VA since 2008. She began as an inpatient mental health nurse and is now the Patient Safety Manager for VA Black Hills Health Care System. Prior to working for the VA, she was an RN for a pediatric home health agency. She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology, French, and nursing from Northern State University and University of South Dakota and received her Master of Health Sciences degree from Nova Southeastern University. Throughout her undergraduate studies, her ultimate goal was to work for the VA.
TJ is an active member of her local NOVA chapter and has worked at revitalizing the chapter and increasing membership. “I am honored to be a NOVA Board Member and to have the opportunity to work with and share ideas with VA nurses nationwide to help ensure our veterans are receiving the best care no matter where they are.”
Immediate Past President
Larry Lemos, DNP, MHA, RN, GCNS-BC, NE-BC
VA Long Beach Health Care System
Long Beach, California
Larry Lemos, DNP, MHA, RN, GCNS-BC, NE-BC, is a Nursing Officer of the Day/Nurse Supervisor at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System in Long Beach, California. He has been in the VA system for over 20 years and has worked in four VA facilities in California as a Staff Nurse, Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Nursing Supervisor.
Larry received his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1990, a Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of California San Francisco in 1994, and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Golden Gate University in 2002. He completed an Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of San Francisco in December 2014.
Larry is certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the State of California and holds a national certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Gerontological Nursing as well as a national certification as a Nurse Executive, both from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. He holds faculty appointments at the UCSF School of Nursing in the Department of Physiological Nursing, and Mount St. Mary’s University Department of Nursing.
Larry is currently the Immediate Past President of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA), the nationwide voluntary professional association composed of Registered and Licensed Professional/Vocational nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been on the Board of Directors since 2001, serving as a Director, Secretary, Vice President, President-Elect, and President. He served from 2004-2011 on the NOVA Foundation Board of Directors.
Teresa Acosta, DNP, MSN, RN
El Paso VA Health Care System
El Paso, Texas
Teresa Acosta, DNP, MSN, RN, is currently the Occupational Health Nurse for the El Paso VA Health Care System, overseeing the management of the health and wellness for all employees, staff and volunteers . She has been a nurse for 25 years. She joined the VA system in 2010, and brings diverse nursing experiences comprising of public health, community, psychiatric, quality, infection control and ambulatory care nursing.
Teresa is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, where she obtained a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Nursing Administration. She has a Masters Degree in Community Health Nursing and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and Spanish from the University of Texas, El Paso, Texas. Teresa Acosta is passionate about nursing and understands the significance of the nurse’s role in advocating for nurses, the nursing profession, and quality health care for all in today’s complex health care system.
Teresa Acosta has been an active NOVA member since 2012. Teresa was appointed to the NOVA Legislative Committee in 2012. She joined NOVA’s Board of Directors in 2015. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, for which NOVA is a proud Organizational Affiliate, as well as a member of the Texas Nurses Association District 1 and Sigma Theta Tau. She is also the current Secretary of the Texas Nurses Association District 1 and a member of the Texas Nurses Association Governmental Affairs Committee for District 1. Ms. Acosta is also an instructor in Nursing at the University of Texas, El Paso, for the undergraduate nursing program.
Carmen Concepcion, MSN, MHA, RN
VA San Diego Health Care System
San Diego, California
Carmen Concepcion, MSN, MHA, RN, began her career in VABHCS as a registered nurse in the medical intensive care unit in 1996 at the Jamaica Plain campus. Subsequently, she held numerous positions in management including Nurse Manager, Chief of Sterile Processing Service for several years during the realignment under nursing service. She is currently the Associate Chief Nurse of the Community Living Center (CLC) at the Brockton division.
Ms. Concepcion received a dual master’s degree in nursing and health administration from the University of Phoenix in 2013 and her Bachelor’s of Science from Emmanuel College in 2006. Ms. Concepcion served as President of NOVA Chapter 226 and served in numerous roles on the local chapter board. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, and Massachusetts Association for Vascular Access Network. Ms. Concepcion is newly elected to the National NOVA Board of Directors and is looks forward to supporting the mission and vision of NOVA nationally in ensuring our veterans receive the highest quality care in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Nancy Elliott, MSN, RN-BC
Lebanon VA Medical Center
Nancy Elliott, MSN, RN-BC, is currently a staff nurse at the medical-surgical unit, and a part-time clinical instructor at the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center LPN program. Her clinical education duties are at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. She has been an RN for 4 years. Prior to becoming an RN she was an LPN for 16 years. Nancy has been a member since 2009, and serves as President of NOVA Chapter 346, and was previously a Vice-President of Chapter 346. Nancy is also a member of the Legislative Committee. She has 20 years of service at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. Nancy has experience working in behavioral health, long term care, hospice, short stay, and medical-surgical nursing. She graduated from Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2009 with an ADN. In 2012, she graduated from Immaculata University, Immaculata, PA, with a BSN. She received certification in medical-surgical nursing in 2012. She is currently enrolled in a MSN program at Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA, in the nurse educator track and will graduate in August 2014.
In addition to her active involvement in NOVA, Nancy is a member of several other nursing organizations and holds leadership roles in them. She is on the PSNA Bylaws committee and is a District 6 Secretary. She is the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses Capital Chapter 109 affiliate member representative to PSNA. Nancy is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau. She is on the National Nurse Practice Network Education Workgroup. Nancy has lead webinars on the topic of Health Literacy through the NNPN and ADVANCE nursing. She has done presentations for nursing students on the topic of Incivility in Nursing Academia. She is a member of the Lebanon VA Medical Center Nurse Practice Council and the Patient Family Health Education Committee.
“I am looking forward to working with the NOVA Board of Directors and VA nurses nationwide to ensure our Veterans receive the best care possible. I also will continue to be a resource for VA nurses and encourage them to join NOVA.”
Holly Francis, MSN, RN
Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
Holly Francis, MSN, RN, is a staff RN at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Allied Health Professions from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1997, a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2000, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Science from the University of Phoenix in 2013.
Holly currently works in the Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Laboratories, but has served in many other areas over her 13+ years in the VA system. Some of those areas include Med-Surge and Heme-Onc units, PACU/APC, Interventional Radiology, and IV team. She has served in several leadership positions throughout her VA career which include, but are not limited to, Moderate Sedation Council (Chair) and Unit Based Nurse Practice Council (Chair). She remains a strong advocate for nursing on the Nurse Practice Council, VISN Moderate Sedation Work Group, PICIS Moderate Sedation Build Group, VA National Cardiology Nurses E-Link, and the VA National Interventional Radiology Nurses E-Link.
Holly has pioneered many changes at the Zablocki VA Medical Center such as: capnography monitoring during moderate sedation procedures; implementing AORN standards in procedure areas (temperature/humidity control, water temperatures for surgical scrub, traffic control through procedure areas, and surgical attire in procedure areas); supply management and tracking system; protocol for antiplatelet medication associated with PCI; Naloxone standardization and education associated with opioid reversal during moderate sedation; Annual Malignant Hyperthermia education for all invasive procedure areas; Radiation Safety education for the Cardiology Program, and MRI Safety Zoning.
Since joining NOVA, Holly has been active in keeping current NOVA members in her local chapter informed on NOVA news and has been working to enlist new members as well. Holly participated in the planning of the 2014 Annual Meeting and is enthusiastic about helping to plan the 2015 Annual Meeting.
Ruth Holmes, MSA, BSN, RN
Office of the Medical Inspector, VA Central Office
Ruth Holmes, MSA, BSN, RN, is a Clinical Program Manager and Nurse Investigator in the Office of the Medical Inspector (OMI) for the VA Central Office. In this role she ensures quality of care throughout the 153 VA Medical Centers and clinics throughout the nation, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines. She has been in the nursing profession and federal sector for over 33 years, having a diverse clinical background with over 17 years of management, mentoring and varied leadership experiences.
Ms. Holmes is a US Air Force Nurse Corps Officer and Veteran who served 8 years in various supervisory roles, to include: Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and as a Flight Nurse overseas in the Philippines. She has been with the Veterans Health Administration for a total of 25 years. She worked at the Hampton VAMC (1987-2004) in several leadership positions to include: Nurse Manager of the Nursing Home Care Unit, Nurse Manager and Service Line Associated Chief SCI/D, and as the Director of Patient Care Services, SCI/D. She serves on several VACO and national workgroups and committees.
Ms. Holmes received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from Seton Hall University and her Master’s of Science in Health Administration Degree from Central Michigan University. She is an Adjunct Clinical Nursing instructor at the Hampton University School of Nursing, New Horizon’s Technical Institute, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She has completed multiple VA and DOD leadership programs: 2003 Leadership, Evaluation and Assessment Program; 2003 Executive Career Field Candidacy Program; 2004 LVA; 2006 Interagency Institute of Federal Healthcare Executives, and the 2007 Federal Executive Institute for Executive Nurses. In 2008, she participated as a nurse leader in the prestigious American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) co-sponsored, People to People Nurse Executive Delegation to South Africa. In this role, she was part of a one on one dialogue with African counterparts specializing in nursing administration. Ms. Holmes is also a Carey Award Examiner, a Presidential Management Fellow mentor, and preceptor to a VISN 6 LDI selectee. In addition, she serves as an unofficial mentor to several VHA leaders including Associate Directors, Nurse Managers, Nurse Practitioners and Heath System Specialists. She is an active member of the American College of Health Care Executives. She has been certified in Gerontology and Nursing Administration.
Ms. Holmes has been a member of NOVA for 4 years. She was recently elected as a NOVA National Board Director.
Ron Nardi, PMHCNS-BC, APRN
VA Connecticut Health Care System
Ronald Nardi, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, completed his undergraduate education at Tunxis Community College and Central Connecticut State University in Connecticut with a focus in Psychology and Philosophy. He transferred to Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Bridge Program in Nashville Tennessee where he earned his Masters of Science in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing in 1991. He is ANCC Certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and became an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in 1993. Since that time he has worked in a variety of psychiatric settings and roles across the continuum of care including inpatient, outpatient, teaching graduate and undergraduate students, as well as conducting Phase III and IV clinical research medication trials. He has directed inpatient adult and adolescent services as well as intensive outpatient services for 16+ years. Nurse Nardi has been with the Newington Connecticut VA for the past 15 years where he currently works as an APRN in the Mental Health Clinic on the PTSD Team and Adjunct Faculty for DNP Nursing Program of Fairfield University.
Mr. Nardi is classically trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy having trained with Alert Ellis, PhD, at the Albert Ellis Institute in New York. He is certified in performing Prolonged Exposure Therapy for treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, certified in Motivational Interviewing for enhancing and strengthening motivation and Certified in Parent Effectiveness Training. Nurse Nardi has developed a 12-week Intensive Group Based Exposure Therapy for the treatment of severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Ronald has presented and lectured to a wide audience base across the country and settings on a variety of topics and subject matter including the Assessment and Treatment of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Active Listening, De-Escalation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group Based Exposure Therapy and Forgiveness.
Ronald Nardi is a member of ANA, CNA and NOVA. He is currently serving as Co-Leaded of the VA Connecticut APRN group. He is an active member of the Nursing Recruitment and Retention Committee. In his recently appointment to the NOVA Board, he is eager to learn from those great nurses who have demonstrates such outstanding leadership and professionalism. It is his goal over the coming years to help strengthen NOVA membership and engagement from all nurses, especially APRNs. He is excited to work with current and past leaders of NOVA to support legislations and actions to remove restrictions on Advanced Practice Nursing Nationwide. Locally, he is working with other NOVA members and nurses to re-establish the NOVA Chapter in Connecticut.
Cecilia McVey, BSN, MHA, CNA
VA Boston Health Care System
Cecilia McVey, BSN, MHA, CNA, has held progressively responsible leadership positions within VA Nursing Service since beginning her career in 1972. In 1997, she was appointed as Chief, Nursing Service for the former Boston VA Medical Center. Upon the merger of that entity with the West Roxbury division in 1999, she was named Chief, Nursing Service for Integration and subsequently Associate Director for Nursing/Patient Services (ADN/PS) for Boston and West Roxbury. When the Brockton division was reintegrated in June 2000, Mrs. McVey was appointed to her current role of ADN/PS for the entire Boston Healthcare System. In this role, she is accountable for the delivery of nursing care throughout the BHS and the management of nearly 1000 employees at the three main divisions as well as satellite facilities. As a member of the BHS Leadership QUADRAD, she contributes to policy development and decision-making and participates in strategic planning and resource management.
Mrs. McVey received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston College in 1972, completed a certificate program in Nursing Administration at Clark University in Worcester in 1986, and received her Master of Science in Health Administration from Clark in 1988. She has published several articles in professional journals, and remains certified in Nursing Administration by the American Nurses Association.
Her professional memberships include Sigma Theta Tau (National Honor Society of Nursing), the Massachusetts/Rhode Island Association of Registered Nurses, Organization of Nursing Leaders - Massachusetts/Rhode Island, former Vice President of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs Foundation, the Boston College Nurses Association and the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA), for which she was the National Past President 2008 - 2010. Mrs. McVey currently serves as Co-Chair of the Nurse of the Future Core Competency Committee and was recently appointed to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Standards Committee.