Supporting nurses, supporting your community

Last year, Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care joined together to create Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit health system in the country. Your generosity will continue to make health care more accessible and compassionate for each person we serve. Here, we’re sharing stories about people, just like you, who are making a difference.

Erika Colón, BSN, RN, NCBHP, is a compassionate nurse who started a local organization to lift up other Hispanic nurses and help her community.

Erika Colón, BSN, RN, NCBHP, grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Milwaukee when she was in high school. She was suddenly faced with needing to learn English and deciding what to do with her adult life.

“I had a summer internship in the medical field and that’s when I realized nursing was for me,” Erika shared. “I was so impressed with the role of the nurse. That’s who spent most of the time with the patient and who everyone looked to for help.”

Erika has worked as a nurse for Aurora since 2001 and is now a nursing talent liaison for Advocate Aurora Health. In early 2018, she took her desire to help others to a new level. She formed the first Greater Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). This professional organization is something Erika longed for when she first began in nursing 20 years ago.

“I’ve been blessed to have excelled in my education and work, but one thing that I found missing was a team of nursing advocates who could guide me, mentor me and challenge me to better meet the needs of my community,” Erika said.

Between 1990-2014, Milwaukee’s Latino community grew over 213 percent, according to a 2016 UW-Milwaukee study. One of the key barriers faced by Milwaukee Latino residents is access to care and challenges with health care navigation, including a lack of Spanish-speaking and Latino providers.

NAHN members impact community health and wellness, and they mentor youth to encourage a career in nursing. They also inspire, guide and promote Hispanic nurses to seek higher education and leadership roles within health systems.

“What inspires me about NAHN are the people. I see myself–10, 15 years ago. I see the spark and the passion for care our nurses have, and I’m so excited to see what they will become, with support from this organization,” Erika said.

You can help elevate nursing at the Advocate Aurora Health Gala

Join us on Saturday, September 7 to celebrate Advocate Aurora Health’s commitment to nursing excellence at our 2019 Advocate Aurora Health Gala. The event will take place at The Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Advocate Aurora Health has 22,000 nurses who help patients across all settings of care. They are passionate, dedicated caregivers who help people live well. Proceeds from the night will Nursing programs at Advocate Aurora Health. To purchase a ticket or learn more, go to