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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 http://hrs.wsu.edu/recognition/crimson-spirit-award/

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 https://www.uniongospelmission.org/

College of Nursing Ph.D. student wins award at national pain-management conference

Picture of Teresa Bigand and another person in front of her research poster.
Picture of Teresa Bigand and another person in front of her research poster.
College of Nursing Ph.D. student Teresa Bigand, right, discusses her research at a symposium in April.

Research into body weight and pain garnered an award for WSU College of Nursing doctoral student Teresa Bigand at a national conference last week.

Bigand’s research poster, “Examining Overweight Status Among Adults with Chronic Pain,” was voted Best Clinical Poster by attendees at the American Society for Pain Management Nursing conference in Phoenix.

The award is an endorsement both of Bigand’s research and the way it was presented, said Dr. Marian Wilson, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Bigand’s dissertation committee chair. Wilson and College of Nursing Associate Professor Dr. Kenn Daratha, and emeritus faculty Dr. Ruth Bindler, are co-authors of Bigand’s research.

“It’s really quite exciting,” Bigand said. The ASPMN conference draws hundreds of participants.

Wilson noted that “It’s definitely an honor to receive something like that at the first conference you’ve ever been to with a particular organization. It’s a good sign your research is aligning with what that national group thinks is important.”

Bigand received a scholarship through the Carl M. Hansen Foundation to attend the conference.

Her research concludes that being overweight significantly increases an adult’s odds of suffering chronic pain. She’s collecting data and hopes eventually to be able to identify factors that correlate with pain intensity and overweight status, such as sleep patterns or depression.

For more on Teresa Bigand’s research: https://nursing.wsu.edu/2017/04/22/research-teresa-bigand-overweight-pain/

NLN honors both the WSU College of Nursing and Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel

The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.
The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.
The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.

There are more than 800 nursing programs in the United States and more than 400,000 nurses who’ve earned masters or doctoral degrees.

So it’s notable that the National League for Nursing (NLN) honored both the Washington State University College of Nursing and one of its faculty, Executive Associate Dean and Professor Renee Hoeksel, at the organization’s 2017 Educational Summit this past weekend.

Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel accepted a certificate naming the WSU College of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in a ceremony Saturday evening. She was joined on the stage by Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.

Moments later, Hoeksel was inducted as a Fellow of the NLN Academy of Nursing Education. In announcing Hoeksel’s fellowship, Karen Pardue, Chair of the Academy of Nursing Education Review Panel, lauded her work in establishing new RN-BSN pathways across five western states.

The 14 new fellows and one honorary fellow “have contributed above and beyond the responsibilities associated with their employment, made contributions to nursing education that have been broad in scope and not limited to their own classrooms or schools,” Pardue noted.

Gloria Jacobson, chair of the Centers of Excellence review panel, told conference attendees that the program recognizes schools of nursing and health care organizations that set high standards, are committed to continuous quality improvement, and demonstrate sustained, evidence-based, and substantive innovation. The WSU College of Nursing was among 15 universities and health care organizations recognized, and the only school in the Pacific Northwest.

“The school started out as the first intercollegiate nursing program in the nation, and now has a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, a multimillion-dollar research portfolio, and courses offered at campuses statewide,” Jacobson said.

Other universities receiving the Centers of Excellence designation are: Ball State University, Duke University, Emory University, Indiana University, Kent State University, Purdue University, Rush University, Samford University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Kansas, Villanova University, and Widener University.

Representing the WSU College of Nursing at the NLN awards ceremony on Sept. 16, 2017, were: Dean and Professor Joyce Griffin-Sobel; Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.
Representing the WSU College of Nursing at the NLN awards ceremony on Sept. 16, 2017, were: Dean and Professor Joyce Griffin-Sobel; Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.

Cleveland Visiting Scholar shares lessons in nursing – and life

Dr. Angela Barron McBride spoke to students and faculty at the WSU College of Nursing on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 as the 20th Annual Cleveland Visiting Scholar.
Dr. Angela Barron McBride spoke to students and faculty at the WSU College of Nursing on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 as the 20th Annual Cleveland Visiting Scholar.
Dr. Angela Barron McBride spoke to students and faculty at the WSU College of Nursing on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 as the 20th Annual Cleveland Visiting Scholar. Photo by Cori Kogan. 

A “Living Legend” came to Spokane Thursday to share some of the wisdom earned over more than 50 years in nursing and academia. Angela Barron McBride, Ph.D., was the 20th annual Cleveland Visiting Scholar at the WSU College of Nursing, giving two addresses to students, faculty and the public.

McBride’s message: you need to work at staying optimistic as you move through the different phases of your career.

“When I say ‘career optimism’ I don’t mean happy-face pins,” McBride said. “Crap happens every day. But an optimist looks at failures and setbacks as not personal, not permanent, and not pervasive.”

The Cleveland Visiting Scholar is an annual lecture named in honor of the WSU College of Nursing’s longest-serving dean, Thelma Cleveland. McBride is a nurse leader who has spent her career furthering the cause of nursing, and increasing knowledge and awareness of women’s mental health. She is Dean Emerita of the Indiana School of Nursing and served as president of both the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society and the American Academy of Nursing, the latter of which named her a “Living Legend.”

In her talk Tuesday morning at the College of Nursing, which was viewed by nursing students and faculty across the state via live video, McBride said there’s ample evidence that how a person sees things can be a factor in what happens about 40 percent of the time.

“Monitor how you think about stuff,” she said. “If you’re good, don’t think you lucked out. Think, ‘Honey, you’ve got that talent.’ Don’t think, ‘I’m not cut out to be a nurse.’ It’s better to say, ‘On Monday at 4 p.m. I was not swift.’”

She called certain self-criticism “Normal Crazy,” meaning the feelings are normal among workers, but when dissected, are pretty crazy. For instance, the feeling that if you don’t have all the answers, you don’t deserve to be in charge. Or that you should like everyone and everyone should like you.

“These Normal Crazy thoughts get in the way of a lot,” she said. People should expect a certain amount of failure in their lives, so that they’re not surprised by the fact they failed, or undone by it.

Her wide-ranging and entertaining talks included a sampler of life and career advice:

On finances: McBride said she wished she’d consulted a financial planner when she began her career. Nurses generally make a good salary and should be smart with it, she said, noting that for many years she saw her salary as “icing on the cake” of her enjoyable work.

On networking: “Don’t expect to be fully appreciated where you work,” she said. “That’s why it’s important to go to professional meetings, because colleagues elsewhere can be a major source of support and understanding.”

On attitude: Make yourself think about the good in your life. Associate with optimists instead of pessimists. And don’t compete to see who is more miserable.

On time management: Your to-do list should be guided by your priorities and values, not by busy work or someone else’s priorities.

On working with others: Don’t be quick to take offense and “don’t go ballistic, choosing option No. 10 when you haven’t tried options No. 1 through 9.”

On improving: Moses is the only person granted a 10-point plan to live by, McBride noted. Living with ambiguity, being diplomatic and navigating workplace politics – these are all skills that can be developed.

Having a career isn’t easy, she concluded; there are many instances where reality falls short of ideals. Said McBride, “Career optimism is the ability to stay hopeful and energized about one’s work, particularly in the face of adversity or failure.”

Thank you to the sponsors of the 20th Annual Cleveland Visiting Scholar: Empire Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health Care, Sigma Theta Tau’s local Delta Chi chapter, WSNA, and the Inland Empire Nurses Association.

View photos from the two Cleveland Visiting Scholar events by Cori Kogan: Morning event for students and faculty, and the evening event for the public. 

College of Nursing professor bonds with retired nurse through ElderFriends

Julie Postma, left, a faculty member with the College of Nursing, has been a volunteer companion to Barbara, right, through ElderFriends.

The heart of a nurse isn’t bound by the hours of a work shift.

Julie and Barbara both know that.

Julie Postma is a former ICU nurse who’s now an associate professor in the WSU College of Nursing, teaching in Puyallup, Washington.  Barbara worked as a nurse for decades in California and North Carolina, but at 90, she’s in an assisted living facility in Seattle.

The two connected through ElderFriends, a program in Seattle and King County that matches isolated older adults with volunteers who provide companionship. Postma visits Barbara twice a month and takes the older nurse on drives to explore the Puget Sound region, or just to people-watch.

Julie Postma, left, a faculty member with the College of Nursing, has been a volunteer companion to Barbara, right, through ElderFriends.
Julie Postma, left, a faculty member with the College of Nursing, has been a volunteer companion to Barbara, right, through ElderFriends.

The two share a love of national parks, travel, and dogs. “Sometimes we’ll go to a dog park – Barbara really misses a little dog she had,” Postma said. “She just lights up.”

After spending about two years together, Postma said she couldn’t imagine a more perfect match than Barbara.

So she worried about her friend when she was making plans to be out of the country for six weeks earlier this year. “I thought, that’s such a long time to be gone,” Postma said. “That’s when I had the idea of taking Barbara on a fun metaphorical road trip.” Using photos and interesting facts, Postma created an armchair trip through the Pacific Northwest. She asked a friend to mail the travelogues to Barbara each week.

Postma said she signed up for ElderFriends because she missed the meaningful interactions she used to have with patients. “That’s a big part of nursing,” she said. “It was a big part of my enjoyment of the profession.”

Seeing Barbara brings that back, Postma said.

“This is connecting with another person in the way I used to connect with seniors in the hospital,” she said. “My favorite part of this experience is when I drop her off and she turns around and gives me a big smile.”

For more information on ElderFriends, a program offered by Full Life Care, visit their website at www.fulllifecare.org/we-can-help/by-service/elderfriends/

Grant will create fellowships for researchers with disabilities at WSU

Portrait of Dr. Jae Kennedy
Portrait of Dr. Jae Kennedy
Dr. Jae Kennedy, chair and professor of the College of Nursing’s Department of Health Policy and Administration.

Research scientists with disabilities are underrepresented in the health sciences, yet such scholars bring needed perspective to understanding and improving health policies and services for people with disabilities.

A new federal grant will help WSU hire three post-doctoral students with disabilities to become academic researchers, with the goal of having them go on to faculty positions at major universities or leadership roles in federal research agencies and nonprofit foundations.

The five-year, $750,000 award from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research will provide a competitive salary, full benefits, and support for any needed workplace assistance or adaptive technologies.

Called the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living Fellowship (CHRIL-F), the positions “will bring new scholars with disabilities to the table, and provide them the skills and support they will need to enlarge the policy debate,” said Jae Kennedy, principal investigator, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the WSU College of Nursing.

The three fellows will be hired by WSU in staggered terms over the five-year grant, and will spend 18 months taking graduate courses, working on research grant proposals and journal manuscripts, and developing individual plans of research. They can spend three to six months of the fellowship at one or more affiliate sites, including Washington DC, Houston, or Lawrence, Kansas.

Grant funding can also be used for conference travel, which typically is more difficult and costly for people with disabilities, but which is critical for networking and presenting research work.  The specific uses of support funds will depend on the needs of the fellows hired, but could include office space reconfiguration, or hiring a personal aide or interpreter.

With this grant, “We propose building a small but sturdy pipeline for disability researchers with disabilities by designing postdoc positions specific to their needs,” Kennedy said.

Besides Kennedy, the project team includes Roberta Carlin, director of the American Association on Health and Disability; Lex Frieden, a professor of bioinformatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas in Houston; Jean Hall, a professor and director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy at the University of Kansas; and Elizabeth Wood, a research associate in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at WSU.

The same team makes up the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), established by Kennedy under a $2.5 million federal grant to bring together disability advocates and researchers to investigate how the Affordable Care Act and related legislation affects the lives of adults with disabilities.

“The members of the CHRIL have personal, professional, and political experience with disability, and many contacts throughout the research and disability communities,” Kennedy said. “We are not just advocates and researchers who happen to have disabilities: disability is central to what we do and why we do it.”

Study: Can an online program help reduce opioid use by patients with chronic pain?

Dr. Marian Wilson

Dr. Marian Wilson

Marian Wilson, an assistant professor at the WSU College of Nursing, is joining a team of scientists who’ll lead a federally funded, $2.5 million study investigating whether an online pain management program can help patients with chronic pain reduce or eliminate the amount of prescription opioids they take.

Wilson, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a co-investigator on the EMPOWER study with lead investigator Theresa Winhusen, Ph.D., director of the Addiction Sciences Division in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The five-year study will involve 400 non-cancer patients who are being treated for chronic pain with long-term opioid therapy at University of Cincinnati Health and Duke Health.

A web-based pain management tool, called Goalistics Chronic Pain Management Program, has been found in small previous trials to decrease patients’ pain and reduce opioid use. The EMPOWER study will expand the sample size and researchers will have access to patients’ clinical records to accurately measure opioid use.

Goalistics teaches relaxation exercises and psychological approaches to managing pain, and encourages goal-setting and physical activity – the kind of comprehensive, holistic pain-management care patients might get through a multidisciplinary pain clinic in an urban area. Wilson, who has used Goalistics in previous research, said many patients with chronic pain don’t have access to that level of care, and instead are treated by primary care providers who have had little training in pain management.

The EMPOWER study hopes to give primary care providers another tool to use in helping patients manage chronic pain, while also responding to soaring opioid addiction rates and overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended decreasing the use of opioids for treating pain.

“It’s a really difficult situation telling people, ‘Sorry, you can’t have your opioids but we’re not really giving you an alternative,’” Wilson said. An online pain management program could be “a lifeline extended to patients, another tool to help manage pain. It’s something that can give them some hope and show that people understand what they’re going through.”

The research is being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Wilson said she’ll function as the study’s pain and online-program expert, while Winhusen, the lead investigator, will oversee the clinical trial.

The study is the third announced in recent weeks involving WSU College of Nursing faculty receiving significant funding from federal agencies:

  • Assistant Professor Roschelle “Shelly” Fritz, of the College of Nursing in Vancouver, is one of three WSU scientists who landed a $1.77 million grant from NIH to research how “smart home” technology can help monitor the health and safety of senior citizens.
  • Associate Professor Janet Purath received a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration to address a critical shortage of primary-care providers across Eastern Washington through nurse-practitioner training.

Both NIH awards are Research Project Grants (R01), the original grant mechanism used by the agency. R01 and R01-equivalent grants are highly competitive: NIH says that in 2016, for example, just 20 percent of such grant applications were funded, and the average size of the award was about $458,000.

Dr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, the College of Nursing’s interim associate dean for research, praised faculty for their success in bringing research dollars to the College of Nursing. “We’re seeing more of the College of Nursing faculty who were successful a couple years ago getting seed grants now writing larger and larger grants,” she said. She also called called the EMPOWER research “a critical study” because of the issue of opioid addiction in the country.

Wilson credited colleagues with valuable help on her work in addiction science, including Drs. John Roll and Matt Layton of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; Barbosa-Leiker; College of Nursing doctoral students Mary Lee Roberts and Teresa Bigand, and Dr. Michele Shaw, associate professor at the College of Nursing.

Said Wilson, “I think we were fortunate that we had the right topic for the times. The nation is focused on the pain and opioid addiction issue.”

Emilie Kimball, BSN ’11, to volunteer aboard Mercy Ships

Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships' fleet, with 8 operating suites and a crew of 450.
Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships' fleet, with 8 operating suites and a crew of 450.
Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships’ fleet. Photo courtesy Mercy Ships.

Emilie Kimball’s nursing degree will take her across the globe later this month to volunteer for Mercy Ships in Africa.

Kimball said she views it as her third “career” in nursing in the six years since she graduated from the WSU College of Nursing. She worked in the surgical unit at Seattle Children’s, then in the pediatric intensive care unit there.

Emilie Kimball, BSN '11, will volunteer for 10 weeks in Africa with Mercy Ships.
Emilie Kimball, BSN ’11, will volunteer for 10 weeks in Africa with Mercy Ships.

She’ll be a ward nurse on the Africa Mercy, the largest civilian hospital ship in the world with five operating rooms and 80 patient beds, docked for 10 months in Douala, Cameroon. Mercy Ships, a faith-based nonprofit, provides surgery and dental care and trains local doctors and nurses in specific areas of expertise.

Kimball heard about Mercy Ships a few years ago and was intrigued, she said. Then she discovered her employer, Seattle Children’s, offers sabbaticals after just five years of service.

“I decided it was time, applied for sabbatical, applied for Mercy Ships, and here I am one month out” from her Sept. 30 departure, she said recently. She’ll work on the ship for 10 weeks, then plans to travel before returning to Seattle.

That’s the kind of flexibility and adventure a nursing career can offer, said Kimball, 28.

“Nursing is such a great career,” she said. “It fits my personality to a T. I love the science behind it, I like the critical thinking, I like caring for people. It’s fun to see how nursing can be used in different ways.”

Kimball came by the profession naturally. She jokes that she graduated nursing school twice, since her mother was pregnant with Emilie in 1988 when she graduated from the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education. ICNE eventually became the WSU College of Nursing.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was 3,” Kimball said, and she always knew she wanted to attend WSU for nursing school. She spent her first two years at Whitworth University.

She added, “I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t a nurse. My roommate works for (a major Seattle-area employer), and being in the business world is not who she is. But for most nurses, being a nurse is who you are.”

For information on Mercy Ships, visit the organization’s website at https://www.mercyships.org/ 

Jarah Nordin, an American volunteer nurse, works with an orthopedic patient onboard Mercy Ships. Photo by Katie Keegan, courtesy of Mercy Ships.
Jarah Nordin, an American volunteer nurse, works with an orthopedic patient on board Mercy Ships. Photo by Katie Keegan, courtesy of Mercy Ships.