The Military Needs Nurses Too
Olga C. Rodriguez, DNP, MSN, RN, CPHQ is currently the Executive Director of Clinical Services for the nursing and allied health Travel Division of Career Staff Unlimited.
Olga completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Nursing at Syracuse University. Early in her career, Olga chose critical care as her specialty and cardiology as a subspecialty. Her first nursing position was with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Syracuse, NY which culminated in being selected (two years out of her bachelor’s degree) to the position of Critical Care Education Specialist and Coordinator for the medical center.
She pursued a master’s in adult critical care and administration, and soon after graduation she joined the US Army Reserves as an officer and proudly served overseas in Korea, Germany, Hawaii (considered overseas by the US Army), Japan, and Iraq. Stateside assignments included: Moncrief Community Hospital, FT Jackson, SC: Walter Reed Medical and Research Center, DC, Ft Benning, GA, and Ft Sam Houston, TX.
In all of her assignments, she held managerial and leadership positions ranging from unit manager to Executive Officer for an Infantry Brigade as well as Commander of the Medical Detachment for the Hawaii National Guard. Her love for field nursing and working alongside the combat soldier resulted in her being recognized as an expert in the management of combat support hospitals. She is the recipient of the Bronze Star and numerous military awards, ribbons, and badges. She retired from the military in the rank of Colonel. In her civilian professional life, Olga has focused her work on teaching hospitals and some community hospitals. Leadership positions she has held include executive nursing and allied health services such as respiratory therapy, pharmacy, nutrition care, laboratory services, and clinical support services.
Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety are the drivers for patient care and outcomes for her. As a consultant, she has been involved with regulatory and federal agencies and has developed expertise often sought out by healthcare entities experiencing challenges with The Joint Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Justice (DOJ), and departments of health. Since she retired from the US Army, Olga has worked as a consultant in Clinical operations, Quality and Performance Improvement, Critical Care, Behavioral Health, and Regulatory Compliance. Olga has held leadership positions as a CNO, VP, Hospital Administrator, and COO in the US and overseas.
Olga is an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL), American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN), Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).
As a member of these organizations, she has held leadership positions (president, present-elect, treasurer, secretary, and committee chair) at the local and state chapter level. At the national level, she has been involved with task forces and Foundation activities (AONE and AACN). As a champion of life-long learning, Olga is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nursing Leadership with Florida Southern College. Olga is an avid tennis player and enjoys mentoring aspiring leaders in healthcare.