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Donor spotlight: Carol Quigg views giving as ‘continuing education’

Portrait of Carol Quigg
Portrait of Carol Quigg
Carol Quigg

Carol Quigg never worked as a nurse, yet she’s a faithful supporter of the WSU College of Nursing.

The connection to WSU is understandable: Quigg graduated in 1958 with a home economics degree. But it wasn’t until a women’s group she belonged to raised money for student scholarships that she became acquainted with the College of Nursing.

“I got interested in research,” she said. “I started out doing an endowment for research and it’s gone from there.”

As part of her support, she meets with faculty members to talk to them about their work.
“I insist on it, as a matter of fact,” said Quigg, of Spokane Valley. “I call it my continuing education program.”

Interprofessional education is a particular interest, because Quigg believes a team approach will improve the quality of health care.

And because she grew up in a rural area and worked as a county extension agent for some time, she also has an affinity for rural health care, and agricultural research and projects.

Quigg said she appreciates the work of the College of Nursing faculty and staff.

“A lot of the personnel are trying to be forward-looking and innovative,” she said. “They’re also very involved with the students, which they need to be in order to do a good job in education.”

Thank a preceptor: Miranda Hennes, Excelsior Youth Center

Miranda Hennes

Miranda Hennes precepts a WSU College of Nursing student just about every semester.

Hennes, a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner at Excelsior Youth Center in Spokane, said she remembers how challenging it was to get the required number of clinical hours when she was studying for her Master of Nursing degree from the WSU College of Nursing.

“I know what it’s like to be a student, and I enjoy teaching,” Hennes said. She graduated with her MN in 2014, and worked as a graduate teaching assistant and an adjunct instructor for the College of Nursing. She also received her RN-BSN degree from WSU.

Excelsior Youth Center offers residential care and education and outpatient services to young people with a variety of psychiatric and behavioral conditions. Hennes said she sees clients ages 5 and up for mental health medication management.

She loves the work, she said. “It fits my philosophy of providing care to people – helping them help themselves. If you can get to the root of some of their problems, which can be chronic misuse of substances or poor self-care, then you can fix many more problems than just these outside issues.”

The most challenging aspect of precepting a nursing student is time, Hennes said – making sure both her client and the nursing student get what they need in each encounter. But, she said, “I’m more than happy to do it.”

Retired nurse Russell Michaelsen found an encore career as an inventor

Portrait of Russell Michaelsen
Portrait of Russell Michaelsen
Russell Michaelsen, photo by Sarah Schaub


By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing 

Russell Michaelsen didn’t graduate from the WSU College of Nursing until he was nearly 50, after working as a medical lab tech, logger, commercial fisherman, hunting guide, and builder.

As a nurse, he added inventor to that list of vocations.

Michaelsen, now 78, co-founded Hyprotek, Inc. in Spokane in 1994 to develop medical devices and products that reduce the risk of patient infections. The product line grew out of his work as a nurse at a Spokane hospital. That’s also where he met Dr. Patrick Tennican, a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist in Spokane, and together, they launched Hyprotek with L. Myles Phipps, Ph.D. » More …

Laura Wintersteen-Arleth honored by Provost during homecoming game

Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost's Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.
Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost's Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.
Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost’s Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.

Laura Wintersteen-Arleth was one of two WSU instructors honored by Provost Dan Bernardo as Featured Faculty at the Oct. 21 football game against Colorado in Pullman.

Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the WSU College of Nursing, said she spent most of the rainy, windswept game in the comfort of a suite at Martin Stadium. The Cougs won the homecoming game 28-0.

She and her fellow Featured Faculty honoree Aaron Whelchel, instructor and academic adviser in the Department of History, were recognized on the field during the game. Both were presented with a commemorative Coug football helmet.

Said Wintersteen-Arleth, “I love being an RN and get great joy and satisfaction being a part of the journey our students take to fulfill their dreams of serving others as RNs.” She added, “I am grateful to WSU for allowing me to reach my goals and to have an impact on our future healthcare providers.”

Wintersteen-Arleth was nominated by WSU College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffith-Sobel. The nomination noted that Wintersteen-Arleth’s husband, Roger Arleth, was a strong supporter of WSU before he died a year ago and willed his body to the cadaver laboratory at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.


College of Nursing alum helps send pizza to Las Vegas hospital staff

Staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas took a picture with the pizzas sent by ER staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

An alumna of the WSU College of Nursing led a drive to raise money to buy dozens of pizzas for the staff of a hospital in Las Vegas after 58 people were killed at a concert there.

Crystal Burris, an emergency department nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, told KHQ-TV that she and a co-worker were watching coverage of the mass-casualty incident and wondering how they could help.

“We like Vegas. We go to Vegas. And we’re also ER nurses. So we thought immediately when we saw the news of the shooting, that could’ve been us,” she told the TV station.

Staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas took a picture with the pizzas sent by ER staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas took a picture with the pizzas sent by ER staff at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Burris and her co-worker started a fund-raising drive to collect money to send pizza to the ER staff at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, which is the closest trauma center to the Las Vegas strip. Sunrise treated 199 patients after the Oct. 1 shooting at a country music festival in the city, 16 of whom died. More than 50 patients had undergone surgery at the hospital within the first 24 hours after the shooting.

Burris said she and her co-worker were surprised at the number of donations they received – $1,200 in all. They sent more than 20 large pizzas, sandwiches, and salads to the ER staff at Sunrise Hospital, according to KHQ.


Janet Katz inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

Dr. Janet Katz is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.
Dr. Janet Katz is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.
Dr. Janet Katz, right, is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.

Dr. Janet Katz, professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing, on Saturday was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.

The academy’s more than 2,500 fellows worldwide are nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. Fellows are selected for their significant contributions to nursing and health care, and the impact of their career on health policies and population health and well-being.

Dr. Katz was the only inductee this year from Eastern Washington, and one of just three from the state.

Her work has focused on diversifying the nursing workforce. Dr. Katz is currently principle investigator on a federal grant to increase the number of disadvantaged, Native American and Hispanic students from rural areas who choose health sciences for their careers. She is also principle investigator for a project focusing on preventing substance abuse and suicide among young members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. In addition, she coordinates nursing programs for the annual Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute held annually at WSU Spokane, and teaches community health at the WSU College of Nursing.

Study: 12-hour night shift can affect a nurse’s performance


Working a 12-hour night shift affects a nurse’s performance more than working a 12-hour day shift does, according to a recent study by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the WSU College of Nursing.

Most hospitals in the United States operate on 12-hour nursing shifts now, because they’re easier for administrators to manage and nurses like them, research has shown.

But Wilson’s study, which will appear in the journal “Accident Analysis and Prevention,” shows declines in alertness and performance during a 12-hour night shift that could have implications for both patient and nurse safety.

Strategies to address the discrepancy between day-shift and night-shift performance could include sanctioned napping in the workplace, or a return to 8-hour shifts at night, the paper concludes.

Wilson’s co-investigators on the study were Hans Van Dongen, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and Regan Permito, research assistant at the Sleep and Performance Research lab, plus registered nurses Ashley English, Sandra Albritton and Carlana Coogle, of Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai Health also supported the research with a grant and their staff donated time to assist with data collection.

The study tracked 22 nurses at Kootenai Health, 11 on the day shift and 11 on the night shift. The nurses took a brief test before, during, and after their shifts to measure behavioral alertness and sleepiness using validated tools. In addition, they wore activity trackers on their wrists to measure sleep duration and kept sleep diaries.

Dr. Marian Wilson
Dr. Marian Wilson

The dayshift nurses’ performance was relatively good and stable across their 12-hour shift. But the performance of nurses working the night shift gradually degraded as their shift wore on, the study found. Both groups slept about the same number of hours per day – 7.1 – and both had roughly the same workload.

“Because 12-hour shifts are becoming the popular norm for nurses, it is critical that organizations consider the potential risks to patients, particularly with regard to night shift employees,” the study concluded. The study also has implications for nurse safety, with nurses whose performance has declined driving home after a night shift, it said.

Added Wilson, “The bottom line – night shift nurses are fighting their natural biological drive for sleep and need more help in maintaining performance and alertness during 12-hour night shifts.”

“Performance and sleepiness in nurses working 12-h day shifts or night shifts in a community hospital” –  Accident Analysis and Prevention. Marian Wilson, Regan Permito, Ashley English, Sandra Albritton, Carlana Coogle, Hans P.A. Van Dongen.

Cleveland police department to test simulator developed by College of Nursing professor

Portrait of Lois James
Portrait of Lois James
Lois James stands in front of a screen showing one of the simulations featured in CBTSim.

Two hundred patrol officers in the Cleveland police department will undergo training to recognize their subconscious biases using a simulator developed by an assistant professor in the WSU College of Nursing.

The large-scale training is part of a $750,000 research grant awarded to Lois James, Ph.D., by the National Institute of Justice, the research and development agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lois James and her colleague Stephen James, Ph.D., assistant research professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, developed Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTSim), a portable simulator that presents officers with realistic scenarios in which they are required to make shoot-or-don’t-shoot decisions. The scenarios are based on 30 years of data on police use of force, and repeatedly expose officers to simulations where the suspect’s characteristics, such as age, gender or race, aren’t predictably related to the outcome.

No comparative evidence yet

Such training is a response to national concerns about bias in police decision-making that arose following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Implicit-bias training has become common in law enforcement agencies nationwide. So far, however, there has been no evidence on whether simulation-based training, traditional classroom lectures, or a combination of the two is most effective in changing police behavior.

“Rigorous, randomized controlled trials such as the one proposed are desperately required to inform policy and practice at the national level,” Lois James wrote in her grant application to the National Institute of Justice.

Four participant groups

James’ study will randomly assign 400 patrol officers with the Cleveland police department to one of four groups:

  • One will receive classroom training in implicit bias.
  • Another group will be trained using the CBTSim simulator.
  • A third group will be trained using both methods.
  • A fourth control group won’t receive any additional training.

Results will be measured by scoring body-camera footage, the number of citizen complaints received, police surveys and focus groups, and surveys of people arrested to see whether they felt they were treated fairly. The goal is to identify best practices for reducing unconscious or subconscious bias, leading to improved police decision-making and enhanced citizen trust.

Police welcome study

The research study is supported by both the Cleveland Division of Police and Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

The three-year research project will begin on Jan. 1, with police training beginning in the spring of 2019. James is principal investigator, with co-investigators Stephen James and Elizabeth Dotson, M.S., research assistant, WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center. Also on the research team are Renee Mitchell, Ph.D., of the Sacramento Police Department, who’s an evidence-based policing consultant, and Mary Davis, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

Davis said in a letter of support for the project that the research is “of critical importance to the future of implicit bias training.” And Calvin Williams, chief of the Cleveland police department, wrote, “We understand the commitment required to participate, and are excited to play a pioneering role in the evaluation of implicit bias training for improving police decision-making, promoting public perceptions of police legitimacy, and enhancing the outcomes of police-citizen interactions.”

College of Nursing and Providence launch pediatric outreach program

Group photo of nurses at Coulee Medical Center
Group photo of nurses at Coulee Medical Center
A group of nurses who took part in training through the Collaborative Pediatric Outreach Program. Cory Risse, of the WSU College of Nursing, is in the back row, second from the right, with Dianne Molsberry, of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, back row on the right. 

Small rural hospitals face pediatric emergencies less frequently than their urban counterparts. That creates a host of challenges, from staff not being familiar with pain-control protocols, to not having appropriately sized supplies and equipment, to seemingly little things, like not having toys on hand to distract young patients.

That’s why the WSU College of Nursing teamed with Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in a pilot project to improve pediatric care at Coulee Medical Center in Grand Coulee, Washington.

Cory Risse, a nursing instructor at the WSU College of Nursing, was paired with Dianne Molsberry, pediatric outreach coordinator at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, to work with nurses at the 25-bed, Level IV trauma hospital.

They began by reviewing data and surveying the medical staff to gauge their comfort level in caring for pediatric patients, then pinpointed needs, Risse said. Working in collaboration with nursing leaders and administrators at the hospital, Risse and Molsberry decided to offer an education day for nurses, plus information on best practices for pediatrics policies and procedures.

“We taught them respiratory, pain management, and general approaches to working with kids,” Risse said. Nurses were tested before and after the training, and their scores improved, she said.

To help sustain the changes, two nurses were designated “peds champions.” They came to Spokane to shadow pediatric nurses at Sacred Heart Children’s, and will be in charge of continuing education efforts at Coulee Medical Center.

Charlotte Wilson, nurse educator at the hospital, said the project helped increase staff comfort levels in working with pediatric patients. “It was a good program,” she said.

Now the WSU College of Nursing and Providence will take the lessons learned in the pilot project and try to expand the program, said Wendy Buenzli, clinical associate professor at the College of Nursing. The Collaborative Pediatric Outreach Program could be offered throughout the Northwest, she said, with rural hospitals and clinics choosing from a menu of options. That might include consulting on needed equipment, training, a quality improvement project, or help finding resources.

Buenzli noted that WSU is a land-grant university, with a mission rooted in public service and outreach. The pediatric program “is a great opportunity to partner with Providence in serving rural areas,” she said.

And the Crimson Spirit Award for September goes to… Laura Wintersteen-Arleth

Portrait of Laura Wintersteen-Arleth holding the Crimson Spirit Award.
Portrait of Laura Wintersteen-Arleth holding the Crimson Spirit Award.
Laura Wintersteen-Arleth, senior instructor in the WSU College of Nursing, received the university’s Crimson Spirit Award in September.

Congratulations to Laura Wintersteen-Arleth of the WSU College of Nursing, who received Washington State University’s Crimson Spirit Award in September.

The award is a special commendation for WSU faculty and staff who have provided outstanding service and have exceeded expectations while representing the university.

Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the College of Nursing, was nominated by a student, who noted: “Laura is one of the major reasons I am still in school. She approached me when I was having a very difficult time and told me just the right thing, when I needed it most.”

Wintersteen-Arleth was recognized for her wide-ranging responsibilities, as well as the caliber of her work. Those responsibilities include being an adviser, teacher, serving as a clinical instructor, mentoring student clubs, and acting as liaison to the Kaplan test-prep program for nursing.

“There are few people more deserving of the Crimson Spirit Award than Laura,” said Dr. Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean of the WSU College of Nursing. “Her dedication and excellence are an asset to the College of Nursing and to the university as a whole.”

For more information on the Crimson Spirit Award, and a list of past recipients, visit WSU Human Resources Services at