Linda Wanzer, DNP, RN, COL (Ret), CNOR, FAAN

Linda J. Wanzer, DNP, RN, COL (Ret), CNOR, FAAN

Name: Linda J. Wanzer, DNP, RN, COL (Ret), CNOR, FAAN

USU Department of Primary Appointment: 
Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program
Chair / Director, Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program
Faculty Rank: 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests:
Patient Safety (Perioperative Focus, Medication Safety, Sterile Processing, High Level Disinfection)
Evidence-Based Practice for Clinical Decision Making

Office Phone: 
(301) 295-1507


Doctor of Nursing Practice (2012), University of Alabama, Capstone College of Nursing, Tuscaloosa, AL
Master of Science in Nursing (1990), Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1980), San Jose State University, San Jose, CA


Linda Wanzer is a Professor in the Graduate School of Nursing and serves as the Chair and Program Director of the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) program. In addition to having created the curriculum that established the Master’s of Science and Doctor of Nursing Practice program options, she is responsible for teaching, research, program policy and administrative assignments to ensure the overall goal of the program is achieved. As such, graduates from this program are uniquely qualified to manage quality care of the adult-geriatric population across the continuum from wellness through acute care; analyze healthcare systems/processes to optimize patient outcomes; and guide change in support of high reliability organizations undergirded by evidence based practice to achieve consistent excellence across the organization.

Dr. Wanzer was born in Bremerton, Washington into a career Army family. She was awarded a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship, attended the University of Oregon for two years and transferred to San Jose State University where she graduated in 1980 with academic honors and the Distinguished Military Honor Graduate award. In 1990, she earned a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in Nursing Administration and a Minor in Education; and in 2012 she completed her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama.

Her journey from novice to expert began at 5th General Hospital as a staff nurse in Labor & Delivery and Medical-Surgical units. Later she served as Head Nurse of the Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat Surgical Services (Letterman Army Medical Center); Head Nurse of General Surgery and Open Heart Service (Eisenhower Army Medical Center); Assistant Head Nurse of the Operating Room (Fitzsimons Army Medical Center); Director of Surgical Nursing Services (Evans Army Community Hospital); Chief Operating Room/Central Material Services (Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center, Germany); and Director of the AGCNS Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs (USU). Giving further testament to her national recognition as a clinical expert, she was selected as the Perioperative Consultant to the Army Surgeon General (2005-2008); assumed the role of Interim Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Nursing (2006); and received the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) 2012 Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing (*highest national honor in perioperative nursing).

Dr. Wanzer’s major military awards include the Legion of Merit, Order of Military Medical Merit, and numerous Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medals. In academia, she received the USU Exceptional Service Award (2002-2008), USU Outstanding Service Award (2006), GSN Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award (2004, 2005, 2010), Dean’s First Time Investigator Research Award (2003), and recognized by the faculty with the Esprit du Corps Award (2006).

Nationally involved, Dr. Wanzer’s commitment to the perioperative community led to her national appointment on AORNs Presidential Commission for Patient Safety and AORNs National Task Force for Advanced Practice Nursing. She also served as subject matter expert and advisor for the development of AORNs Perioperative Medication Safety Recommended Practice Guideline; has authored/co-authored more than 30 articles, book chapters, manuals, national tool kits, position/guidance statements; presented numerous national and international podium and poster presentations; and completed several research/evidence-based protocols focused on patient safety.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

  • Academic Promotion (2017): Full Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
  • Grant (2015-2017): TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP) Implementation of Innovation EBP Award - $250,000 / "Implementation and Evaluation of the Obstetric Hemorrhage Patient Safety Bundle"
  • Award (2016): FINALIST: 8th Annual National Capital Region Research Competition: Research and Innovation (Evidence-based Practice Abstract/Poster – Oral presentation): “Implementation and Evaluation of the Patient Safety Obstetric Hemorrhage Bundle” (Osborne, Wanzer, Hillanbrand, Johnson, Shaughnessy, Deering)
  • Award (2015): Inducted as an "Academy Fellow" in the American Academy of Nursing [national/international nursing leaders]
  • Award (2014): AORN Award for Excellence in Clinical Improvement/Innovation (Evidence-based Practice Abstract/Poster): “The Culture of Lateral Violence in Nursing” (Wanzer, Nader, O’Connell)
  • Award (2013): AORN 2nd Place Research Poster Award for Excellence: “Practitioner and Institutional Readiness in Managing Patients with Piercing(s) in the Perioperative Setting” (Wanzer & Hicks)
  • Award (2012): AORN Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing *Highest National Honor in Perioperative Nursing – Recognized for accomplishments in the area of practice, education and research within the specialty of perioperative nursing.
  • Award (2011): AORN Journal Writers Award: Perioperative pharmacology: A framework for perioperative medication safety. AORN Journal, 93(1), 136-145 (presented in March 2012)
  • Award (2010): AORN Journal Writers Award (Research Category): Freeman, S., Lara, G., Courts, M., Wanzer, L., & Bibb, S. (2009). An evidence-based process for evaluating infection control policies. AORN Journal, 89(3), 489-507. *This article was based on the application of a research process for conducing integrative reviews of the literature, co-developed by Bibb & Wanzer (Presented in March 2010)
  • Award (2009): AORN Evidence Based Poster Award for Excellence: “Factors Associated with MDR Acinetobacter Infected War Injuries” (Cole, Hawker, Moultrie & Wanzer)


  • Wanzer, L., Dunn, D, & Skupski, F. (2018/in press). Body Art in the Perioperative Setting. In Kasper, C. & Blackman, V. (Eds.), Annual Review of Nursing Research (pp. XX-XX). Springer Publishing Company. (Invited)
  • Hicks, R. W., Wanzer, L., & Denholm, B. (2012). Implementing AORN recommended practices for medication safety. AORN Journal, 96(6), 605-622. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2012.09.012
  • Denholm, B., Hicks, R., & Wanzer, L. (2012). Recommended practices for medication safety. In K. Retzlaff (Ed.) & R. Conner (Standards and Recommended Practices - Mgr.), Perioperative standards and recommended practices (2012 ed., pp. 251-300). Denver, CO: AORN, Inc. (*Contributing author: served as subject matter expert/advisor-linking evidence to clinical practice across the medication use process. Outlined, appraised, and analyzed evidence in support of Safe Medication Use)
  • Hicks, R., & Wanzer, L. (2012). AORN Perioperative Nursing Video Library – Study Guide: Implementing the evidence. Applying the RP’s to improve patient outcomes. Medication safety in perioperative care: The nurse’s role. Produced and distributed by Cine-Med. [The entire package consisted of: Study Guide, DVD film, and Continuing Education Certification Program] (Invited)
  • Wanzer, L. (2012). 59th Congress award for excellence presentation: “Sharing the passion – A tribute to the nation and perioperative nursing”. Published on May 29, 2012 by aornvideos: (Invited)
  • Wanzer, L.J., Hicks, R.W., Goeckner, B., & Cole, L. (2011). Perioperative safe medication use: A focused review. In Watson, D. (Ed.), Perioperative safety (pp. 46-57). St Louis, MO: Mosby, Elsevier Inc.
  • Wanzer, L., Goeckner, B., & Hicks, R. (2011). Perioperative pharmacology: Antibiotic administration. AORN Journal, 93(3), 340-351. doi:10.1016/j.aorn.2010.08.026 (education program accredited for 2 continuing education units).
  • Wanzer, L., & Hicks, R. (2007). Medication safety within the perioperative environment. In P. Stone, & P. Hinton Walker (Eds.), Annual review of nursing research (pp. 127-155). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co.
  • United States Pharmacopeia: Hicks, R.W., Becker, S.C., and Cousins, D.D. (2006). MEDMARX data report: A chartbook of medication error findings from the perioperative settings from 1998-2005. Rockville, MD: USP Center for the Advancement of Patient Safety. [COL Linda Wanzer: Contributing author/Site PI and Subject Matter Expert on the United States Pharmacopeia Council of Experts] - National Report. (*Role and acknowledgement noted on page 6)