Honoring the winners of the UNC School of Medicine Nursing Awards

The School of Medicine Nursing Awards, which were established in 1990, serve as recognition of the contributions that nurses make in support of patient care, teaching, research and the public service mission of UNC. This year, nine outstanding nurses were honored.

The School of Medicine Nursing Awards, which were established in 1990, serve as recognition of the contributions that nurses make in support of patient care, teaching, research and the public service mission of UNC. The awards are divided into four categories: Inpatient Services, Outpatient Services, Advanced Practices and Specialty Services, and Nurse Management. The awards, valued at $1,000 each, may be used over a three-year period to cover expenses associated with professional development and/or attendance at scientific conferences or meetings that will enhance the recipient's knowledge and abilities in the health care setting.

Learn more about this year's nine honorees:

Advanced Practice Provider Category:

Margaret “Meg” Barreth, CNM, MSN: Since Meg joined UNC, she has served as a “stabilizing force” for the midwifery division as it has grown to 9 team members.

Nicole Sartor, MSN, RN, C-PNP: In collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Dellon, Nicole started UNC’s pediatric palliative care team five years ago. Since then, the team has care for more than 1,000 children.

Inpatient Nursing:

Holly Currin, BSN, RNC-OB: In the last year, Holly Currin, a dedicated Labor and Delivery Nurse, has led an effort to help families deal with one of life’s great tragedies, the loss of a child. As the head of the Perinatal Loss program, Holly organized an event for the opening of “Jane’s Room,” a private room for families suffering from perinatal loss.

Yajun French, MS-Ed, BSN: As nurse on 3 Anderson’s Cardiac Care Unit, Yajun French is hailed by patients and colleagues for her dedication to patient care. In an environment where patients often feel particularly vulnerable, she goes out of her way to show warmth and make sure everyone’s needs are attended to. This is exemplified in the praise Yajun received from the family of a patient she cared for.

Erin Shultz, BSN, RN, CNML: Erin Schultz serves as a nurse in the NC Children’s Hospital Newborn Critical Care Center. There were a few qualities that came up over and over again by Erin’s nominators. They praised her “positive attitude,” “trustworthiness,” and called her “calm under pressure,” all vital characteristics of a nurse in the NCCC.

Nurse Manager:

Jeff Phillips, MSN, BSN, RN, CEN: Jeff Phillips works as a nurse manager in the Emergency Department. Last winter and spring, the ED was overloaded with psychiatric patients, causing back ups in the waiting rooms and a great deal of stress for staff. Through all of this, Jeff remained: “a calm force, navigating the daily crises. Jeff led by example, remaining positive and working towards solutions.”

Maureen Heck, BSN, RN, CNML: Maureen Heck’s value as a nurse manager in the Surgical ICU is reflected in the number of nominations that she received for this award. Each praised her leadership, skill, and commitment to teaching and mentorship. Many said that they had worked with Maureen for a number of years, forming deep bonds of trust. Though she’s nominated in the category of Nurse Manager, Maureen likes to say that she’s not a nurse manager, but a patient services manager, always keeping her focus on those she is caring for.

Outpatient Nursing:

Michelle Curl, BSN, RN, CDE: In Michelle Curl’s three years with the Pediatric Diabetes Program, she has completely changed the way that the program cares for patients. Michelle has created a board game which allows her and other diabetes educators to interact with patients in a nonthreatening and fun way. Data gathered during these game sessions is then used to personalize care for patients.

Holly Moore, LPN: According to her nominators for this award, Holly Moore is the ‘glue’ that keeps the UNC Internal Medicine Outpatient Clinic together. Her colleagues say that she’s the person they go to with their most difficult questions, and patients say that their blood pressure goes down the moment she steps in the room.

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