Short Takes

Catherine Van Son (left) and Connie Nguyen-Truong (right)

Drs. Nguyen-Truong and Van Son named nursing fellows

Two Washington State University College of Nursing faculty have been named fellows in the nursing profession’s leading academies.

Associate Professor Connie Nguyen-Truong has been named an Academy of Nursing Education Fellow (ANEF) by the National League for Nursing.

Professor Catherine Van Son has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).

The two faculty members, both of whom are based at the WSU College of Nursing-Vancouver, will be inducted into their respective academies in ceremonies this fall.

“Congratulations to these two distinguished educators and nurse scientists,” said Dean Mary Koithan of the WSU College of Nursing. “They’ve made immense contributions to research and scholarship in their respective fields, to the benefit of their colleagues, their students, and to society as a whole.”

Connie Kim Yen Nguyen-Truong, PhD, RN, is one of 19 nurse educators selected this year for inclusion in the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education.

Nguyen-Truong teaches across undergraduate and graduate programs at the WSU College of Nursing. Last year the American Association of Colleges of Nursing honored her with the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching award, the first person from the WSU College of Nursing to receive the prestigious national award.

She has two decades of nursing experience and has been a nurse educator for 15 years. Her research and teaching focus on cultural immersion experiences and enhancing communications between nursing faculty and students and representatives of minority communities, including Micronesian Islanders, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Laotian partners. She has developed innovative, culturally safe, linguistically appropriate engagement and educational curriculums and models.

Catherine Van Son, PhD, RN, is one of 225 nurse leaders to be inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Van Son has specialized in improving care for older adults her entire nursing career.

This summer she was named to the WSU College of Nursing’s Waldron O. and Janet S. Lindblad Endowed Professorship in Geriatrics. In 2019 she was honored by the nonprofit National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence as a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing.

Her clinical experience spans over 30 years and includes the continuum of community-based care: long-term care, assisted living, PACE model care settings, home health, hospice, and congregational health. Her research reflects her long interest in gerontological nursing.

Dr. Shelly Fritz appointed affiliate faculty at Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living

WSU’s Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living invites faculty from across WSU to contribute expertise and insights to help train business students who will become future senior living leaders. Shelly Fritz, associate professor of nursing at WSU Vancouver, is the first to be officially appointed to the GCISL as an affiliate faculty member. Her 30-plus years in nursing and expertise with smart home health technologies supports the GCISL’s focus on solving real-life problems in senior living communities. 

Fritz also recently was accepted to the second Cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, a program recognizing early – to mid – career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship. 

Her research focuses on smart health technologies that improve the care of older adults with chronic conditions by extending nursing triage into the home. This novel health monitoring and intervention system will employ environmental sensing, mobile app alerts and infographics, while also integrating family, friend and community health workers to support older adults who self-manage their health conditions, she said. She aims to extend older adults’ independence, reduce care costs and advance sensor-based data as a new type of evidence for evidence-based practice. 

–Story by Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business  

Patricia Butterfield

Nurses can be ambassadors for climate action

Nurses worldwide should become more involved in actions aimed at reducing the health effects of climate change, according to an analysis published in The BMJ, a prestigious medical publication formerly called the British Medical Journal. 

The paper’s lead author is Patricia Butterfield, professor emeritus at the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and former Dean of the WSU College of Nursing. Her co-authors are Jeanne Leffers, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Maribal Diaz Vasquez, professor in the nursing school of the Universidad Catolica Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo in Chiclayo, Peru. 

Nurses have three strengths that make them ideal ambassadors for climate action, the authors say: 1) nurses comprise more than 60% of healthcare professionals worldwide; 2) polls in the U.S. and elsewhere show nursing nearly always ranks as the most-trusted profession; and 3) many nurses work with communities most affected by floods, heatwaves, and other disasters due to climate change. 

“The health of people affected by climate change is central to nursing,” Butterfield said in an interview. “We’d like to see climate action considered for what it is, part of nurse’s work to protect and preserve health in the populations we serve.” 

Butterfield presented an overview of the paper at the virtual World Innovation Summit for Health, part of the Qatar Foundation, on June 22. 

College of Nursing graduate programs ranked in top 40 nationally

Washington State University’s Master of Nursing-Population Health and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees are both ranked in the top 40 programs nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report roster of graduate nursing programs.

“When the importance of public health has never been more evident, the WSU College of Nursing is meeting demand for population health nursing through our MN and DNP programs,” said Mary Koithan, Dean of the WSU College of Nursing.

The Master of Nursing-Population Health prepares students to work as a nurse administrator, nurse educator, public health professional or in a leadership role in any number of healthcare settings. The program also offers graduate certificates in organizational leadership, education and public health. The program was ranked No. 39 of 220 Master of Nursing programs evaluated.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepares experienced nurses to lead patient care as a family nurse practitioner, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, or to direct public policy or healthcare administration. WSU added its DNP program in 2012, and it currently is ranked No. 28 among 163 programs evaluated.

Reference on nurse practitioner prescribing updated

Having the authority to prescribe medications as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse includes a host of regulatory, legal, ethical and socioeconomic considerations that may not be emphasized in nursing programs.

That was the genesis of “The Advanced Registered Nurse as a Prescriber,” edited by Louise Kaplan, Associate Professor at the WSU College of Nursing-Vancouver, and Marie Annette Brown, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Now the two editors have come out with a second edition of the reference text, updated with chapters on global prescribing and on medical marijuana.

“Most APRN programs have pharmacology courses where students learn about drugs and how to prescribe them, but they don’t learn about how to be a prescriber, which is a very different component of your practice,” Kaplan said. “We wanted to help APRNs consider the multitude of factors that influence the prescribing decision and process that’s more than what’s the drug and what’s the dose.”

Associate Professor Tracy Klein, who authored a chapter in the book on state and national regulation of prescribing, said those considerations might include what happens when a provider makes a decision on an appropriate prescription but the patient’s insurance doesn’t cover it.

The book also addresses differences in state law on whether and how APRNs can prescribe medications, and strategies for managing difficult or complex patient interactions, authored by a psychiatric nurse practitioner.