The nursing profession reached a milestone of sorts this month with the nomination by President Obama of Maj. Gen. Patricia Horoho, RN, MSN, MS, for the position of Army surgeon general.
If confirmed by the Senate, Horoho would become the first nurse and first woman to fill the position. She currently is Army deputy surgeon general and the 23rd chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.
Horoho has been in charge of the Army Nurse Corps since 2008, when she was promoted from colonel to major general. She also has commanded the Walter Reed Health Care System, which includes eight hospitals and clinics in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
After taking over the Army Nurse Corps, Horoho sought to revamp the Corps through steps such as training nurses to face the trauma of war and educating RNs who can incorporate evidence-based practice at the bedside both on battle fronts and in home-base medical centers.
The plan will be driven by courage to do the right thing, innovation to meet the rapidly evolving war, fighting, and medical demands of the 21st century, and constant compassion for those we serve and those with whom we serve, Horoho said in her July 2008 acceptance speech, according to Nurse.com.
We will critically assess ourselves and the care we provide in every location along the continuum of care from the forward surgical teams in the thick of battle to the [combat support] hospitals under mortar fire and back home to our hospitals and clinics, where we care for warriors of all generations and their families.
Nursing Spectrum and the American Red Cross recognized Horoho as a Nurse Hero for her actions on Sept. 11, 2001, when, while serving in the Pentagon, she tended to wounded colleagues after terrorists crashed a jet into the building.
Horoho earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982 and her MSN as a clinical trauma nurse specialist from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a resident graduate of the Armys Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, where she earned a second MS in National Resource Strategy.
Her early military assignments include staff nurse on a multi-service specialty ward, and staff and head nurse of a Level III ED at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colo; nurse counselor, 1st Recruiting Brigade (Northeast) with duty at Harrisburg and Pittsburgh Recruiting Battalions; and head nurse of a 22-bed ED at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Horoho later was chief nurse and hospital commander of a 500-bed field hospital, the 249th General Hospital in Fort Gordon, Ga; assistant branch chief for the Army Nurse Corps Branch, United States Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, Va; assistant deputy for healthcare management policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) at the Pentagon; and deputy commander for nursing and commander of the DeWitt Health Care Network in Fort Belvoir, Va.