NWESC Commission


Nursing Workplace Environment & Staffing Council Commission

Toolkit Cover

Vision Statement - New Jersey will be recognized as the leader in creating and sustaining a healthy workplace environment for its nurses.

Mission Statement - 

To promote and sustain a healthy workplace environment for the nurses of New Jersey.

Scope and Boundaries

  1. All acute care hospitals in NJ

  2. Provide oversight and guidance to all cohort hospitals

  3. Influence legislators and key stakeholders


  1. Recruit additional hospitals

  2. Disseminate and engage internally within ONL NJ and NWESC hospitals and externally with lawmakers and academic partners

  3. Sustain through the toolkit, educational modules for ongoing education and new education for the existing and new cohort


Maria L. Brennan, DNP, RN, CPHQ, Consultant


  • Helene M. Burns, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President & CNO, Jefferson Health New Jersey
  • Deborah Mican, BSN, RN, MHA, CNOR, Vice President Patient Services & CNO, Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell
  • Rita V. Smith, DNP, MPA, RN, NEA-BC, Partner, C-Suite Healthcare Advisors, President, ONLNL
  • Patricia Steingall, MS, RN, NE-BC, CNO & Vice President Patient Services, Hunterdon Healthcare System
  • Kathleen Borenstein, DNP, RN, CCRN
  • Judith T. Caruso, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, President & CEO, Caruso Consulting
  • Susan Cholewka, MBA, Executive Director, ONL NJ
  • Pamela B. DeCordova, PhD, RN-BC, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Nursing
  • Mary Ann Hozak, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Administrative Director of Cardiology, St. Joseph's Health
  • Mary L. Johansen, PhD, RN, NE-BC, Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers School of Nursing
  • Charlotte C. Qualls, MA, RN, Adminsitrative Supervisor, Hackensack Meridian Riverview Medical Center
  • Jessica Van Cleef, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Director 5 South, Hunterdon Medical Center
  • Susan H. Weaver, PhD, RN, CRNI, NEA-BC, Nurse Scientist, Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Janice M. Wojcik, MS, RN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, CPHQ, NEA-BC, Director of Nursing Informatics, St. Joseph's University Medical Center
  • Rebecca D. Graboso, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President of Nursing and CNO, Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center
  • Donna Bonacorso, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President for Patient Care, Community Medical Center, RWJBarnabas Health
  • Katherine Birkenstock, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
  • Samantha Colangelo, BSN, RN, NWESC Co-chair, CentraState Medical Center
  • Regina Edwards, BSN, RN, CEN, NWESC Co-chair, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
  • AnnMarie Palatnik, DNP, APN, ACNS-BC, AVP Clinical Learning, Academic Affiliations & Research, Virtua Health
  • Kathy Devine, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Cooper University Health Care
  • Shannon Patel, DNP, APN-C, AGPCNP-BC, Assistant Vice President Operations, Cooper University Health Care
  • Ann Marie Leichman, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer, The Valley Hospital
  • Jamie Zavardino, BSN, RN, NWESC Co-chair, The Valley Hospital


Contact Susan Cholewka, executive director, scholewka@onlnj.org