Skillman receives Emerging Leader Award

Nita Skillman was honored with the Emerging Leader Award at the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) 2017 Annual Conference on Sunday, June 4.

Nita Skillman was honored with the Emerging Leader Award at the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) 2017 Annual Conference on Sunday, June 4. Skillman serves as the client and simulated patient coordinator for the School of Health Sciences, working closely with faculty, staff, and the local community since 2012.

<span style=”font-size: 13.9997px;”>Nita Skillman, Client and Simulated Patient Coordinator for the School of Health Sciences</span>
Skillman has been an active member of ASPE for the past five years, including roles on both the Membership and Educational Resources Committees and presentations at the annual conferences in 2014, 2015 and 2017. She also contributed to the creation of a statewide consortium of ASPE members, which had an inaugural meeting at Elon in 2014.

According to Charity Johannson, professor of physical therapy education, who nominated Skillman for this award, “…she has quickly catapulted the Elon School of Health Sciences’ Standardized Patient program into national recognition, while she works equally diligently to advance the field of patient simulation through ASPE. I can think of no worthier recipient of APSE’s Emerging Leader Award for 2017.”

The Client and Standardized Patient Program within the School of Health Sciences brings members of the community into physician assistant and physical therapy classrooms to provide real and simulated case examples. Clients are people with actual health conditions, while standardized patients are trained to portray those with medical needs. Standardized patients and clients not only afford Elon students a rich, engaged learning experience, they also provide individualized feedback to help students hone their clinical and interpersonal skills. Skillman has been the driving force behind this program, from the original vision to implementation to marked growth within our school.

In addition to her work with ASPE and within the School of Health Sciences, Skillman has pursued scholarship, received an internal grant and award and continued her own education. She co-presented a research poster on the “Use of Standardized Patients to Teach Dementia Care” with Johannson at the 2016 American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting which is currently under review for publication.

Skillman has also presented locally at the N.C. Physical Therapy Association conference and regionally at the Best Practices in Advanced Simulation Conference. At Elon, Skillman has contributed to a funded, internal grant to support the use of technology with standardized patients; received the School of Health Sciences’ Excellence in Service Award in 2013-14; and completed her MBA in 2017.

Skillman was thrilled to win this award, stating, “Elon will now be widely known within the simulation community and I’m honored to be part of the wonderful team that made that happen.” ​