Rep. Renee Ellmers visits the School of Nursing

On May 7, the School of Nursing welcomed U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers for a roundtable lunch with students and a human simulation demonstration. Don Curtis, chair of the UNC Board of Trustees External Relations committee, accompanied the congresswoman during her visit to Carolina.

Before being elected to congress in 2010, Rep. Ellmers served as a registered nurse for more than twenty-one years, both as a surgical intensive care nurse and working with her husband in their general surgery practice in Dunn, North Carolina.

Interim Dean Donna Havens and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gwen Sherwood showed the congresswoman the School’s birthing mother and newborn human patient simulators. Darlene Baker, assistant director of the Education-Innovation-Simulation Learning Environment, took the visitors through a simulated birth and explained the importance of simulations in helping students practice and gain confidence in their clinical skills.

A diverse group of students from across the School’s programs as well as Associate Dean of Research Kathleen Knafl, Dr. Havens, and Dr. Sherwood, participated in the roundtable lunch. Rep. Ellmers spoke about her journey from nurse to a U.S. congresswoman and how much the communication skills she learned as a nurse have helped her in the political arenas. She also discussed bills she has supported to stop human trafficking and to support mental health care.

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