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Meet a preceptor: Kathryn Brault, ARNP

portrait of preceptor Kathryn Brault
portrait of preceptor Kathryn Brault
Kathryn Brault

Kathryn Brault loves her job, and that’s why she’s a preceptor for the WSU College of Nursing and other schools.

As a preceptor, she’s one of the many experienced practitioners who volunteer their time to instruct and supervise nursing students during clinical training. Brault is a Family Nurse Practitioner who runs a specialty clinic in the Tri-Cities for diabetes patients, and also precepts students at Grace Clinic, which provides free health care to people in need.

Why does she do it?

“Medicine in general is something we learn best by doing,” said Brault, who earned her RN-BSN and MN degrees from the WSU College of Nursing. She believes mentoring students helps her continue to hone her clinical skills, because “when you have to explain and teach something, you become more aware.”

Also, it’s important for practitioners to give back to the profession. “That’s what makes medicine good, that we all collaborate,” she said.

Nursing students appreciate the time Brault spends with them. Said one student, “Kathy has a great way of explaining information so it makes sense.”

Brault said her work as a volunteer preceptor is satisfying. “I love what I do, and I want other people to see how rewarding it can be.”

Visit our Preceptor Portal for information on being a WSU College of Nursing preceptor. 

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“I chose to attend WSU College of Nursing because they offer part-time and full-time study plans. Also, the flexibility of being able to study online at your own pace with some face to face hours allows me to balance family, work, and school. WSU College of Nursing faculty are very passionate about education, and they strive towards excellence with having the right balance of course work with high expectations and standards. I feel that they really prepare you to enter the field of nursing practice feeling confident in your knowledge and skills.”- Oksana S., DNP Student


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Nursing’s “pinning” ceremony is steeped in tradition

Photo of pin
Photo of a nursing student in 1955
A nursing student being “pinned” in 1955.

The day before commencement, WSU College of Nursing undergraduates will take part in 100-year-old tradition handed down from none other than Florence Nightingale – the pinning ceremony.

During convocation, students are “pinned” by a faculty member, family member or friend – someone who has been important to them in their nursing education. The act of pinning ceremonially welcomes undergrad nurses into the profession.

Each nursing school has its own pin design, many featuring an oil lamp. This design is a tribute to Nightingale, who was called “the Lady with the Lamp” by soldiers during the Crimean War in 1854.

Nightingale established a training school for nurses and is credited with revolutionizing the practice of nursing and the profession. The Nightingale School of Nursing awarded badges to nurses as they completed their program, and the practice took hold in both England and the United States.


The WSU College of Nursing will graduate 121 “prelicensure” Bachelor of Science in Nursing students this week from programs in Spokane, Yakima and the Tri-Cities. The schedule of Convocations are:

May 4 – Yakima Spring 2017 Convocation, 4 p.m., Valley Life Church

May 4 – Spokane Spring 2017 Convocation, 6 p.m., INB Performing Arts Center

May 5 – Tri-Cities Spring 2017 Convocation, 6 p.m., Red Lion Hanford Hotel 

Photo of pin
An image of the nursing pin currently used by WSU College of Nursing.

The WSU College of Nursing announces Fall 2017 class

Photo of fall 2016 students
Photo of fall 2016 students
Members of the 2016 Fall class enter the College of Nursing in Spokane for new-student orientation.

The WSU College of Nursing will welcome 121 new nursing students on campuses in Spokane, Yakima and the Tri-Cities in the fall. The students were selected for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (pre-licensure) program out of nearly 440 applicants.

They will arrive on their campuses for their junior and senior years already experienced in caring for others. All BSN students are required to have accumulated 50 hours of work or volunteer experience for organizations that help them understand the role of professional nurses in health care. Students must write about their experience and what they learned when applying to the WSU College of Nursing.

Said one student, for example, who volunteered at an assisted living facility, “An important aspect of nursing is empathy; however, being able to empathize with people who are dying requires emotional strength…. In order to be a nurse one has to be emotionally capable of dealing with the idea of mortality each day.”

Another student worked with drug-dependent babies in a hospital nursery. One infant “was not calming down and was not due for the next morphine dose for a couple hours… spending a couple hours holding and rocking this baby until he eventually fell asleep really showed me the kind of patience it takes to care for infants.”

The WSU College of Nursing is the largest producer of nurses in Washington, and one of the largest on the West Coast. A 2016 survey of clinical and community partners found that WSU College of Nursing graduates are sought after by hiring managers statewide because of their critical-thinking skills and high level of professionalism.

We’re excited to welcome the fall class of 2017. Go Coug Nurses!

For information on WSU College of Nursing undergraduate programs, visit

Clinical instructor Kay Olson included in Women of Distinction awards

Kay Olson portrait

Tri-Cities Clinical nursing instructor Kay Olson will be honored along with 12 others as Women of Distinction – those who’ve made notable contributions to the WSU Tri-Cities campus and community.

The 13 women will be recognized at a gallery exhibition opening and reception on April 13 on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

“This is a way to honor our female leaders within the WSU Tri-Cities community who have gone above and beyond to improve access to educational opportunities, driven momentous initiatives within their respective professions and have given generously of their free time in dedication to service and volunteerism,” said Chris Meiers, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student services.

Besides Olson, others honored include Anna King, news correspondent for the Northwest News Network and Northwest Public Radio, and Cindy Bruckner-Lea, project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. For the full list and more information on the awards, visit

Record number of WSU students advocate for nursing practice, citizens of WA State

Adam Halvorsen and Teresa Gonzalez, Yakima in Olympia


Adam Halvorsen on Nurse Legislative Day advocates for nursing practice

(Tri-Cities student Adam Halvorsen and Yakima student Teresa Gonzalez)

By Sarah Schaub

It was a big day in Olympia, Washington Tuesday where a record 102 Washington State University College of Nursing students from across the state attended the 35th annual Nurse Legislative Day.

“Nurse Legislative Day is really about advocating for the nursing profession and for the citizens of Washington State,” said Debbie Brinker, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs & Community Engagement at WSU College of Nursing.

“Students are immersed in the legislative process. We come every year, and we look forward to having students understand more about advocacy, how to really craft messages, and speak with a collective voice,” she added.

Prior to attending, students conduct research on where their legislative district is, who their legislators are, and how to look up and learn about current bills.  In addition, they go to their local legislators and find out how they’ve voted in the past on health-related issues and what committees they sit on. » More …