R. Coleen Wilson
May 2022
R. Coleen
Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center
Santa Monica
United States




Coleen masterfully defines what it is to be a nurse and leader through her ethos and actions that are so instrumental to our hospital.
Steve Jobs once famously said, "management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could." Coleen masterfully defines what it is to be a nurse and leader through her ethos and actions that are so instrumental to our hospital. No matter how difficult the challenge, Coleen is always there, working alongside bedside nurses to improve patient outcomes, improve patient experience, and support staff. She has such dedication, passion, and ability to inspire everyone she interacts with. Her dedication to professional governance is instrumental to bedside nurse voices and elevating bedside nurses at the highest level.

I first met Coleen at the Exemplary Professional Practice council (EPP). I was a new grad, trying to find my footing in a hospital that exudes nursing excellence. During nursing school or in previous jobs I was never involved in anything. Coleen nominated me to be the co-chair of EPP. I was scared, and nervous, and didn't want to put myself out there. Coleen pulled me aside, explained the role, and helped me realize my potential as a leader. I've never had someone believe in my abilities as Coleen has. As a new nurse, imposter syndrome can sink your confidence - but Coleen helped boost my confidence and was so instrumental in my development. Throughout my nursing career, she has pushed me to be a better nurse and a better leader and is always there to provide advice, and model what every nurse should strive to achieve.

Coleen is the reason I have so much confidence at the bedside and confidence with voicing and advocating for my patients and co-workers. Without the support of Coleen, I would have quit nursing during that critical first year.

Coleen is the ultimate mentor, she doesn't just talk about the importance of diversity in nursing, she's a champion for it and understands its importance. Coleen described exactly how I was feeling as a male nurse, without me ever mentioning it. She may not have lived my experience, but she understood my journey in this profession. There is only one Coleen Wilson. Coleen is an instrumental cornerstone for UCLA Santa Monica, without which this hospital would be vastly different. UCLA Santa Monica is a place where nurses can thrive and provide excellent patient care because Coleen paves the way for all of us to succeed. Coleen, thank you for being my mentor and inspiring me to be better and reach higher. Thank you for being a champion of diversity and seeing value in all of your nurses, you have touched the lives of so many, you are the heartbeat of UCLA Santa Monica.