Billie Severtsen
Associate Professor 509-324-7286 SNRS 222B 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99202-2131

Billie Severtsen earned a Nursing Diploma from Sacred Heart School of Nursing (Spokane), a Bachelor of Science Degree from Gonzaga University (Spokane), a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Columbia University (New York) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Gonzaga University. Her clinical expertise is in the area of Nursing Ethics and Ethical Decision Making. She has taught nursing ethics to undergraduate and graduate students for many years.
Dr. Severtsen teaches required courses in the BSN and the RN to BSN program each semester. These courses examine, in particular, ethical issues which are specific to the culture of nursing and nurses. She has also taught an elective, “Narrative Medicine” which examines the role of illness narratives in the genesis of disease and illness causation. She has mentored numerous graduate students in both thesis and non-thesis projects. She serves on the PhD Dissertation Committee of one student at the present time. Her research interests are qualitative; interpretive phenomenological inquiry.


  • PhD, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
  • Med, Teachers College/Columbia University
  • BSN, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA


Ethical decision making in health care, life narratives of illness and quality of life, Heideggerian Hermaneutic Phenomenology, and health care policy


  • Western Institute of Nursing, 2008-present
  • The Hastings Center Institute,  1998-present
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, 1980-present
  • Washington State Nurses Association,  1975-present


  • Sigma Theta Tau (Delta Chi) Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010
  • WSU Mentor of the Year Award, 2006
  • WSU Provost’s Award for Distinction in Ethics Teaching, 1998
  • Sigma Theta Tau (Delta Chi) Excellence in Research Award, 1997
  • WSU College of Nursing Graduate Faculty Excellence Award, 1993