University of Wisconsin–Madison Nurses Alumni Organization

Graduation celebration with Bucky Badger

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Nurses Alumni Organization (UW NAO) was founded in 1927 shortly after the first class graduated from the School of Nursing. All School of Nursing graduates become members upon graduation or certificate completion. Current and emeriti faculty are also members.

The UW NAO is an independent 501(c)3, the UW NAO promotes fellowship and recognition among alumni. The UW NAO Board of Directors is comprised of alumni who advocate on behalf of all School of Nursing alumni. The UW NAO supports the School of Nursing in advancing opportunities for involvement and engagement.

Signature events and programs include the annual homecoming tailgate; alumni awards; fall career and networking fairs; student scholarships; graduation celebrations and pinning awards.

The UW NAO is always looking for alumni to get involved!

Learn More

Upcoming Events

The next UW NAO board meeting will be held on August 7 from 5:30-6:30pm CT. All alumni are welcome to attend. The meetings will be conducted over Zoom.

Email to Register

Join A Committee

Alumni Events and Professional Networking Committee

This committee plans events hosted by the NAO and supports other initiatives to increase alumni connection and engagement.

Contact Committee Co-Chair Linda Procci, PhD, RN.

Student Engagement Committee

This committee collaborates with the School of Nursing to provide connection opportunities between current students and alumni.

Contact Committee Chair Mary Francois, DNP, RN.

NAO Board Members

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Ashley Fielek, DNP, RN, APNP, AGCNS-BC, CNOR

BSN ’09, DNP ’22
NAO President
Cottage Grove, WI 

I completed my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as an adult/gerontology clinical nurse specialist with nurse educator certificate in Spring 2022. My career background is rooted in the operating room. I worked as a cardiothoracic, heart and lung transplant circulating and scrub nurse for six years, nursing education coordinator for two years, and nurse specialist for almost three years. 

Mary Francois, DNP, RN

DNP ’16
Brooklyn WI  

I worked at UW Health for 35 years as a staff RN and leadership positions. I retired in 2021, but now I teach at the UW–Madison School of Nursing as a clinical assistant professor. This has been a rewarding career focused on educating our future nurses.  

Abby Hammes, PhD, RN

Taylor Hayes, BSN, RN  

Minneapolis, MN 

I am in school at the University of Minnesota pursing a degree in Nurse Anesthesia. Prior to returning to school, I worked at UW Hospital in the Trauma and Life Support Center. 

Dana Hendricks BSN, BS, RN, IBCLC, C-EFM 

BSN ’ 10
NAO Secretary
Cottage Grove, WI 

Sarah Kruger, DNP, RN 

MSN ’00
Verona, WI  

I am a retired Clinical Professor and Adult Nurse Practitioner. I am currently working as Nursing Leadership Consultant for Nurses on Boards Coalition ( I also serve on several boards, including a large health insurance organization and a community living organization serving older adults. I continue to co-teach a course in Advanced Diabetes Management.  

Bonny Kulick, BSN, RN

BSN 1972
Watervliet, Michigan 

 My first six years as an RN were on medical/surgical units at Methodist Hospital in Madison and community hospitals in Stoughton and River Falls. I retired from my 40+ year nursing career in 2014 when South Haven Health System closed their OB department where I had worked for 32 years. Since then, I have stayed busy with volunteer activities and have taught a few childbirth education classes 1:1 for young moms. 

Grace Long, BSN, RN 

BSN ’19
Madison, WI 

I am currently working at the American Family Children’s Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a staff nurse, chair of the unit Social Committee, member of Unit Council, and intermittently as a preceptor. I have no immediate plans to return to school or make any career changes, as I very much enjoy working at the bedside with my tiny humans and their families!

Cara MacKenzie, BSN, BS, RN  

BSN ’10
NAO Vice President
Waunakee, WI 

I have worked my whole career in post-acute care, with a primary focus of hospice nursing. I have had progressive management and leadership roles at Agrace, and am currently the Director of Quality & Compliance. I enjoy the challenges that the changing regulatory landscape in hospice & healthcare is creating, and helping navigate this in our practice, while continuing to ensure our patients receive high quality care. I am a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) Quality Committee.

Katie Martzke, BSN, RN 

BSN ’18
New London, WI

I worked at UW Health in the Cardiac ICU for 3 years prior to graduate school. I am currently a full-time student at Rosalind Franklin University in the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia program and will graduate in 2024.  

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Nadine Nehls, PhD, RN 

BSN ’75, MSN ’78
Madison, WI  

I retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing having served as a Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Programs. My clinical and research foci were psychiatric mental health nursing and nursing education. I was especially interested in the lived experience of women with borderline personality disorder and the development of new models of nursing education. 

Linda Procci, PhD, RN 

BSN ’72, MSN ’74
Pasadena, CA 

I had 39 years of progressive leadership and management experience in complex, academic, tertiary, and integrated healthcare organizations before retiring in 2013 after 17 years at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles as VP of Service Line Operations.   Chaired the capital campaign for Signe Skott Cooper Hall. Member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Nursing, and co-chair Alumni Engagement Committee. Board Member, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association and Wisconsin Alumni Association LA Chapter Board Member.  

Emily Schumacher, DNP, RN 

BSN ’10, DNP ’18

NAO Treasurer

Sun Prairie, WI

I am a pediatric nurse practitioner in developmental pediatrics at UW Health. While working towards my Doctor of Nursing practice degree (DNP), I had the opportunity through UW to participate in an advanced training program for graduate students in different health care disciplines called LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities). I enjoy mentoring nursing students and have served as a clinical preceptor.  

Elisha Smith, DNP, APRN, AGACNP-BC

BSN 2014
DNP 2021
Board certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Charlotte, NC  

After graduating from the UW SoN DNP program, Elisha completed an advanced practice cardiovascular medicine fellowship in Charlotte, NC. After the completing the fellowship, Elisha continues to work in Charlotte as a general cardiology nocturnist nurse practitioner. In this role he provides comprehensive cardiovascular care throughout all cardiology subspecialities including general cardiology, advanced heart failure, interventional cardiology, and electrophysiology. 

Kayla Van Boxtel, BSN, BS, RN

BSN ’21
Baltimore, MD 

I am a recent UW-Madison School of Nursing alum and brand-new nurse working in the float pool at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. I hope to remain at the bedside for a few years while pursuing a master’s in public health or a Master of Science in Nursing before eventually earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice! 

Andrea Williams, PhD, RN 

BSN ’76, MSN ’81
Madison, WI  

Dr. Andrea Williams is a three-time Badger graduate from the University of Wisconsin. Her PhD was awarded in Continuing Adult Vocational Education, with a Nursing Minor.  Andrea spent the majority of her career as a Clinical Nurse Specialist/Nurse Manager in trauma, burn, critical care and clinical research related areas at UW Health and Clinical Associate Professor for undergraduate and DNP students at the UW-Madison School of Nursing.  Since 2003, she has served as an ATLS Regional Educator & Coordinator for the American Academy of Surgeons-Committee on Trauma and UW Health/AFCH Level One Trauma Centers. She is a UW Madison Teaching Academy Fellow.  In 2009 Andrea joined the UW Emergency Education Center team.

Meghann Wilson, MSN, RN, ACCNS-BC, CCRN, CEN 

BSN ’09
Norfolk, VA  

I am a U.S. Navy Nurse Corps Officer, currently stationed at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, Virginia. I work in the adult ICU as a clinical nurse specialist. I oversee patient care, process improvement, evidence-based practice implementation and orientation. 

Peggy Zimdars, NP, RN  

BSN ’73
Madison, WI and Door County, WI  

I worked with the University of Wisconsin Hospital Pediatrics ICU, as well as a private practice in allergy and immunology. I have served as a Patient and Family Advisor since 2011, including the UW Health Patient and Family Advisory Council from 2011-2017, serving as co-chair from 2014-2015. I have also served on the MyChart PFAC, the Discharge Collaborative, and the planning group for UW Health at the American Center. I co-chair the Alumni Engagement Committee under the Board of Visitors for the UW–Madison School of Nursing.