Kay Olson-web

Kay Olson
Instructor – Tri-Cities

Where are you from?

Born in Flagstaff, AZ now live in Richland, WA.

What nursing site do you work at?


Why did you choose nursing as a profession?

I had never really even thought about a career in nursing, but after my youngest child went to school I decided it was time for me to do something for myself, and so at 42 years old I went back to school. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and had thought about teaching, but I wanted to be sure there was a job and one that paid well after I finished school. Finding a good paying teaching job can be challenging, but God works in mysterious ways. One day I came home to find a message on the answering machine. The message wasn’t for me, but for someone who had had our number previously. It was from a nursing agency offering a job in Alaska for 9 weeks (in the summer) all expenses paid and the salary was almost equal to my husband’s annual teaching salary. I called the agency to let them know that “Dave” didn’t have this number any longer, but I would be happy to go in his place! She asked if I was a nurse and of course I said no, but the woman on the other end of the phone told me to go to school and become a nurse……coincidence….I think not! That’s what started me thinking about becoming a nurse, and now I get to be a nurse and teach!

Who has been an important mentor in your career?

Carol Allen because she not only saw potential in me, but she encouraged me and believed in me! She has supported me as an undergrad and graduate student, and now as a colleague in Community Health Nursing.

What is your dream nursing job?

I love working with the underserved. My dream job would be to get my DNP and work with this population in rural communities and through mission work.

Why are you passionate about nursing or teaching?

Because I get to be involved in many different community health settings! It would be very challenging to be involved in these many different areas by myself, but having students placed in these clinical experiences allows me the opportunity to be involved with them as well.

How has your nursing career changed or influenced your life?

Becoming a nurse and nurse educator has transformed my life. It’s given me confidence, a feeling of self-worth, independence and the knowledge and skills to help many people in my community that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.

What’s your favorite quote?

Be the change you wish you to see in the world – Ghandi