BUFFALO, N.Y. – Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, Navy
chief of staff, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and a 1981 graduate
of the UB School of Nursing, recently came back to her alma mater
to receive the school’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award.
McCormick-Boyle recently was named the 24th director of the
United States Navy Nurse Corps, effective Aug. 1. This designation
also is known as the chief nurse of the Navy. The Nurse Corps
director is responsible for nursing policy and professional
practice standards. Additionally, the director makes
recommendations regarding workforce procurement, distribution,
training and career development.
“I am a very proud UB School of Nursing alumna, and among
so many phenomenal nurses, I am very humbled by the honor the
school has bestowed on me,” McCormick-Boyle said in accepting
her award at the School of Nursing’s annual May
She went on to thank UB nursing for all it has given her, citing
specifically that her UB education had instilled in her
“strong principles and values as a nurse; a thirst for
ongoing education and a commitment to clinical leadership; the
conviction that the nurse’s voice must be part of the
‘dialogue’; and, especially, the memories.”
“How eye-opening were those experiences to a very young
adult,” she recalled. “I remember being incredulous at
how early nurses arrived at work and being grateful for the
kindness of the nurses who mentored us during those
“UB’s community partners opened their doors to us
and provided phenomenal experiences on which to build
careers,” she said.
Marsha Lewis, professor and dean of the nursing school, noted
that McCormick-Boyle is a very accomplished alumna and the school
is proud to call her one of its own.
“Throughout her professional career, she has been
recognized as an outstanding leader and mentor,” Lewis said.
“The rear admiral represents an alumna who has made
innumerable contributions to improve health and wellness on a
global scale and is someone our students can strive to
The Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest award given by the
School of Nursing to an alumnus, recognizes exceptional career
accomplishments, community or university service, or research and
Lewis said that McCormick-Boyle received the award because she
is a stellar example of an alumna who embodies the award’s
qualifications. Her rise through the ranks as a Navy nurse allowed
her to continue to play a pivotal role in coordinating humanitarian
assistance, disaster relief and contingency support activities on a
“Throughout her illustrious career, the rear admiral has
been a role model for professional nurses and will continue to
serve as an inspiration for all nurses as the director of the
United States Navy Nurse Corps,” said Lewis.
In her address to recent graduates, alumni, donors friends,
faculty and staff, McCormick-Boyle considered the challenges of her
new promotion. “I find myself more than ever before
reflecting back on the lessons taught within this great institution
and this great community regarding the profession of nursing, the
vital importance of competent, compassionate nurses and the
mentor’s role in stimulating life-long learning in the
pursuit of one’s dreams and aspirations.”
McCormick-Boyle is a native of Griffins Mills, N.Y. Following
graduation from the UB School of Nursing in 1981, she enlisted in
the Navy and reported to the Naval Hospital, Orlando, Fla., where
she worked as a surgical and critical care nurse. In 1984, she
transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.,
and served as a coronary care nurse before returning to Buffalo in
1987 to be a medical programs recruiter.
In 1991, she reported to the Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan, as
division officer for in-patient and ambulatory care. While in
Okinawa, she completed her master’s degree in human resource
management systems from Chapman University. She then earned a
master’s degree in health administration from Baylor
University in 1996.
She subsequently held three different leadership positions at
the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C.: director, Branch Medical
Clinics; executive assistant, Commanding Officer for Health Care
Operations; and senior nurse, Fleet Hospital.
In 1999, she reported to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery as
special projects coordinator for Navy Medicine’s Optimization
Initiative. In 2003, she was promoted to captain and became the
nurse corps’ career plans officer.
Selected for executive medicine, she served as executive
officer, Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes, from 2005-07 and as
commanding officer, Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, from
In July 2009, she returned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
as the assistant deputy chief for medical operations before
assuming the role of chief of staff in January 2012. She was
promoted to rear admiral in July 2012.
Her decorations include the Legion of Merit (two awards), the
Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy and Marine Corps
Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps
She is an American College of Health Care Executives fellow and
recipient of the 2011 Navy Regent’s Senior Health Care