Local News

Nurse builds 'beautiful tapestry' of diversity at UNC Rex Hospital

Posted February 6, 2019 5:40 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2019 6:48 p.m. EST

Janice Laurore is a nurse who is making history at the UNC Rex Hospital System.

Five things to know:

  • She is pursuing her master’s degree and will graduate in 2020.
  • Outside of UNC Rex, Laurore works with the Governor’s Minority Health Advisory Council, a group of stakeholders who make recommendations on ways to improve issues such as diabetes, women’s health and children’s health – especially for racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations in North Carolina.
  • Nursing is in Laurore’s blood. Her mother trained as a nurse in their native Jamaica. Several of Laurore’s aunts and siblings are nurses. Her daughter now works as a nurse at UNC Rex, too.
  • Laurore started as a staff nurse at UNC Rex 28 years ago and now oversees a floor in the NC Heart & Vascular Hospital dedicated to caring for some of the most serious cardiac patients – patients who had heart attacks or heart failure, for example.
  • Her team is one of the most diverse of any North Carolina hospital – Laurore strives to recruit nurses from around the world.

Of UNC Rex Hospital’s 6,400 staff members, one unit at the N.C. Heart and Vascular Hospital is the most diverse. It has more nationalities, races and ages represented than any other group, and Laurore is the reason why.

“We celebrate diversity here,” she said.

Twenty-nine years ago, Laurore started as a staff nurse. She now oversees the entire floor. When she was placed in charge of hiring for the unit, she fought to build a talented team, regardless of what they looked like.

“We’ve got people from all over, and I’m not going to call it a melting pot as much as I’m going to call if a beautiful tapestry because we celebrate the connection, but we’re still individually who we are,” Laurore said.

Laurore celebrates her “beautiful tapestry” with a map highlighting her team.

“I get a lot of people wanting to get on the board,” she said.

In addition to managing her unit, Laurore is dedicated to caring for some of the most serious cardiac patients, those who have had heart attacks or heart failure.

“When she walks into a room, that smile, it lights up. It lights up and it gives you a lot of confidence and it makes you feel good when she walks in,” patient Eckener Pearce said.

Inspired by her patients, Laurore led a project at UNC Rex called “All Feet on Deck,” aimed at getting patients walking as quickly as possible.

“It’s very important to never give up on your dreams. Follow your heart, realize that you can. There is no barrier that you can’t take down if you just step forward into the belief that you can do it,” Laurore said.

Much like her patients, Laurore is determined; determined to heal and determined to break down barriers. That’s why she’s been able to touch so many hearts and save countless lives.