ONA 2019 Election is Open - Meet the Candidates

Posted over 1 year ago

This year, ONA Members will elect:

  • Vice President
  • Practice Director
  • Political Activities Director
  • Emerging Nurse Director
  • 3 Nominating Committee Members

All candidates are listed below. Balloting will be conducted online and will be available by August 19 – September 9.  ONA Members have already received the link to vote. If you prefer a paper ballot, one will be provided. 

Election results will be announced at the ONA House of Delegates, which will be held as part of the ONA Convention, October 2, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma.


Vice President

Joseph Catalano, PhD, RN

Professor Emeritus, East Central University - Ada

Program Consultant, Catalano Consulting Services - Ada

“There seems to  be three major issues confronting ONA today. The first issue is the resistance of the Oklahoma legislature to allow Advanced Practice Nurses to have full practice authority. My position on this issue is to work through the GAC to educate and change legislators' minds to allow APRNs to practice to the full level of their education. The second issue facing ONA is still relatively poor numbers of members in the organization.  Although contacting nurses across the state to encourage membership is important, I believe that personal contact is more important.  In addition, I believe that working with institutional nursing CEO's and Directors to require membership in ONA as part of the employment requirements would greatly increase membership. The third issue affecting ONA and health care in general, is the dismantling of the ACA over the past three years.  The solution to this issue to work with the ANA in their efforts to support candidates for elections who understand the health care problems and are willing to work towards a solution that helps everyone.”

Angela Martindale, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor of Nursing, The University of Tulsa - Tulsa

“Nursing is a passion and career that I enjoy. I view membership and service to the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA) as one of my many responsibilities as a nurse. Serving my state and being involved in ONA has provided me the opportunity to expand my resources and knowledge for serving nurses and citizens about important health issues. ONA provides an avenue for our voices to be heard and now more than ever our voices must be heard so that we can take advantage of the changes in health care to better serve Oklahomans.”

Practice Director


Michele Bradshaw, BSN, RN (MSN Candidate July 2019)

Director of Intermediate Care, Integris Southwest Medical Center - Oklahoma City

“In July 2019 I will celebrate my twenty fifth year of being a licensed nurse and I still feel as strongly about being an advocate for nursing as the day that I received my license. I believe it is important for all nurses to be educated and informed on changes in healthcare that will affect nurses, nursing practice, and the patient’s that we so diligently serve in our primary practice areas. I feel that the best way that nurses can drive change is to be involved and advocate not only for ourselves and our patients, but for future generations of nurses.”

Political Activities Director


Megan Jester, MS, RN, RYT-200, PhD Candidate in Biobehavioral Sciences

Clinical Instructor, The University of Oklahoma College of Nursing - Norman

“As the current Political Activities Director, I raised awareness to nurses regarding state elections, and increased our presence at the State Capitol through our Nurse of the Day program. This is a critical time to be politically aware and active, as we continue to face increased demands with decreased funding. We must advocate for issues including health care funding, care for vulnerable populations, workplace violence, and federal incentives for the advancement of nurse education. I hope to continue in this vital role and represent the voice of Oklahoma nursing at every political level to raise awareness on issues impacting our profession and the citizens of our state.”


Emerging Nurse Director


Tina Stewart, MSN, BSN, RN

Clinical Field Staff Supervisor/CFSS, Encompass Health Home Health - Ardmore

“Issue #1, Incivility- as an emerging nurse, I began my job in an Intensive Care Unit. I incurred several issues with incivility both horizontally and vertically. I feel my position on this is to educate nurses that, it will not be tolerated, for new nurses to have a voice, and that we must maintain professionalism to promote ethics, value, and patient safety.

Issue #2, Moral Injury, other known as Nursing Burnout. I have been a nurse now for almost 4 years, and I dealt with this during my first 2 years as a nurse. My position on this is to aid in adjusting Nurse/Patient ratios, aid in scheduling nurses, and to be an advocate and a voice for nurses who may be dealing with this.

Issue #3, Established Nurse Residency and Leadership Programs during the first year as a graduate nurse. My position is that I enrolled in a Masters program to further my education and to aid in helping me climb the clinical ladder. I feel a residency program for new Master's graduate nurses should be established to help guide them in a managerial/leadership role. I also feel that this would help newly graduate ADN, BSN nurses with understanding their role at the hospital.”

Amber Garretson, BSN, RN

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Student, The University of Oklahoma Medical System, Oklahoma City

“Nurses are the heartbeat of the hospital.  The quicker that hospital administration realizes that happy nurses = happy patients and better outcomes overall.”

Nominating Committee Members


Velmarie Swing, Ph.D., RN, VHA-CM

Director & Coordinator of New RN Graduate Programs, Director of VA Nursing Academic Partnership

“Nursing is my passion that has not diminished in 34 years. Nursing is by nature a profession of compassion yet bullying and incivility continues among nurses worldwide, which affects the nursing shortage. I believe nurses have the power to lessen and end the bullying no matter where employed. Becoming an active member of ANA/ONA assists in reaching and teaching other nurses how to handle and decrease bullying and incivility.”



Family Nurse Practitioner/Co-Owner, Deer Creek Family Healthcare and Wellness Clinic- Edmond

“Rural healthcare is an issues and we need to be more involved in making access to care much easier and available. The opioid crisis is rampant and we need to be more involved in helping solve problems related to this issue.”


Mikie Salazar, BSN, RN

RN Clinical Educator of Quality & Safety, INTEGRIS Medical Group - Enid

“I support House Bill 1013, which would grant Nurse Practitioners full practice authority. The importance of this bill passage increases access to the citizens of Oklahoma, especially the citizens of rural communities that are lacking adequate access to healthcare. I support Senate Bill 801 that would eliminate Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists supervision by a doctor as specified in the bill text. The passage of this bill would once again increase access to healthcare to the citizens of Oklahoma. Additionally, I would support the introduction of a more robust policy for monitoring and regulation of Medical Assistants practicing in our State.”

Christopher (Sean) Elsten

Staff nurse, Integris Southwest Medical Center, Intermediate Care

"Nursing is reaching a monumental staffing crisis that we are all going to have to get very creative to meet the demands of our patients. We are already working leaner and leaner and it will only worsen as nurses retire. I feel we need to ensure safe patient ratios and staffing levels that are based on patient acuity and are patient specific."