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Rear Admiral Carol A. Romano, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Nurse Officer

photo of RADM Carol A. RomanoRADM Romano leads and coordinates Commissioned Corps nursing professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services, advising the Surgeon General and the Nurse Professional Advisory Committee on the standards, recruitment, retention, readiness and career development of Corps nurses. She says, "Strength, professionalism, caring, compassion, healing, and determination are attributes shared by us all. Our service is a gift to our nation."

RADM Romano has worked at NIH for 34 years in a variety of positions including associate investigator, clinical research nurse, nurse educator, nursing information systems specialist, Director of Marketing & Recruitment, and Director of Clinical Informatics & Quality Assessment. RADM Romano is a recognized pioneer in the field of nursing informatics. "One of the most interesting aspects in my career has been to work in a constantly changing environment. Especially in the field of informatics, the status quo is consistently challenged, and I am required to work with competing priorities for time and resources," she says.

RADM Romano was involved in designing and implementing one of the first computerized medical information systems, which provided electronic medical orders and clinical documentation for patients in ambulatory and hospital environments. She was a co-architect of the world's first graduate curriculum in nursing informatics at the University of Maryland and has mentored numerous students in this field. Her research includes completed and published studies in the area of informatics education, confidentiality of clinical records, and the adoption of innovations. She says, "While there is plenty of one-on-one patient care in the Corps, there are opportunities to become involved in community disease prevention and treatment programs that can make an impact on overall community disease rates."

She is currently the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she directs the clinical operations for development, implementation, and evaluation of the NIH Clinical Research Information Systems. RADM Romano says, "Nursing is the future of human health, and nurses will be called on more than ever to meet public health challenges. Nurses reach out to care and comfort those who are vulnerable and in need. Nurses promote health by nurturing the human response to disease and social reintegration of people's lives."

Having been in the Corps for more than 20 years, RADM Romano encourages nurses and nursing students to consider a career in the Corps. She explains, "Nursing as a profession has given me far more that I ever anticipated. We are so lucky to be nurses because nurses make a significant difference in the lives of others. I wish I had known more about the Corps when I was a new nurse."

RADM Romano received a diploma in nursing from the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. From the University of Maryland, she earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in nursing.

If you are a nursing student or nurse interested in the Commissioned Corps, take the next step! E-mail us your questions, call us at 800-279-1605, or apply online now.

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Last updated on 6/10/2008