Tonya received her BSN from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and her MSN from George Mason University. She has been a nurse for 21 years, starting as a staff nurse at New York University Medical Center. She then moved to the Washington, D.C. area, and took a position as an assistant head nurse at George Washington University Hospital. She has been at MedStar Washington Hospital Center since 1997, first as a Clinical Manager on Unit 2D, Pulmonary Medicine, and then as head nurse.
Tonya's love of cardiology led her to seek the position of head nurse on 4NE in 2002. She was promoted to senior nursing director for Medical Surgical Nursing in 2008, and became assistant vice president of Nursing in March, 2010. She served as interim chief nursing officer from July 2010 to April 2011, when she was named vice president for Nursing Operation. Her primary areas of practice are cardio-thoracic surgery and medical cardiology. She is a member of the District of Columbia Organization of Nurse Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.