Pin Donor: Mary Moat Cert ’77, MS ’82
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Nancy Yang to receive the nursing pin,” says Maichou Lor, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the School of Nursing. “She exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea by conducting research with the Hmong community to co-create a pain communication tool, has a passion for reducing health disparities for populations who have limited English proficiency and low health literacy, and she is a leader.”
Lor also notes that Yang is a bright young woman who stands out from her nursing peers, specifically in the area of nursing research, adding, “She has made a significant contribution to an innovative research project funded by the Nursing Institute of Research through the National Institute of Health to improve pain communication between Hmong patients with limited English proficiency (LEP), interpreters, and providers.”
“I grew up being an advocate for my parents, who are English illiterate,” says Yang. “I want to help people like my parents understand the importance of taking care of their health, building trust in our system, and bridging the gap.”
During her time at UW–Madison, Yang has had the opportunity to work in research that is focused on patient-provider communication, specifically focusing on the Hmong population. She works with Lor as a student research assistant, assisting with the revision and evaluation of a pain information visualization (InfoViz) communication tool, and testing the tool in primary care settings.
She has assisted Lor through many different facets, but most importantly, Lor notes that Yang’s art skills have contributed significantly to the revision and finalization of the pain InfoViz that resulted in a culturally and linguistically appropriate tool for the LEP Hmong populations. “We are currently testing the tool in primary care settings,” says Lor.
In addition, Yang is also helping to co-author three manuscripts with Lor that focus on the revision and evaluation of the pain InfoViz tool, a systematic review on research among LEP populations with pain, and the development and evaluation of a pain face severity tool for the LEP Hmong population. “I cannot think of any undergraduate with this level of enthusiasm, dedication, motivation, productivity, and creativity on a research project,” says Lor.
Through her experiences advocating for others throughout her undergraduate journey, Yang has truly enjoyed making meaningful impacts on the lives of others. “I believe a career in nursing will help me fulfill that passion,” she says. “With my BSN, I hope to continue building my research knowledge and hone my clinical skills. I also plan to seek higher education in the near future,” Yang adds.
Yang recognizes the strong tradition that comes along with being chosen as a pin recipient and is grateful. “The School of Nursing’s dedication to leadership and service has helped create extraordinary nurses,” she says. “I am honored to be recognized for my commitment and passion for nursing, and incredibly humbled to be a part of this nursing tradition. No matter how obvious or subtle, the guidance I received did not go unnoticed.”
She received her pin from Mary Moat Cert ’77, MS ’82, who says she wanted to be a nurse since she was two years old. Moat chose to donate her pin because she is proud of her UW education, and she wishes to share the honor of wearing the pin with a new Badger nurse so they can display the same pride.
Moat recalls enjoying working with and learning from new students during her time at the School of Nursing. Upon graduation, she worked as both a staff nurse and head nurse at Methodist Hospital (now UnityPoint Health – Meriter Hospital) in Madison before earning her master’s degree in nursing in 1982.
She then served as director of nursing, medical-surgical and oncology at St. Joseph’s in Milwaukee before returning to UW–Madison to obtain her nurse practitioner license in 1992. She then spent two years in medical clinics in Milwaukee County, and then spent 20 years at the Milwaukee VA. After a storied career, she retired in 2015 as an adult/geriatric nurse practitioner.
Moat’s advice for new Badger nurses is this: “Hang on to the passion you have for the profession and helping others, and you will never feel you are working.”