Special needs nurse recognized for work

September 26, 2008 9:04:23 AM PDT
Ronna Ellwing left the corporate board room to become a nurse in the far north suburbs-- and her hard work helping others has not gone unnoticed. Once a corporate vice president of a Chicago-based health care company, Ellwing is now a special needs nurse in lake county Illinois, where she makes much less money

"I love doing this so I decided I was gonna leave the corporate world and I really thot for a year and take a break and come out and do special ed and that was 8 years ago I've never gone back," said Ellwing.

For her work with special needs public school students ages 18 to 22, she was named the winner of the Visiting Nurses Super Star In Community Nursing Award.

"Most people who have gotten this award have done a lot of great distinguished things in the community and I just love what I'm doing and just love coming to work. It was a really surprise to me," said Ellwing.

As winner of the 2008 VNA Super Star in Community Nursing Award, she received a unrestricted prize of $25,000.

One of her innovations is a program called Baby Think It Over, which uses dolls to give youngsters an understanding about parenting.

"I program the dolls and they take them home for the weekend and usually by Monday they've decided maybe they're not quite ready to be a parent," said Ellwing.

She oversees such things resuscitation training for her students.

"They come to me for anything just even to talk its so nice to know we've got that bond together and I can treat them as adults they can treat me as an adult and we can work together to solve problems its just a wonderful feeling," said Ellwing.

Ellwing plans to spend a portion of her prize on her students.


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