Sandy Leake, MSN, RN
Chief Nursing Officer, Atlanta VA Medical Center
Ms. Sandy Leake, MSN, RN, has officially held the position of Associate Director for Nursing/Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) since 1998. During her tenure, she has served in a variety of other capacities including Associate Director and Interim Medical Center Director on numerous occasions. In 2008, at the request of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Chief Nursing Officer, she served a 4 month detail as the Director of Workforce in the VHA Office of Nursing Services in Washington, DC.
Ms. Leake possesses 30 years of diversified nursing experience characterized by increasingly responsible positions and proven outcomes in executive leadership and management, coaching and mentoring, and workforce development across VHA. She is a frequently requested speaker at local, regional and national conferences. Additionally, as one of the most tenured nursing executives in VHA, she is often asked to provide consultative guidance to executives, national program offices, and health care systems across VHA and beyond. Her accomplishments are many, and include leading her organization’s efforts to achieve Magnet® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2009. The facility is currently pending re-designation.
Ms. Leake received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Memphis in 1987 and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from Vanderbilt University in 1989. She has held both private sector clinical staff and academic positions, and her clinical focus has been in critical care. A VA Health Professional Scholarship recipient, she joined the VA in Gainesville, Florida in 1989 to fulfill a two year service obligation. Three years later, her commitment to and passion for the VA mission firmly established, she made the decision that caring for veterans was to be her professional life’s work. She transferred to the Atlanta VAMC as a critical care clinical nurse specialist, moved into a nurse manager position, was asked to temporarily fulfill the Acting Chief Nurse Executive role in 1995, and she has been a member of the hospital’s executive team since that time.
Ms. Leake completed the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives at George Washington University in 1998; was a 2001 graduate of Leadership VA; attended the Federal Executive Institute in 2002; and the VA Health Care Leadership Institute in 2003. She was awarded a 2007 Johnson and Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship at the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, and has been named “Best Nurse Leader” by ADVANCE for Nurses magazine.
She and her husband and three children live in Lilburn, GA.