Nursing Leadership Structure & Support | Tampa General Hospital

In the fast-paced and ever-changing healthcare industry, Tampa General Hospital has distinguished itself as a leading academic health system. In delivering patient care, we hold ourselves to rigorous standards and continually raise the bar as we pursue the journey toward world-class patient care. For these reasons and others, we have received the prestigious Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which is the highest national honor that can be achieved in the practice of professional nursing. We are proud to be recognized for nursing excellence, which is a direct testament to our nursing leadership.

At TGH, leadership is more than a title; it is also a behavior. Our esteemed nursing leaders lead by example and become more effective through daily practice. With the Magnet® Transformational Leadership tenets as their foundation and guide, they establish interdisciplinary partnerships, foster professional rapport and facilitate effective communication throughout our organization. They also support, encourage, motivate and inspire our nurses every day, helping them to do their best work, pursue their career goals and develop both professionally and personally. Transformational thinking is at the core of all they do, with the goal of propelling the organization and the nursing profession into the future.

The essential qualities of an effective nursing leader

In the field of professional nursing, effective leadership is both a science and an art. Therefore, a nursing leader must cultivate certain skills and attributes from both the scientific and artistic disciplines, which can be acquired and developed through education, experience and mentorship. Significantly, the nursing leaders at TGH know how (and when) to lead, follow and delegate. They are also:

  • Effective communicators
  • Critical thinkers
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Creative and innovative
  • Trustworthy and dependable
  • Professional and respectful
  • Compassionate and empathetic
  • Dedicated to excellence

In addition, nursing leaders employ the AKTiVe Leadership Model . This enables them to perform as effectively as possible in their roles while embodying the four cornerstone qualities of the AKTiVe model: Authenticity, Kindness, Transparency and Vulnerability.

In an environment of nursing excellence, all nurses are leaders. Therefore, the nursing leaders at TGH provide our nurses with the authority to make decisions and the autonomy to act in accordance with their professional knowledge.

TGH Nursing Leadership

Headshot of Wendi Goodson-Celerin

Wendi Goodson-Celerin, DNP, APRN, NE-BC
Sr. Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer

Wendi Goodson is the Vice President of Patient Services at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a nationally renowned nonprofit academic health system. Goodson is responsible for the assessment, implementation and evaluation of administrative operations to deliver efficient and effective patient care services to nursing and/or ancillary departments.

Prior to this role, Goodson served as the director of acute surgical inpatient, critical care and clinical education, the director of women’s and children’s services and clinical education and director of nursing education at TGH.

Goodson has been recognized with several industry honors, including the Excellence in Management Leadership Award (2004), the Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award (2009) and the Excellence in Education Award from the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives (2014). Goodson earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing at the University of South Florida. She holds a doctorate in nursing practice and is certified with the ANCC Nurse Executive Board.


Kate Ulrich, MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC
Sr. Vice President, Surgical Services

Kate Ulrich is the Senior Vice President of Surgical Services at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a nationally renowned nonprofit academic health system. Kate brings nearly 30 years of nursing experience to Tampa General, previously leading Perioperative Services for Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and most recently Duke University Health System in North Carolina. Her scope of responsibility includes oversight of Surgical Services to include ambulatory sites, procedural areas, and the Sterile Processing Department.

Prior to joining Tampa General, Kate served as the Assistant Vice President of Nursing Perioperative Services at Duke University Health. Her responsibilities included clinical, professional, and regulatory standards within Perioperative Services while ensuring services always met the needs of patients, personnel, and medical staff. Additionally, she was also responsible for exercising clinical leadership and management for all functions within Perioperative Services, which included 106 surgical and procedural rooms. This program supported services across eight surgical platforms.

Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified, Kate earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. She is a national speaker of best practices in perioperative services and has participated in speaking engagements at AORN Global Surgical and other prominent health care conferences throughout her career.

 Headshot of Diane Skorupski 

Diane Skorupski, MS, RN, CNOR, NE-BC
Vice President, Surgical Services

Diane Skorupski is the Vice President of Surgical Services at Tampa General Hospital (TGH), a nationally renowned nonprofit academic health system.

She brings over 20 years of health care industry experience to TGH. She joined the hospital in 2018 to oversee the operational and strategic vision of surgical services.

Prior to joining TGH, Skorupski served as AVP perioperative services at the UF Health Shands Hospital, interim leader/consultant perioperative services at Memorial Hospital, and the interim director of surgical services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Skorupski is a board-certified, award-winning registered nurse. She was the recipient of the Rose Rivers’ Chrysalis Award for Evolving Nursing Research in 2015 and is board certified in operating room nursing (CNOR) and nurse executive (NE-BC).

Skorupski earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing and Master of Science in nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her RN diploma at the Burbank Hospital School of Nursing.


Nikki Hurley, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Sr. Director, Patient Services
Women's Institute & Children's Hospital

Nikki joined TGH as the Director of Patient Care of Women and Children's Service Lines in January of 2021. Nikki is accountable for the operations of multiple lines of service to include Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Medical Surgical Units, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Transport, Newborn Services, Pediatric Day Hospital, Pediatric Dialysis, Ante/Post-Partum, Mother Baby Unit, Labor and Delivery including triage and 4 operating rooms, Newborn Hearing Screening, Childbirth Education, and Birth Registrars. Over the last several years the Women's Institute and TGH Children's Hospital has grown significantly in volume with a record-breaking number of deliveries and inpatient admissions.

Nikki supports the nursing division as a leadership sponsor for the UCSR council as well as serving on workgroups focused on drug diversion, eVideon governance, and nursing peer review. She is an AKTiVe mentor, Lead TGH mentor, and serves as co-lead on the Magnet writing team for Structural Empowerment.

Under Nikki’s leadership, TGH was recognized by the March of Dimes as #1 Corporate Sponsor and received the “GOAT” award for all around participation and contributions to the 2022 March for Babies.

Most recently prior to joining TGH Nikki worked at Johns Hopkins All Children’s serving in roles in the Emergency Department, Cardiovascular ICU, and Ambulatory Services. Nikki has over 23 years of nursing experience with progressive leadership positions in inpatient, ambulatory, and emergency room settings.  She earned her master’s degree in Nursing Administration in 2016 from Norwich University and her BSN from York College of Pennsylvania in 1999. In addition, she is an ANCC board certified Nurse Executive (NE-BC).


Ronetta Lambert, MHA, BSN, RN
Sr. Director, CareComm Operations

Ronetta is the Sr. Director of CareComm Operations at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). In her role, Ronetta works with leaders across the organization in our Length of Stay initiatives, service-line growth and our Master Facility Plan to expand hospital capacity and improve patient throughput efficiencies.

After joining Tampa General Hospital as a Nurse Manager in 2014, Ronetta quickly emerged as a leader. Her ability to work across departments to spearhead innovative processes and improve patient safety and quality outcomes led to her promotion to Director of Inpatient Medicine in 2015. Ronetta’s scope continued to grow as she served as nurse lead for our Inpatient Hospice unit, oversaw our Behavioral Psych Nurse Department, Diabetes Nurse Specialists and various initiatives to improve medicine length of stay alongside our providers and Case Management teams.

In 2018, Ronetta served as one of the leads in the development of our CareComm Command Center and assisted with the development of the Departure Lounge, which now serves approximately 100-115 patients per day, and has led to an improvement in our median discharge time of day by 30 minutes prior to CareComm opening. Ronetta’s unique ability to recognize and mitigate bottlenecks and inefficiencies with patient throughput and care progression has been instrumental in the ongoing work with our interdisciplinary teams to leverage the technology of our CareComm Command Center to drive hospital efficiency. Ronetta partnered with the multidisciplinary leaders to develop TGH’s Capacity Management plan to define capacity constraints and design pressure indicators regarding capacity. Ronetta also led our team in the rollout of our Zero Harm Safety Huddles, which continue to play an instrumental role in proactively addressing safety concerns with leadership.

Prior to joining TGH, Ronetta worked at the University of Maryland Medical Center as a Nurse Manager in Cardiac Telemetry and Vascular Surgery Stepdown unit. She also served as the nurse lead when the medical center transitioned to EMR. Ronetta earned her master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Maryland College Park in 2009 received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Hampton University, located in Hampton, Va., in 1996.


Michele Moran, MBA, MSN, RN
Sr. Director, Emergency Services


Sara Thrower, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Sr. Director, Patient Services
Heart & Vascular Institute

Dr. Sara Thrower is the Sr. Director of Patient Services, Heart & Vascular. She started at TGH in 2001 as the Nurse Manager of the Adult Step-Down and the Medical Intensive Care Unit, and she was the Manager for the Clinical Doc Epic Team. She previously served as the Director for Heart and Vascular, Observation, and the sponsor of the Nursing Clinical Ladder Program. Her accomplishments include leading our Telemetry Redesign Project, revising our Nursing Clinical Ladder Program, leading the opening of our Acute Care Vascular unit, and she championed national certification for nurses by sponsoring our in-house CVRN review course.

Before joining TGH, Sara began her career at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia, Missouri as a Cardiothoracic Intensive Care nurse. Sara was also the Director of the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit for the Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sara graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2021 with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She received her BSN and MSN from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently certified as a Nurse Executive Advanced (NEA-BC) and Certified Professional Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).


Candace Amato, MBA-HM, MSN, RN
Director, Patient Services
Medical Critical Care


Lori Desmond, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Director, Patient Services
Acute Surgical, Trauma, and Transplant

Lori is the current Director of Surgical Acute Care, Trauma, Transplant, Burn, Adult Dialysis and Behavioral Support at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). Lori earned an AAS degree from Kingsborough Community College in 1978, her BSN from Long Island University in Greenvale, New York in 1982 and her MSN from the University of South Florida in 1992.

Prior to joining Tampa General, Lori served as a staff nurse, a Nursing Care Coordinator in Surgical ICU and a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Vascular Surgery for 11 years at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. In 1988, she relocated to the Tampa Bay area and joined Tampa General as an ICU Assistant Nurse Manager. Over the years, Lori has managed many units including ICU, Burn Center, Skilled Nursing and Specialty Surgery. She has served as Nursing Director of Cardio-Thoracic ICU, Cardiovascular Telemetry, Cardiac telemetry, Clinical Resources and Acute Care of the Elderly.

Lori served on the Florida Board of Nursing in the Nursing Executive seat from 2015-2020 and has held office in the Tampa Bay Organization of Nurse Executives.


Horacio Figueroa, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Director, Patient Services
Medical Acute Care

Horacio is the Director of Patient Services, Medical Acute Care, at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). In his role, he supports six acute care medicine floors as well as the ER holds, the Rapid Response Team, and the Clinical Resource Team.

Horacio has worked in several positions at TGH. He started as a PCT back in 2002 and in 2003 he obtained his nursing degree and worked as a bedside RN. He later became a clinician in our Emergency Department. In 2010, Horacio became the Lead Clinical Administrative Supervisor and eventually assumed the Nurse Manager role on our Acute Care of the Elderly Unit.  He then served as the Nurse Manager for our Vascular ICU. Most recently, he was the Assistant Director of Clinical Resources. He has many accomplishments in these roles such as obtaining exemplary status and NICHE Accreditation, opening a 34-bed Vascular Surgery Unit, leading, and redesigning our CRRT Program, our Clinical Resource Team and the Rapid Response Team.  In addition, Horacio is a known and respected leader for his ability to obtain consistent quality improvement metrics, enhanced team member engagement and retention.


Melisa Hayman, DNP, MHA, RN-BC, NE-BC
Director, Nursing Excellence and Magnet Programs

Melisa is the Director of Nursing Excellence and Magnet Programs at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). Previously, she worked in our Information Technology department as an Epic Trainer during the program launch back in 2010. She then transitioned over to the ClinDoc team as an analyst/specialist and was eventually promoted to manager in 2017. Before transferring to IT, Melisa worked in our Neonatal ICU as a bedside nurse for several years and eventually transitioned into Organizational Development as an education specialist.

Melisa has always been a life-long learner as she is recently finished her Doctor of Nursing Practice, Executive Degree at the University of Central Florida in the summer of 2022. She also holds a Bachelors in Nursing along with a dual Masters in Nursing and Health Administration. Melisa is an active member in the TGH community and sits on multiple advisory committees. She holds multiple Epic certifications as well as being ANCC-certified in the specialties of Nurse Executive and Nursing Informatics. Lastly, Melisa is a graduate and active alumni of our own Lead TGH Program.


Sylvia Helms, MSN, RN, MCCT
Director, Clinical Education

Sylvia is the Director of Patient Services, Clinical Education, at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). Sylvia graduated from Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and continued her education at University of South Florida where she completed her master’s degree in nursing, specializing in the Clinical Nurse Leader role in 2006. In her new role, Sylvia supports Clinical Education, the Acute & Critical Care Rotation Programs, and Patient Care Assistant program.

She started her nursing career at TGH as a traveler on the Ortho-Trauma unit in 2001 and progressed to joining the TGH team in 2002 as a clinician in the Short Stay Center. Since that time, she has progressively challenged herself in the roles of clinician, nurse specialist, and nurse manager of the Trauma Surgery Unit (8C). Among her many accomplishments, Sylvia successfully lead her team's and the organization’s response to COVID by guiding the team through training for the Team Nursing Model, RN Surge and Supplemental training, education of inpatient units transitioning to COVID, and lead a Step-Down Unit redesign to care for higher acuity patients. Sylvia has also served as co-chair for the Florida Organization of Nurse Executives (FONE) education committee 2019 – 2021.


Amanda Holbrook, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, C-EFM
Patient Services
Women's Institute

Amanda began her role as the Director of Patient Care Services for the TGH Women's Institute in 2023. She brings 15 years of nursing experience and 7 years as a director of nursing. Her career began and was established in high-risk OB, but Amanda also has leadership experience in Med/Surg, telemetry, cardiac units. Amanda has previously served as the AWHONN state president for New Mexico.

One of Amanda’s proudest professional accomplishments was her work throughout the state of New Mexico establishing standards for how emergency rooms can stabilize obstetric emergencies prior to transporting to a trauma center. Her scope of services at TGH include Labor and Delivery, Ante/Post Partum and Mother/Baby.


Yuri Mykoo, MBA, MSN, FACHE
Patient Services
Neuroscience & Observation

Yuri Mykoo is the Director of Patient Services responsible for all Neuroscience and Observation units at TGH. Previously, Yuri was the Systems Administrative Director of Medical, Surgical, and Inpatient rehabilitative services at Naples Community Hospital. In this role, he was responsible for 500 inpatient beds and 900 FTEs across two hospital campuses.

Yuri brings with him an extensive 35-year health care career, with the last 17 of those years being dedicated to healthcare leadership. Yuri has held a multitude of leadership roles throughout his career, starting as a manager of a Cardiovascular ICU. From there, he has held several director roles including Critical Care, Medical Surgical, Surgical Services, and Emergency Services. Yuri holds a master’s in business administration, a bachelor’s in nursing, and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.