EXECUTIVE BOARD 2021-22

Lydia Albuquerque
DNP, APN, ACNP-BC, CCRN
President

Dr. Lydia Albuquerque currently serves as an Assistant Professor at William Paterson University and as an acute care Nurse Practitioner at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Barnabas Health. She brings in over three decades of experience in nursing education, research and administration. At William Paterson, she teaches at both the undergraduate, and graduate levels. As a faculty member in higher education, she has a robust research agenda and has partnered in grants close to $4 million, with the goals of providing scholarships for disadvantaged students and promoting cardiovascular health among men and women. 

Accamma Kallel
MSN, APRN, ANP-C
Executive Vice President

Accamma Kallel MSN, APRN, ANP-C, currently serves as nurse practitioner and the structural valve program coordinator at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Graduated from Trivandrum College of Nursing, Kerala, India, she later obtained her master’s degree as an adult nurse practitioner from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, USA. She brings in almost four decades of experience in clinical practice and nursing education.

Bobby Varghese
Ph.D.,RN,CNE
Vice President

Dr. Bobby Varghese is presently employed at Broward College in Florida as a full-time Professor of Nursing. He is a certified nurse educator by the National League for Nursing and is also serving as visiting faculty in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in a few universities across the world. He brings in over two decades of experience in psychiatric mental health nursing.

Suja Thomas
MSN. Ed., RN, CWOCN
Secretary

Suja Thomas is currently working as Nurse Administrator at Stratton VA Medical Center and as Patient Care Administrator at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, New York. She brings over 20 years of leadership experience in hospital administration & education and more than 30 years of practice as a registered professional nurse. She worked as a Nurse Executive at St. Peter’s Health Partners, responsible for various different departments (Women & Children, Medical Surgical, Hemodialysis, Cardio Pulmonary, Pharmacy, Radiology, Nursing Administration, Laboratory, Education, Wound Care, Dietary & Respiratory).  She taught undergraduate nursing students for eight years at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE University), Manipal, Karnataka, India. Additionally, she has worked as an Adjunct Faculty at Maria College, Albany, NY. She also works as CWOCN consultant in Acute Care Hospital.

Tara Shajan
MSN, MBA, RN, PMHN-BC 
Treasurer

Tara Shajan was born and raised in Pondicherry, India. She obtained her Bachelors in Nursing from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune and was later commissioned into the Army as Lieutenant and went on to serve the country for 4 years. Ms. Shajan migrated to America in 2004 and worked as Registered Nurse. She graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Masters in Nursing Leadership and a MBA with a concentration in Hospital Administration in 2017. Ms. Shajan currently works as Administrative Nursing Manager at Montefiore Medical Center and as an Assistant Director of Nursing at Northwell Health.

nainasecretary@gmail.com

PAST EXECUTIVE BOARDS

Thank You

2019-20

2017-18

2015-16

2013-14

2011-12

2009-10

2007-08

Lydia Albuquerque
DNP, APN, ACNP-BC, CCRN
President

Dr. Lydia Albuquerque currently serves as an Assistant Professor at William Paterson University and as an acute care Nurse Practitioner at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Barnabas Health. She brings in over three decades of experience in nursing education, research and administration. At William Paterson, she teaches at both the undergraduate, and graduate levels. As a faculty member in higher education, she has a robust research agenda and has partnered in grants close to $4 million, with the goals of providing scholarships for disadvantaged students and promoting cardiovascular health among men and women.

Dr. Albuquerque has presented at national and international conferences. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is currently collaborating with international researchers to conduct studies relevant to student behaviors and online learning during the pandemic.

She serves on the Publication Committee of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses and is Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau International Iota chapter. Dr. Albuquerque has received the DIVA award from the Institute for Nurses (IFN), a New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) which recognizes leaders for their contributions to nursing research, nursing education or administration. In 2020, she was named a finalist for the Nurse of Year award through the March of Dimes organization. She was inducted to the Who’s Who in American Nursing by the Society of Nursing in 2018.

Dr. Albuquerque is the founding president of the American Association of Indian Nurses of America, New Jersey chapter. She has also served within the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) since its inception as a Secretary, Advisory Board member, Election officer, founding chair for the APN forum committee, and recently, the Executive Vice President. Dr. Albuquerque has been inducted as the President of NAINA for 2021-2022 with a strong determination and commitment to take this organization to a higher level.

Dr. Albuquerque graduated from the College of Nursing, Armed Forces Medical College, in Pune, India and completed her post-graduate in Nursing from Shreemati Natibhai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Mumbai, India. She received her post-master’s degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Rutgers University and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from William Paterson University, New Jersey.

A fun, but interesting, fact about Dr. Albuquerque is that she has served as a special duty nurse to the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during the Commonwealth Nations Head of the Governments meeting in 1980. Dr. Albuquerque has also airlifted Mrs. Mugabe, wife of Robert Mugabe, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for emergency dialysis to All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. Dr. Albuquerque is a retired Indian army officer who places service before self and will do the same for NAINA.

Accamma Kallel
MSN, APRN, ANP-C
Executive Vice President

Accamma Kallel MSN, APRN, ANP-C, currently serves as nurse practitioner and the structural valve program coordinator at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Graduated from Trivandrum College of Nursing, Kerala, India, she later obtained her master’s degree as an adult nurse practitioner from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, USA. She brings in almost four decades of experience in clinical practice and nursing education.

Ms. Kallel worked almost twenty years as a cardiovascular nurse practitioner, prior to which, she worked as a critical care nurse and educational specialist at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ. She has also worked as a community health nurse/nursing educator in Saudi Arabia and as a nursing faculty in India and Ethiopia. Additionally, she worked as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Woman’s University in Houston.

She has presented at local, national, and international conferences. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at Sigma Theta Tau’s International: 30th Nursing Research Conference in Calgary, Canada in 2019. She received numerous awards for clinical excellence and community outreach activities, such as the VA Town Hall Award for Clinical Excellence, Good Samaritan Foundation Award, Trail Blazer Award for Leadership from the Indo American Chamber of Commerce, the prestigious Legacy of Caring Award and the Nursing Excellence Award: Clinical Practice-Advance Practice RN from NAINA.  

She served as the president of the Indian Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH) for the past two terms and is its current advisory board chair. She was instrumental in IANAGH receiving the Chapter Excellence Award from NAINA in 2020. She is extremely passionate about education and community outreach activities. She has collaborated with United Light of Hope to build a primary care clinic in Canaan, Haiti which serves as a beacon of hope for hundreds of people. Further, she led many medical mission trips to Kerala and Haiti, including the one during the Kerala flood disaster in 2018. Ms. Kallel has been serving within NAINA in different committees from its inception and is excited to serve as the executive vice president of NAINA 2021-2022.

Bobby Varghese
Ph.D., RN, CNE
Vice President

Dr. Bobby Varghese is presently employed at Broward College in Florida as a full-time Professor of Nursing. He is a certified nurse educator by the National League for Nursing and is also serving as visiting faculty in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in a few universities across the world. He brings in over two decades of experience in psychiatric mental health nursing.

Dr. Varghese has presented at various national and international conferences.  He has been published in peer-reviewed journals and served on the Research Committee of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).  He is also serving as an active member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, National League for Nursing, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Indian Society of Psychiatric Nurses, International Association of Nurses of America, to name a few.

 He is the immediate past-President and the current Advisory Board Chair of the Indian Nurses Association of South Florida. He is a nursing graduate from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, and later obtained his master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore. In 2005, he received the gold medal from His Excellency, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India for graduating with the first rank from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) University, Bangalore, India.

After moving to the US, he received his Ph.D. degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Varghese is currently completing the post-graduate Pychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification from the University of Cincinnati. His primary focus as the Vice-president of NAINA is to actively engage in all advocacy efforts to uphold the image, visibility, and values of NAINA nationally and globally.

Suja Thomas
MSN. Ed., RN, CWOCN
Secretary

Suja Thomas is currently working as Nurse Administrator at Stratton VA Medical Center and as Patient Care Administrator at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, New York. She brings over 20 years of leadership experience in hospital administration & education and more than 30 years of practice as a registered professional nurse. She worked as a Nurse Executive at St. Peter’s Health Partners, responsible for various different departments (Women & Children, Medical Surgical, Hemodialysis, Cardio Pulmonary, Pharmacy, Radiology, Nursing Administration, Laboratory, Education, Wound Care, Dietary & Respiratory).  She taught undergraduate nursing students for eight years at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE University), Manipal, Karnataka, India. Additionally, she has worked as an Adjunct Faculty at Maria College, Albany, NY. She also works as CWOCN consultant in Acute Care Hospital.

Suja has been a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Delta Pi chapter since 2020 In 2016, she was honored with the Robert Scholar Award for Clinical Excellence. She also received the Transformational Leadership Award in 2014 for a research study conducted with the goal of reducing rates of back injury for health care workers through minimal lift program.

She is currently serving as Treasurer and founding President of Indian American Nurses Association of Albany (IANA-A).  On the national level, she also serves as Secretary of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) and has held various positions in the past 6 years.

Suja graduated from Father Muller College of Nursing (Kankanady, Mangalore), with Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and from Russell Sage College (Troy, NY), receiving her Master’s in Nursing Education. She graduated as Certified Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse from Minnesota Metropolitan University through WEB WOC Nursing Education Program.  Currently she is pursuing her Post-Master’s in Nursing in Adult Health Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at Russell Sage College,  Troy, NY.

Volunteering is her passion. She takes such responsibilities with utmost priority within any type of work and strives for the best quality and efficiency. As a community volunteer, she consistently goes above and beyond to reach out to whomever is in need and is willing to take on challenging roles with determination and confidence.

Tara Shajan
MSN, MBA, RN, PMHN-BC 
Treasurer

Tara Shajan was born and raised in Pondicherry, India. She obtained her Bachelors in Nursing from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune and was later commissioned into the Army as Lieutenant and went on to serve the country for 4 years. Ms. Shajan migrated to America in 2004 and worked as Registered Nurse. She graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Masters in Nursing Leadership and a MBA with a concentration in Hospital Administration in 2017. Ms. Shajan currently works as Administrative Nursing Manager at Montefiore Medical Center and as an Assistant Director of Nursing at Northwell Health.

Ms. Shajan has completed her term as President of Indian Nurses Association of New York (2019-20) and now serves as the chapter’s Advisory Chair (2021-22). She was recently elected to the position of Treasurer for NAINA (2021-2022). While in Abu Dhabi, for six years, Ms. Shajan was a flight dispatcher for the 777 Boeing at the Abu Dhabi airport. She has found that her nursing and flying training have taught her the true meaning of humility and distinguishing one’s self as an extraordinary leader. Some of Ms. Shajan’s core values are maintaining a positive attitude, remaining courageous and focused, and always holding others and yourself accountable.

A fun fact about Ms. Shajan is that she is a certified Private Pilot!