Sharon Van Wicklin, PhD, RN, CNOR, CRNFA(E), CPSN-R, PLNC, FAAN, ISPAN-F
Sharon is the current president of the NASC Board of Directors and has been a member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio evaluation panel since 2019. She is self-employed and serves as a Perioperative and Legal Nurse Consultant and as Editor-in-Chief of the Plastic and Aesthetic Nursing Journal. She has 49 years of experience as a perioperative nurse, and 16 years as a Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant. Sharon has expertise in all areas but specialized primarily in plastics, ophthalmology, and general surgery. She has previously worked as a senior perioperative practice specialist at AORN; an advanced course facilitator at University of Phoenix; an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University; and a perioperative education coordinator at Williamson Medical Center. When Sharon is not working, she likes to play the piano and read, and also enjoys doing needlework.
Karen Knapp, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Karen is currently the secretary of the Board of Directors at NASC and has been member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio Evaluation Panel since 2019. Karen has been a CRNFA for 25 years and has worked as a travel nurse who specializes in orthopedics, spine, and neuro. She now works on the Open Heart team at Trinity Health Muskegon. Karen has worked in the OR for 39 years in roles including management, education and clinical implementation specialist. She is involved with nursing organizations at the national level advocating for her profession and for patients. Karen loves to travel, and enjoys hiking and exploring the world. She is a consummate tourist. She also loves horseback riding and enjoys camping with her family and friends
Robert E. Salsameda, MPA, MSN, FNP-C, CRNFA, CNRN, CGCP
Robert (Bob) Salsameda is currently the vice president of the NASC Board of Directors and has been a member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio evaluation panel since 2019. Bob has been an RN for 48 years, an RNFA for 44 years, and a CRNFA for 30 years. Bob’s specialty is neurological surgery (cerebral-spinal procedures). He is the Course Chair of the UCLA Extension RNFA program where he has instructed nurses in the RN First Assistant role at the university level for 30 years. He has been an invited presenter at several regional and national conferences on various trauma and neurosurgical modalities and has written chapters on neurological surgery techniques for the AORN Core Curriculum for the RN First Assistant. He currently works as a CNS consultant doing clinical scientist movement disorders research including related minor surgical procedures. Bob’s experience includes four years as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman Operating Room Technician/Surgical First Assistant. He has served on the Consultative Board of Saint Joseph High School in Lakewood, CA for ten years and enjoys watching St. John Bosco High School soccer and football games. Bob enjoys Latin jazz, music of the 1960s, watching his grandkids participate in their activities, and traveling with his bride of 53 years.
Heather Kooiker, MSN, RN, CNL, CNOR, CRNFA
Heather is currently a member of the Board of Directors and has been member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio Evaluation Panel since 2019. She has been an RNFA for 12 years, and a CRNFA for seven years. She works as a Preoperative Professor of Nursing and a CRNFA at Davenport University in the Centre of Plastic Surgery. Heather has 28 years of surgical experience in all roles, and her current specialty is plastics. She is the current chapter president of AORN in West Michigan and a CNOR coach. In her free time, Heather enjoys horseback riding and shooting.
Heidi Keegan, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Heidi is a member of the NASC Board of Directors and has been a member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio Evaluation Panel since 2019. She is currently the Lead Assistant in Cardiac Surgery at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health in Abington, PA. Heidi has been an RN for 27 years, an RNFA for 16 years, and a CRNFA for 15 years. She started her nursing career in telemetry, and then worked in the cardiac care and cardiac surgery intensive care unit before transferring to the cardiac OR. She is a wife and a mother of two and enjoys spending time in the mountains, walking, hiking, boating, jet skiing, and hanging out with her lovable mastiff, Reggie. Heidi’s volunteering activities include school nurse at her daughter’s school, veterans organizations, and Night to Shine with the Tim Tebow Foundation.
Nancy Rove, BA, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Nancy currently works as a CRNFA at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, California. Her experience includes 45 years as a Registered Nurse; 30 years as an RNFA; and as a CRNFA since 1995. She had been a member of the CRNFA Portfolio evaluation panel since 2020. Nancy has assisted in over 6400 cases as a first assistant in all specialties except cardiac surgery. Currently, most of her cases are robotic and orthopedic. She has served as a volunteer on eleven medical missions to Guatemala and is currently a faculty member and instructor for the UCLA RNFA program in Los Angeles. When she is not in the operating room, Nancy is a Peloton fanatic and enjoys skiing.
Jean Franks, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Jean has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. She has been an RNFA for 31 years, CRNFA for 22 years, and joined the CRNFA Portfolio evaluation panel in 2020. She has worked as Director of Surgery, Educator and Staff Nurse, specializing in general and laparoscopic surgery. Jean is sole proprietor of Eastside Surgical Associates, where she has billed for herself and other RNFAs. She is active in AORN, and has served as RNFA Specialty Assembly Chair, Practice/Legislative Chair, and on several task forces. She has also served on several CCI committees. Jean has worked for many years advocating for nursing issues, including RNFA reimbursement. She is a member of the Texas Nursing Association and the Nursing Legislative Agenda Coalition Legislative Committee. She is currently working with a Legacy Nurses group focused on getting perioperative nursing back into nursing programs and introducing perioperative nursing to high school students. Jean has participated in medical missions to Nicaragua and Peru. She enjoys skiing, traveling to many countries, and loves to read.
Carol Hager, RN, BSN, MSN, CRNP, CNOR(E), CRNFA(E)
Carol has worked in surgical-based clinical settings for 52 years and has been actively involved in the OR since 1990. She worked as a nurse practitioner for 17 years and a CRNFA for 28 years before retiring from her employment at Bayview Breast Care at UPMC Hamot. Carol joined NASC as a member of the CRNFA Professional Portfolio evaluation panel in 2020. Carol’s specialties include breast, reconstructive plastics, general surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotics. She has also had experience on the medical-surgical floor and has worked as a head nurse in a burn unit. For 27 years, Carol has enjoyed volunteering her service on surgical missions conducted by Rotaplast International. Outside the operating room, Carol enjoys gardening, reading, and travelling.
Miguel Sañudo, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Miguel has been an RN for 36 years, an RNFA for 18 years, and a CRNFA for 8 years. He currently works as a staff RNFA at Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center where he is a member of the RN Career Ladder Committee and is a Union Steward of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP). Miguel has experience as a Circulator, Scrub, and OR Charge Nurse working in a Trauma Center, Same Day Surgery, and as an Independent Practice Assistant. His surgical specialties are ortho, neuro, and plastics. He served on the CRNFA Job Analysis panel and has been a member of the CRNFA evaluation panel since 2020. Miguel’s interests outside the OR include sailing, cooking, music, travel, and collecting and refurbishing antique copper.
Adele Smith, BSN RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Adele has 13 years of experience working as an RN, 7 years as an RNFA, and 3 years as a CRNFA with a specialty in orthopedics. Adele has assisted in general, plastics, bariatrics, and orthopedics. She is currently working as an RNFA with orthopedic surgeons at Summit Orthopedics, Legacy Emanuel. She is also proficient in scrubbing and circulating in all specialty areas except the heart. When Adele is not working, she loves to read novels and usually consumes roughly 4-5 books per month. Aside from that, she’s a doting mother to her 4-year-old daughter.
Tracie White, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, CNOR, CRNFA
Tracie has been an RN for 26 years, an RNFA for 22 years and a CRNFA for 15 years. She currently works at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she is an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and the RNFA Subspecialty Program Coordinator. Her specialties are GI, colorectal, and ortho. Tracie worked as an RNFA for 10 years in a private practice orthopedic group before going to UAB to pursue her NP degree. While at UAB, she has worked as an RNFA and an NP with thoracic, GI, colorectal, and pancreatic specialties. When Tracie is not working, she loves to be on the water in a boat or on the beach. She has three rescue dogs and is a volunteer mentor at a high-risk elementary school.
Amy Wisniewski, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Amy has been an RN for 27 years, an RNFA for 13 years, and a CRNFA for 3 years. She has been employed at a cancer hospital as an RNFA for the past 13 years. Amy assists in all specialties including Robotics, General, Urology, and Gyne. Her hospital is a certified Breast Center of Excellence where she spends the majority of her time in reconstructive plastic surgery including microvascular free flaps, as well as head and neck surgery. Amy is the co-chair of the unit-based council committee as well as an active member of the hospital-wide recruitment and retention committee. Her hospital recently redesignated as a magnet institution for the third time so it was a very busy and exciting year! Amy is the mother of three busy teenagers. When she is not with them, she is traveling the world with her partner. They have been to 6 countries in the last two years with 3 more on the docket for this year.
Helen Pascua, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Helen has been an RN for 27 years, and an RNFA for 12 years. She was one of the first CRNFAs to earn her certification by successfully completing the CRNFA Professional Portfolio. She currently works as a CRNFA at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital where she is an advocate for patient safety and has given presentations on malignant hyperthermia, patient positioning, and fire safety. Helen assists in all specialties including Robotics, General, Gynecology, Urology, Orthopedic, and ENT cases. Her perioperative background includes staff roles as circulator and first assist. She has volunteered with CCI in item writing and test development for CNOR. Helen is active in her local AORN chapter, where she currently serves as a board member. She has also volunteered with MedShare, Western Region in California sorting surplus medical supplies to donate and provide for the uncertain needs of different countries with economic problems during the time of the pandemic. This has allowed her to have an impact at the global level by heightening the awareness of medical supply wastage in the US. In her downtime, Helen runs long miles. She has participated in the ultramarathon, trail marathons, and road marathon races.
Duane Kelloway, MSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Duane has 33 years of experience as an RN. He has been an RNFA for 18 years and a CRNFA for 9 years. He currently works as a CRNFA and Robotic Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Hospital North/Baycare Health Systems where he assists in all specialties including general, orthopedics, spine, gynecology, urology, plastics, and ENT. His roles include preference card maintenance, Value Analysis Team (VAT) committee member, and biomaterial tracking and management (BTM). Duane’s past experience includes five years of open heart experience and seven years at a level one trauma center OR with crossover ortho team assisting. He has been in his current role for 13 years. His volunteer work includes championing of surgery staff for the promotion of recycling programs to decrease waste in operating rooms. When Duane isn’t working, he enjoys reading and yard work.
Mallory Edwards, BSN, RN, CNOR, CBN, CRNFA
Mallory has been an RN for 12 years, and RNFA for 7 years, and a CRNFA for 2 years. Mallory earned her CRNFA by successfully completing the CRNFA Professional Portfolio. Currently, she works as a staff nurse at St. Elizabeth Healthcare where she serves on the Patient Experience Committee, Unit Based Council, and as a resource for organ recovery. Her specialties include general surgery and robotic general surgery, bariatric surgery and robotic bariatric surgery, and podiatry. She also has experience as an RN in long term care, med/surg, and corrections. When she is not working, Mallory is passionate about animals. She supports multiple animal rescues and enjoys spending time with her dog Cooper. She enjoys gardening, spending time with her two year old niece and traveling.
Susie Porter, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CNOR, CRNFA
Susie has been an RN for 34 years, and RNFA for 26 years, and has been certified as a CRNFA for 22 years. She currently works as an FNP and CRNFA at Orthopaedic Specialty Institute and Hoag Orthopedic Institute where she specializes in orthopedic joint replacement. Other specialties include general, GYN, plastics, neuro, spine, cardiovascular, vascular, ENT, eye, urology, pediatrics and thoracic surgery. Her work experience includes teaching suturing and knot tying at the UCLA RNFA Program, orthopedic lecturer at UCLA, and consultant for Ethicon. Her current roles include Director of Allied Health Professions, Perioperative Committee, Performance Improvement Committee, Infection Prevention Committee, Quality Enhancement Committee, Opioid Stewardship Committee, and Interdisciplinary Practice Committee Chair. When Susie is not working, she enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, camping, softball, and spending time with her granddaughter.
Angelita Armijos-Slagle, BSN, RN, CA-SANE, CNOR, CRNFA
Angelita has 28 years of experience as an RN, 20 years as an RNFA, and has earned her CRNFA by successfully completing the CRNFA Professional Portfolio. Angelita currently works as a surgical assistant at Allied Health specializing in OB/GYN/GYN Oncology. She started as a surgical technician in 1990 and is has been branching out on her own since 2003. Angelita is currently semi-retired and enjoys family time while focusing on mental health and wellness for her family. Her interests include DIY home projects, gardening, educating herself in various nursing specialties, swimming, and exercising. Her volunteer activities include Pathway Church, Taste Project, Operation Smile, and Make a Wish Foundation.
Sylvia L. Kirgis, DNP, ACNP-BC, CNOR, CRNFA, CCRN
Sylvia has been an RN for 29 years. She has 27 years of operating room experience, with 22 of those years as an RNFA in cardiac surgery. She has been certified as a CRNFA for 20 years. Sylvia was trained in endoscopic vein harvesting in 2001 and endoscopic radial in 2005. She transitioned to a Nurse Practitioner role in 2007, and in 2019 became a full-time nurse practitioner in a travel position. She continues to practice in the RNFA role while working as a travel Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with Weatherby Healthcare. Sylvia also works as adjunct faculty for nurse practitioners and mentors nurse practitioners to consider the surgical role, RNFA training, and certification. When she is not working, Sylvia enjoys traveling and riding motorcycles and mountain bikes.
Abigail A. Barnes, BA, BSN, CNOR, CRNFA, CPSN
Abigail is self-employed as a CRNFA specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. She began her surgical career as a surgical technologist at an ambulatory surgery center in 2003. She became an (ADN) RN in 2013, and completed her BSN in 2014. In 2015, she became an office nurse at a plastic surgery practice. She enrolled in the RNFA program at NIFA and completed the program in four months. In 2017, Abigail formed her own practice, “AAB, RN First Assistant, LLC”. She earned her CPSN (Certified Plastic Surgery Nurse) certification in 2019, and in 2021 she completed the CRNFA Professional Portfolio to earn CRNFA. Abigail enjoys running, bicycling, motorcycle riding, traveling extensively, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Ashlee Cummings, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Ashlee has been an RN for 10 years and an RNFA for 4 years. She earned her CRNFA by completing the CRNFA Professional Portfolio. Ashlee has worked at the Cleveland Clinic for 10 years, where she is Lead Surgical Clinician for thoracic surgery specializing in cardiothoracic surgery, robotics, and minimally invasive surgery. As Lead Thoracic Surgery Educator she works closely with cardiac educator colleagues to expand educational opportunities – not only for the RNFA/PA group but for the nurses, techs and resident/fellow groups within the organization. Ashlee’s work experience includes working as a scrub and circulating nurse prior to becoming an RNFA, primarily with thoracic surgery, combined with cardiac, ENT, colorectal, plastics, and spine. She is a member of her AORN chapter and the American Nurses Association. When she is not at work, Ashlee enjoys homesteading and spending time with her husband and two dogs. She and her husband run a small business that specializes in stump grinding, excavating, and tractor services for their local community.
Samantha Kuplicki, MSN, APRN-CNS, AGCNS-BC, CWS, CRNFA
Samantha is an Advanced Practice Provider and Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant for Hepatobiliary Surgery. She has been a nurse for 14 years, RNFA for 7 years, and CRNFA for 3. Her experience includes robotics as well as open surgery and encompasses general surgery, burn, plastics/reconstructive, breast, colorectal, and urologic specialties. She has a background in wound care as well as a Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) and continues to serve as subject matter expert and consultant in this field. When not in the operating room, Samantha enjoys weightlifting and time with her family.
Ronald P. Nuval, MSN, RN, CRNFA, CNOR
Ron has been a CVOR Nurse for 28 years running and became an RNFA in 2010. He became certified by completing the CRNFA Professional Portfolio in 2020. Ron currently works at Texas Children’s Hospital where he specializes in Adult and Congenital heart surgery. Besides volunteering on the CRNFA Portfolio Evaluation panel, Ron has also served on the AORN Education and Product Development Committee. Beyond healthcare, Ronald finds joy in traveling, photography, gardening, and cooking.