Galen College of Nursing has named Tracy A. Ortelli, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, its first Chief Academic Officer (CAO) in the institution’s 30-year history. Formerly Galen’s Executive Vice President for Teaching & Learning Innovation, Dr. Ortelli has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to best-in-class nursing education and has applied her vast experience to help the College become one of the largest educators of nurses.
“This is a historic moment for Galen and I could not be more enthusiastic about Dr. Ortelli’s new role. The impact this will have on our institution will be transformative,” said Mark Vogt, Galen’s CEO, “Her dedication, expertise, and vision have been instrumental in shaping Galen’s academic excellence. As she steps into this new role, I have full confidence that her leadership will drive our institution to even greater heights.”
Dr. Ortelli’s tenure with Galen has been marked by significant milestones, which include leading the creation of Galen’s baccalaureate and master’s degree programs and leveraging her assessment and evaluation expertise to design Galen’s robust test development process, which has supported Galen’s outstanding NCLEX® pass rates. Most recently, Tracy was crucial in securing Galen’s recognition as an NLN Center of Excellence in 2023.
“I am incredibly honored to assume this new role and humbled by the confidence Galen’s executive leadership and Board of Directors have expressed in my ability to lead this incredible institution and the future of Galen’s Academic Practice Partnership with HCA Healthcare,” stated Dr. Ortelli. My mission has always been focused on the unwavering support of our educators and preparing our students to be practice-ready nurses and to advance in their careers. By fostering an environment rooted in academic excellence and our compassionate care model, I believe our graduates will make an unprecedented impact on patient care and the profession.”
Beyond her contributions to Galen, Dr. Ortelli was responsible for the creation of the NLNs Certified Nurse Educator examination and served as a co-author of the seminal work, The Scope of Practice for Academic Nurse Educators. Her active leadership in professional organizations include serving as the President of the New Jersey League for Nursing (2020-2022), during which time they were historically awarded the NLN Constituent League Excellence in Innovation Award twice—2020 and 2022. In addition, she has been a member of the Nursing on Boards Coalition State and National Integrated Strategy Work Group since 2019, which further testifies to her unwavering commitment to the nursing profession.
Her notable achievements in academia and professional service, her induction as a fellow into the Academy of Nursing Education in 2012 and American Academy of Nursing in 2021, coupled with her educational background – including a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University, an MS from Columbia University, and a BSN from The Ohio State University – firmly positions her to guide Galen’s academic future.