Sally Nuñez: A Beacon of Compassion and Excellence in Healthcare Leadership

Top 10 Impactful Leaders in Healthcare 2024

Introducing RN Express Staffing Registry LLC, a leading healthcare staffing agency headquartered in Manhattan, New York. At the helm of this dynamic organization is Sally Nuñez, serving as President and CEO; Ms. Maria Lea Batomalaque, the EVP for Marketing and Operations; and Ms. Florida Lucas, who holds the role of EVP for Finance and Compliance.

Together, Sally, Lea, and Florida form RN Express’s formidable “power trio,” leveraging their years of collaborative experience to drive the agency’s success in the competitive healthcare industry of New York. What sets RN Express apart is its commitment to excellence in training and preparation.

The company’s healthcare workers undergo personalized training by seasoned nurses, ensuring they possess not only the requisite skills but also the exceptional work ethic needed to excel in diverse healthcare settings. This dedication to individualized training and professional development has made it a trusted name in healthcare staffing in New York.

A Tale of Transformation and Leadership in Healthcare

Sally’s journey before RN Express Staffing Registry, LLC began in 1991 when she arrived in the United States, driven by a desire to make her mother’s life easier. She reminisces, “I came to this country in 1991, with no expectations, but fearful because I don’t know how to do household chores.”

Despite her initial apprehension, Sally was filled with aspirations to improve her family’s quality of life, reflecting the Filipino value of assisting family members. Starting as a floating nurse, she steadily progressed through various roles, including charge nurse, head nurse, and Director of Case Management and Admission.

Sally recalls her experiences fondly, stating, “I love my work at the bedside, taking care of patients and I enjoy working with my team in the nursing unit.” However, she acknowledges the challenges of dealing with residents’ family members, noting, “Dealing with residents’ family members was one of the many challenges in nursing. But I always put myself in their shoes when they have numerous concerns as they expect the best care for their loved ones.”

Lea’s journey is marked by a diverse range of roles, from Staff Nurse and Charge Nurse to Medicare Special Project Coordinator. Her transition to full-time work in the healthcare business in 2013 reflects her commitment to making a meaningful impact in the industry. Lea’s extensive healthcare experience and educational background have prepared her for her role as VP for Human Resources Management and Compliance.

Florida’s journey in the medical field includes roles such as Charge Nurse, Rehab Nurse, RN Supervisor, Infection Control Preventionist, and Assistant Director of Nursing. She retired from her position as Assistant Director of Nursing in one of the leading Nursing Homes in New York City before joining RN Express full-time.

Together, Sally, Lea, and Florida form the “power trio” of RN Express, leveraging their diverse backgrounds and experiences to drive the company’s success in the healthcare industry in New York. Their stories exemplify resilience, compassion, and a commitment to excellence in healthcare leadership.

RN Express Staffing Registry, LLC: Pioneering Excellence in Healthcare Staffing

Founded in 2009, RN Express Staffing Registry is a Nurse-owned and Nurse-led company with a profound commitment to making a difference in healthcare. With over 100 years of combined nursing experience among its Leadership Team, RN Express stands out for its passion-led approach to nurse placement, ensuring long-term success for its staff.

The company boasts expertise in over 26 clinical areas, serving over 32 nursing homes and 47 hospitals. RN Express places over 100 clinicians monthly, with an impressive 50 percent of temporary nurses advancing into long-term roles. RN Express’s mission is to deliver excellent healthcare services to all ages by providing experienced, competent, specialized, and highly skilled staff, trained to meet the increasing demands of the healthcare industry. The company aims to maintain a high standard of quality care and client satisfaction.

RN Express Staffing Registry takes a passion-led approach to ensuring all nurses are placed for long-term success, highlighting their dedication to the professional growth and fulfillment of their nursing staff. Their vision is to be recognized as one of the prestigious providers in the delivery of the finest Healthcare Services in the United States, underscoring their ambition for national recognition in healthcare service provision.

At RN Express Staffing Registry, LLC, an open-door policy ensures accessibility for all employees. The company fosters a family culture, promoting a sense of belonging and unity. The management style is characterized by compassion, humility, generosity, and gratitude, guiding their interactions and decisions to create a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Defining Success: A Triumphant Journey in Leadership

Sally, the President/CEO of RN Express, describes her view on success as a multifaceted journey, comprising small wins, big wins, and ultimate wins. She explains, “Small wins are any daily life events that put a smile on my face and others. These are mostly unrecognized successes.” She cites an example, highlighting the importance of empathy and support, such as “lending an ear to a friend who is in distress.”

For Sally, big wins are “anything that I set as my goal and achieved it. These are big accomplishments which deserve claps and accolades as it has a big impact on other people.” The ultimate win, according to Sally, is “living a life knowing your purpose. This is my Ultimate Success – Living a life in the grace of God and according to His will.”

Lea, the VP for Human Resources Management and Compliance, shares her perspective, stating, “Success is knowing that my partners and I were able to build something of value for our clients, (our partner facilities) and healthcare professionals. Something bigger than just ourselves that positively impacts patients’ lives and contributes to our communities.”

Florida, the Chief Finance Officer/VP for Marketing Operations, defines success as the ability to maintain high-quality care and effective leadership, irrespective of profit status. She reflects on their journey, noting, “We have worked very hard over the years, climbing the ladder, in hope that makes a difference in our own lives. Now it feels so good that we get to see how that same hard work makes a difference in the lives of the people around us.”

Through their distinct but interconnected definitions of success, Sally, Lea, and Florida exemplify a shared commitment to creating value, impacting lives, and embracing purpose in their leadership roles at RN Express.

Navigating the Path to Success: Insights from Leadership Journeys

Sally, at the heart of her journey, places God at the center of her leadership. She leads with respect, trust in her staff, sensitivity to the needs of nurses, and a trusting relationship with partnered healthcare facilities. “I lead with my heart full of gratitude and humility,” she shares.

Her diverse clinical experiences, from bedside nurse to executive nurse, have shaped her leadership ethos, guided by the principles of “work before you complain” and “work as if you own the company.” Sally expresses gratitude to her colleagues, acknowledging their support in establishing and sustaining RN Express.

Lea reflects on her journey with a positive outlook, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth. “I rolled against the punches, faced every challenge that life has given me, and with everything, had faith that everything would work out as long as I gave it my best shot,” she says. Consulting with her prayerful, strong, and intelligent partners has been key in decision-making, reinforcing the value of collaboration and faith in overcoming obstacles.

Florida acknowledges the journey’s ups and downs, crediting prayer as her guiding light in decision-making. She highlights the importance of continuous learning and adaptability in navigating the evolving healthcare industry. “While honing and mastering my knowledge, I kept myself open to learning and adapting to the many changes in the healthcare industry,” she explains, emphasizing the role of resilience and a growth mindset in her journey.

Together, Sally, Lea, and Florida exemplify leadership grounded in faith, resilience, and gratitude, navigating challenges with a shared commitment to excellence and growth at RN Express Staffing Registry, LLC.

Overcoming Professional Roadblocks: Lessons in Leadership and Resilience

Sally reflects on her professional journey, noting that while the last 10 years have been relatively smooth, there have been significant struggles typical of the industry, such as nurses’ commitment issues, receivables accumulation, and common workplace challenges.

She shares, “Until three years ago, my leadership had been tested and I took the matter personally, blaming myself for being too sensitive to the needs of my nurses and too considerate of the people I serve (especially our sponsored nurses) which opened windows for abuse.”

Sally recounts questioning herself and her leadership during a challenging period, wondering if she was partly to blame for the company’s struggles. This experience allowed her to empathize with others who have faced unjust accusations. The emotional distress of the last three years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, was particularly challenging.

Sally’s prayers shifted towards asking for increased patience, understanding, and forgiveness, and she expressed gratitude for the support of her family, friends, and the RN Express team during these difficult times.

Celebrating Leadership Milestones: A Journey of Fulfillment and Impact

For Sally, her greatest achievements as a leader are deeply intertwined with the happiness and growth of those around her. She shares, “Seeing the people I work with wear a smile and feeling happy coming to work” is a source of pride. Witnessing RN Express nurses achieve personal and professional growth within the company is another significant achievement.

Sally also finds fulfillment in uniting families and witnessing their American dream come true. Reflecting on the company’s success, she highlights the collaborative effort with her office staff, healthcare workers, and partner facilities to fulfill RN Express’s mission and vision.

Sally proudly notes, “In 2021, RN Express was named as one of the top 10 most trusted healthcare staffing agencies in NY,” marking a significant milestone in their journey of impact and excellence.

Thriving in Leadership: Women’s Impact in Healthcare

For Sally, Lea, and Florida, thriving as women in leadership in the healthcare industry has been a natural progression. They believe that being a woman in healthcare is advantageous due to the nurturing, caring, and sensitive nature traditionally associated with women. They emphasize the importance of leading with empathy and compassion, traits that are integral to their success in the field.

Guided by the golden rule of treating others as they would like to be treated, these leaders are committed to making an influential impact on the next generation. They recognize the significance of their roles as role models for aspiring leaders, especially women, in the industry. Through their leadership, they aim to inspire others to lead with integrity, compassion, and a commitment to excellence.

Charting the Course for Future Success: RN Express’s Vision and Strategy

Sally envisions RN Express as a pinnacle of trust in the healthcare industry, aiming to expand its reach beyond New York City. She emphasizes, “RN Express will remain as one, if not the most, trusted companies in the healthcare industry.” Sally’s team plans to extend their services to neighboring states, continuing to provide experienced, compassionate, and highly skilled healthcare workers to partnered facilities.

Florida articulates the company’s commitment to maintaining its current success while doubling revenues annually. This growth will sustain their immigration service program and enable them to sponsor nurses for immigrant status. A crucial component of this plan is the yearly audited financial statement, vital for the success of the immigration service program.

Lea discusses plans to enhance operational efficiency through technological advancement. The company seeks to partner with a tech firm to develop software tailored to their recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and payroll processes. This software will streamline operations and enhance overall efficiency, supporting the company’s growth and expansion plans.

A Day in the Life of a Grateful Leader at RN Express

Beginning her day with a morning offering prayer and ending it with a thanksgiving prayer, Sally’s leadership is grounded in gratitude. She reflects, “Praying the daily Rosary with RN Express family is a community prayer which unites us in faith and thanksgiving.” Sally ensures that the vital operating parts of the company are well distributed among the work team, fostering a collaborative and efficient work environment.

Sally is grateful for the competent, compassionate, and hard-working nurses and office staff at RN Express. She works closely with partner healthcare facilities’ executives to address staffing challenges, guiding the team toward effective solutions. In the office, Sally prioritizes building relationships, starting her day with rounds to greet everyone and taking lunch with the staff to nourish their working relationships.

As President/CEO, Sally’s major tasks include preparing the company to adapt to evolving healthcare regulatory policy changes and ensuring its long-term financial success. She also focuses on the company’s immigration services, aiming to secure approval for immigration petitions for nurses and their family members. Sally takes the lead in initiating major plans, such as expanding to other states and maintaining active relationships with international companies for nurse recruitment.

Achieving Work-Life Balance and Staying Motivated

For Sally, maintaining a balance between personal and professional life is about doing what she loves. She shares, “When you do things that you love, you never get tired and when you get frustrated you can easily bounce back.” Engaging in activities that bring her happiness and contribute to business and professional growth keeps her personally and professionally fulfilled. Giving back to her community, especially her hometown in the Philippines, is a personal goal and part of the company’s social responsibility, motivating her to deliver the best service.

Traveling is another key aspect of Sally’s life that helps her strike a balance. She explains, “Traveling also helps strike a balance between my personal and professional life. I can see and understand the world at the same time.” Through travel, Sally experiences different cultures, gains personal connections, and engages in business dealings, enriching both her personal and professional experiences.

Playing golf is a source of rejuvenation for Sally, helping her develop patience, persistence, and perfection while also creating opportunities for business discussions. Appreciation for arts and acquiring valuable items that inspire self and others are also integral to Sally’s life. Ultimately, her motivation is rooted in her faith, as she states, “All for the Glory of God—my great motivation.”

Lea emphasizes the importance of travel in sparking new ideas for the company. Determining priorities and having a reliable team to delegate tasks allow her to balance personal and professional commitments. Celebrating milestones with employees, treating them like family, and engaging in activities together strengthen their bond and motivation.

Florida stays inspired by traveling, taking care of herself, and prioritizing her physical and mental health. She believes in giving her all to work but also values rest and personal time. Exploring the world helps her learn and share experiences with others, enriching her life and motivating her to excel in both personal and professional spheres.

Wisdom and Advice for Aspiring Leaders

Sally’s goal in her 50s is to prioritize her health and strengthen her faith. She shares, “When I reached my 50s, my goal is simply to stay healthy and strengthen my Faith in God.” Her message to aspiring leaders emphasizes the power of passion and generosity. She believes, “Anything you do if it’s done from your heart, everything is possible.”

Lea advises aspiring leaders to maintain a clear vision while being adaptable to change. She highlights the importance of empowering others, stating, “Empower others, because true leadership is not being at the top, but about lifting each other up.”

Florida encourages embracing the journey and finding courage in uncertainty. She believes that challenges, lessons, and victories all contribute to personal growth. Florida asserts, “Embrace both success and setbacks because they will make you a stronger, wiser leader.” Her message underscores the importance of resilience and learning from every experience.


Sally Nuñez, Maria Lea Batomalaque, and Florida Lucas exemplify the essence of leadership in the healthcare industry. Their journeys are a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and faith in driving personal and professional success.

As they navigate the complexities of their roles, they remain steadfast in their commitment to excellence, inspiring those around them to do the same. Their words of wisdom serve as a guiding light for aspiring leaders, reminding them that true leadership is not just about achieving success but also about empowering others and embracing the journey, challenges, and victories alike.