Alumni Updates

Female DNP Graduate dressed in Regaila

Patrice Olson, BSN ’88, Spokane: I’ve worked for UW Medicine for 33 years. I started in 1988 on 5NE at the UW, taking care of cardiac-thoracic surgical patients and cardiology patients. I was the primary care nurse for the UW’s first lung transplant patient. In 1992, I moved to the operating room after doing a perioperative internship program. I scrubbed and circulated in the OR, and otolaryngology and neurosurgery have been my main areas of expertise. Ten years ago, I took a job in the OR at Harborview and have taken care of trauma patients. I’m starting my 34th year of nursing at UW Medicine and am very proud of the work I’ve done and my WSU education.

Tammy Nguyen, BSN ’99, Spokane: I’m working as a floor nurse, providing post-surgical care for all general and orthopedic surgeries.

Mark Vonderscheer, BSN ’08, Spokane: I am a flight nurse for the Neonatal-Pediatrics team at Life Flight Network. Before that, I worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital for eight years in their ICUs, their NICU transport team and as part of their ECMO team.

Maria Negrete, BSN ’10, Tri-Cities: One of the greatest gifts I could have ever received is being accepted into the nursing program at WSU. The field of nursing has allowed me to have a diverse career. I’ve worked in women’s health, behavioral health, managed an adult psychiatric unit, case management, and now clinical documentation. Along the way, I’ve met such incredible people. I continue to learn every single day. Go Cougs!

Andrea Perry (Hallowell), BSN ’11, Spokane: I’m working as an RN in the Emergency Room at Sacred Heart where I’ve been for eight years! I received my Masters in Nursing Education in 2018, and also work at Gonzaga University as a nurse educator. I’m currently in school for my Family Nurse Practitioner and am set to graduate in May 2022. I’m married to my wonderful husband Ryan, and we have two beautiful kids. Our daughter Blakeley is 2 years old, and we welcomed our son into the world on August 9th of this year. GO COUGS!

Abigail Gilmore, BSN ’15, Spokane: Graduated in 2020 with my MSN in nursing as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Became board certified and was hired to work for some of the top electrophysiologists in the country. I provide care for patients with EP needs in hospital and clinic settings. I love my job and nursing provided me with a foundation of knowledge and experience I could not have gotten anywhere else.

Melanie Nelson, BSN ’15, Tri-Cities: Since graduating from WSU in 2015, I work on the medical floor at a local hospital. I also am a substitute school nurse at a school district, which keeps me quite busy. In December 2020, I graduated from WGU with a MSN-EDU degree, which will broaden my horizons.

Allison Kostecki, BSN ’16, Spokane: I’ve just gotten back after working away in Australia for the last 2 years! I started off at as an agency nurse and then I transitioned to a fly in fly out nurse at a remote outback mine site! Now I’m back in the PNW working on the surgical floor at Providence Portland Medical Center.

Davin Valenti, DNP ’19, BSN ’16, Spokane: Currently I’m working as a nurse practitioner at Northwest Heart and Lung Surgical Associates. We are a group that specializes in cardiothoracic surgery. I’m fortunate enough to see patients in all phases of care; preoperatively, in the operating room, cardiac ICU, and through discharge. I get a great mix of both inpatient and outpatient experiences. I’m very fortunate that WSU afforded me the opportunity to further my education in Spokane and give back to my local community as a provider. Go Cougs! PS – I’m always available for WSU students who are interested in cardiac care to reach out to me with any questions they might have.

Kortney Thornburg, BSN ’17, Spokane: I am currently working at Beacon Cancer Care as an infusion nurse and I absolutely love it!

Katie Wolff, BSN ’19, Spokane: I have worked on Providence Everett’s oncology unit for the past year and a half. I love this type of nursing and my fellow coworkers. But currently the most exciting thing in my life is I became a mom in May 2021! I gave birth to my husband’s and my first child, a baby boy named Bennett. He was a whopping 11.5 lbs. (I had no pregnancy or birth complications and we had no idea he was going to be that big!). We affectionally call him tiny man, even though he is anything but small.

Ashley Blew, BSN ’20, Spokane: I am a proud Coug alum who graduated in May 2020. I initially worked at Sacred Heart Medical Center in the nursing float pool. Now, I’ve moved to Florida and work in a step-down ICU/PCI unit at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. However, recently we have been turned into a Covid unit. So essentially, I’ve been working in Covid units ever since I graduated. This holds many of its own challenges. That being said I’m hopeful for what my career holds in store for me.

Kaylee Edson, BSN ’20, Spokane: I am so thankful for the foundation built at WSU Nursing. I started at Harborview Medical Center just before the start of trauma season and thanks to all of the amazing hands-on experiences I was able to gain in nursing school, I was confident taking on these new challenges along with the teamwork and support I’ve experienced from my colleagues. Go Cougs!

Joanne Iverson, Post-Master’s ’21, Vancouver: Continuing to get my Public Health Certificate at WSU. Working with Tacoma-Pierce County Public Health department, Medical Reserve Corps to gather health data on persons living unsheltered in encampments within Pierce County; working with a variety of community agencies and healthcare systems to provide healthcare for persons living unsheltered in Tacoma and in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jonathan Mendoza, BSN ’21, Spokane: I’m excited to start my residency program at the Tacoma General Neuro/Trauma ICU this August.