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Chief Nurse Officer History

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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

2009-2013 Kerry Paige Nesseler
2013-Present Sylvia Trent-Adams