UC Irvine Health Affairs

Cheryl Simkins, RN, BSN, CCRN

Critical Care Educator

Cheryl Simkins graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology and earned her bachelor’s in nursing at Creighton University.  She started her nursing career in Denver on a cardiac step-down unit.  After working on the step-down unit for a year, she transitioned to the cardiac intensive care unit (ICU), where her passion for caring for open-heart patients began. 

Simkins moved to California in 1996 to work as a traveling nurse. She has worked at various ICUs in the Southern California region, including neurological ICU, medical ICU, surgical/trauma ICU, cardiac ICU and combined units.

In 2000, Simkins came to UC Irvine Medical Center to work in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). She worked in the SICU for 10 years before becoming the critical care educator.

Simkins currently oversees the Didactic Program for new graduate nurses in medical/surgical and critical care.  She is involved in the development of new graduate nurses and helps plan the annual classes for all critical care nurses. 

Cheryl’s favorite activities are mountain biking, dancing to live music, skiing and traveling.