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WSU nursing student pinch-hits as a butcher for Union Gospel Mission

Mike Mosier with a knife and piece of deer meat.
Mike Mosier with a knife and piece of deer meat.
Mike Mosier, a senior WSU College of Nursing student, volunteered to butcher a road-kill deer and moose for the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Union Gospel Mission. 

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing

The call went out to the day room at the Union Gospel Mission men’s shelter in Spokane on Wednesday morning: “Hey, we need somebody who can butcher up some animals.”

WSU College of Nursing student Mike Mosier was in the day room checking on shelter residents as part of his clinical rotation at Union Gospel Mission. None of the about 30 men in the day room raised their hands, Mosier said. “I’ve been hunting my whole life, so I said, ‘If you really need someone, I can do it for you.’”

That’s how the senior nursing student ended up butchering a deer – and part of a moose – on Wednesday.

The game was road-kill, donated to the mission by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, said Lynn Yount, spokeswoman for UGM. The mission is a regular recipient of such donations, but the person who regularly butchers game for UGM wasn’t available that day.

Mosier said he’s butchered both deer and moose before. “I’ve been hunting since I was 7,” the Spokane Valley native explained. “I got the deer zipped up for them, then started on the moose. I got the two front shoulders done on the moose,” then had to leave for another clinical site, he said.

Was he surprised to be doing that as part of his nursing education?

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Mosier said, and one that complemented his nursing studies because he took the opportunity to give his clinical partner and a handful of others at the shelter a tutorial. “I showed anatomically where the muscles are on an animal, which is obviously different than a person. It was neat.”

Mosier graduates from nursing school in December, as does his wife Kelsey Mosier. The two received bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Washington University, then several years later returned to school to study nursing at Washington State University. “We both decided we want to do something to help people,” Mike Mosier said.

Said Yount, at Union Gospel Mission, “Mike was in the right place at the right time, as far as we’re concerned.”

For information on Union Gospel Mission, visit the nonprofit’s website, at

Two WSU nurse cadets take top honors at ROTC summer training

Photo of marching regiment
The 10th Regiment Advanced Camp of ROTC Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Photo by Amber Vincent.


Two ROTC nurse cadets from the WSU College of Nursing took top honors at Cadet Summer Training in Kentucky.

Koby Binks, BSN ’17, and Candace Madriaga, a junior in the nursing program, were both honored with the Norton Healthcare Award during different sessions of the summer training program. The Norton Award is given to the nurse cadet who best demonstrates the ability to perform under stress and to apply critical thinking skills when making decisions.

(Left) Cadet Koby Binks, an ROTC graduate of the WSU College of Nursing, receives the Norton Healthcare Award for nurse cadets at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Mattie Cook. (Right) Candace Madriaga, an ROTC student at the WSU College of Nursing, was honored with the Norton Healthcare Award at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Madison Thompson.


Both Binks and Madriaga entered the WSU College of Nursing from Eastern Washington University’s ROTC program. The College of Nursing reserves seats in each new class for Army ROTC nurses from WSU and EWU.

Binks said the lessons he learned at the WSU College of Nursing helped him help his platoon during the month-long summer training program at Fort Knox.

He told them, “Let’s talk about how important it is to change socks” as they went through training exercises in 95-degree heat with 100 percent humidity, he said. “I talked about the science of electrolytes, I talked about hydration and what that means to the body,” said Binks, 28.

After completing a nine-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, Binks hopes to work in Spokane and fulfill his military service through the Army Reserves.

Madriaga, 22, said she’s “97 percent certain” she’ll become active-duty military after she graduates from the College of Nursing.

“I want to care for those who are fighting for our country,” she said.

Some 8,200 cadets went through basic and advanced camp at Fort Knox this summer, events designed to help ROTC cadets improve their skills and leadership qualities.

Health clinics in Peru help students learn from each other

Four students stand in front of a rural clinic in Peru.
Group of WSU Students with a Coug flag in Peru
A group of WSU Health Sciences students in Peru in June 2017.

By Addy Hatch

The pharmacy student said she didn’t realize a nurse’s touch was such an important part of patient assessment.

The nursing student said she has greater appreciation for the intricacies of dosing and formulation in pharmacy.

This is interprofessional education: health sciences students learning together so they are better prepared to work in teams once they graduate, an approach that has been shown to improve patient care and outcomes. » More …

Camp Stix offers a ‘powerful’ lesson for nursing students

Group of nursing students standing arm in arm at Camp Stix.
Group of nursing students standing arm in arm at Camp Stix.
Some of the WSU College of Nursing students who are volunteering at 2017 Camp Stix. From left: Daniel Lyakhov, Lauren McClanahan, Brian Sandvig, Sarah Gibson, Jenny Irish, and Lauren Gerty.

By Addy Hatch

CUSICK, Wash. – The kids at Camp Stix make arts and crafts, swim, and play AWOL, a camp-wide game of hide-and-seek. It’s like any other summer camp, and that’s the point.

Most of the nearly 200 campers have Type 1 diabetes. It would be hard, maybe impossible, for them to go to summer camp if not for Camp Stix and its large medical team, specialized menus and 1-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio.

WSU nursing and pharmacy students were among the medical volunteers at the camp held in mid-July. The students worked in interdisciplinary teams with medical professionals in a gym that was renamed MASH during Camp Stix. There were tables where campers had their blood sugar tested before each meal and snack, and MASH volunteers made nightly rounds of cabins to monitor kids whose blood sugar has been trending lower, said “Jackpot” Jacob McGowan, director of Camp Stix (where staff all have camp names).

Photo of Lauren McClanahan with a bright vest that says MASH
WSU College of Nursing student Lauren McClanahan is working in the medical building at Camp Stix, called MASH.

Many of the College of Nursing students who were volunteering at the week-long camp say they got experience in patient care, communications and teamwork that would be hard to replicate in the classroom.

“It feels like I’m out there in the RN world,” said “Sourpatch” Sarah Baker.

Students were eased into their roles during the week-long camp, noted “Langerhans” Lori Parisot, a College of Nursing instructor who was spending her second year at Camp Stix.

“By the end of the week they’re making a lot of decisions about how to treat children with diabetes,” she said. “Their confidence will be so much bigger. It’s one of the best medical experiences you can have.”

College of Nursing faculty and students have a long connection with Camp Stix, which is in its 17th year. In recent years it’s been held at the Riverview Bible Camp on the Pend Oreille River near Cusick, Wash.

“We always hear about how powerful this camp is,” said “BOHB” Brian Sandvig, a senior nursing student.

“Electric” Emma Trayte, 21, was a camp counselor this year, but she first attended Camp Stix as a teenager with Type 1 diabetes. “The most important part is the normalcy, being able to see and connect with kids who have the same struggles,” she said.

Photo of two boys at Camp Stix.
Hunter, 13, and James, 12, met at this year’s Camp Stix. Both have been to camp in the past.

Hunter, 13, is from Walla Walla, and was spending his fourth summer at Camp Stix. He said he feels comfortable there, “because everybody has diabetes.” Elizabeth, also 13, is from Orofino, Idaho, and it was her first time at camp. “Everybody has a good time, singing songs, the skits are hilarious,” she said. “Everybody has a blast.”

The MASH volunteers gathered as a group in the morning for updates and announcements, and to “shout out” to their colleagues. They ended the session with a group huddle. “Why do we do this?” yelled MASH medical director “Bronco” Bill Martin, a physician assistant who specializes in pediatric endocrinology.  “BECAUSE WE CARE!” the group responded.

Said Parisot, of the WSU College of Nursing, “People have a real heart for this. The motto here is, “Until there’s a cure, there’s camp.”

View photo album»

About Camp Stix: The camp is held for a week in July, and there’s a related day camp for younger kids, Camp Twigs, held at Dart-Lo Day Camp. Both are run by Camp Stix Diabetes Programs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit . The camp is funded by camper tuition, and public and private donations. For information or to donate, visit

WSU College of Nursing students participating in 2017 Camp Stix:

  • “Lavagirl” Lauren Gerty
  • “Lemondrop” Lauren McClanahan
  • “BOHB” Brian Sandvig
  • “Sweetart” Sarah Gibson
  • “Jugular” Jenny Irish
  • “Dawn Phenom” Daniel Lyakhov
  • “Sourpatch” Sarah Baker
  • “Ramble” Rachel Felgenhauer
  • “Bit-o-Honey” Brianna Bartlett
  • “Effervescent” Elyse Beckett
  • “Klickster” Kris Wood

Nursing student’s Photovoice project asked homeless women to document their lives and health

Portrait of Halle Schulz

It’s a simple request: take photos to answer questions about your life like “Where do you sleep?” and “Where do you get your support?” Then talk about how the images make you feel.

Simple, but the results can illuminate larger themes or community challenges.

An image of two women holding hands.
One of the photos taken by a woman who participated in nursing student Halle Schulz’s Photovoice project.

It’s called Photovoice, and it’s a qualitative research method that’s been used for more than 20 years with groups of refugees, health workers, adults with brain injuries and after-school programs. WSU College of Nursing undergraduate student Halle Schulz chose Photovoice for her Honors College research project working with a group of homeless and low-income adults at the Women’s Hearth drop-in center in Spokane.

“I was interested in learning more about the homeless population from a nursing perspective,” Schulz said. She wants to go into emergency nursing, and knows that homeless people will be among her future patients. “I thought, why not learn about the population I’m going to be serving?” she said recently. » More …

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

Nursing grad shares how sim training can help save lives

BSN grad Jamison Edwards in simulation

Jamison Edwards

“By supporting the simulation program at the Washington State University College of Nursing, you are helping to save lives,” said Jameson Edwards, a recent BSN graduate from the college.

“My training in simulation has prepared me to save patients under my direct care,” Jameson said. “In simulation, I have practiced giving care in unique, and what could be stressful, life-threatening situations, which has directly impacted the way I give care in my current practice.”

Now a Registered Nurse working on the Cardiac Transplant Unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., Jameson has had many opportunities to utilize the simulation training he received.

“One night while I was on break, I heard a fellow nurse call for help,” he said. “I jumped up and grabbed a code cart, just like we are trained to do in simulation. I ran into the room to quickly assess the patient who had a potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmia.” » More …

Poverty a frequent barrier to achieving health goals, research found

Older people with multiple chronic conditions often face barriers that aren’t considered in setting goals for better health, a WSU College of Nursing undergraduate student found.

Mariah Petersen, who’ll graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, will present her findings at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on Monday.

Petersen found that poverty was a common “contextual” barrier to achieving health goals. For example, 23.8 percent of patients whose goal was to lose weight cited poverty as a reason they couldn’t achieve that goal, while 27.3 percent said poverty was a barrier to getting more exercise. Peterson said poverty manifests itself as a barrier by making it harder for patients to buy healthy food, for example, or to work out at a gym. » More …

Washington a model for suicide prevention training

Sara Van Natta-S2-nursing student

Sara Van Netta

By Addy Hatch

SPOKANE, Wash. – More than half the states mandate suicide-prevention training for public school teachers, but only seven states have policies requiring healthcare professionals to get similar training. That’s one of the findings of a research study conducted by Washington State University College of Nursing student Sara Van Natta.

She will present “Suicide Prevention Education: Policies for Healthcare Professionals across the United States” at SURCA, the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities on Monday, March 27, at WSU Pullman. SURCA is a venue for undergraduate students to display their research, scholarship or creative activity and compete for awards. The awards ceremony will be livestreamed at 5 p.m. at » More …

WSU Nursing student Abel Saba’s goal: to establish a health clinic in his homeland of Burkina Faso

Portrait of Abel Saba

Portrait of Abel Saba
Washington State University nursing student Abel Saba grew up in Burkina Faso, a West African country with one of the world’s lowest adult literacy rates.

“Going to school was a privilege for me,” said Saba, the son of a pastor and the oldest of six siblings.

He wanted to give other children the same privilege, so at 18, he founded Findawende, or Praise God, a primary school in the outskirts of the capital city. He hauled and sold water to raise money for the school, and helped build the first schoolhouse.

Fast forward a decade, over the long and difficult path Saba took to the WSU College of Nursing, and his goal remains the same: to help his native country, this time by establishing a health care center next to the school. » More …