Connections Monthly Newsletter
UW School of Nursing: July 2011 Connections, Vol. 22, Issue 2

Message from Dean Salmon

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The academic year has now come to a close; our graduates have headed off on their own paths. Faculty and staff continue the work that makes our school so great. In many ways, this past year has been similar to so many before - our work of providing a wonderful education and discovering knowledge that improves health has continued. However, this has also been the third year of ongoing unprecedented budget reductions that have shaken all of our assumptions about the future and challenged us in ways we have never experienced before. While we are not alone in having to redefine our futures here at UW, the process has required that we both act in urgent ways while reflecting deeply about what our school can and should be in the future.

My own reflections have led me to decide that this next year will be my fourth and final year as dean. I recently announced this within our school and we have begun to share the news in our broader community of friends and alumni. Although word of my decision was recently reported in unanticipated press coverage last week, I want to share this news with you now and talk about our next steps as a school.

My decision to join the University of Washington and the School of Nursing took place during a time of great optimism and aspiration within both the university and school. I was recruited to build a strong global health presence in our school and to extend and deepen our connections across the university aimed at addressing society’s most pressing health and social challenges. Unfortunately for all of us, the dramatic downturn in our state’s economic future took hold within two months of my arrival. Since that time, my work has been dedicated to shepherding our school through its most difficult years ever. While this work has not been without its deep rewards, I have been unable to continue the scholarship and commitments closest to my heart. I want to re-engage in this work before I end my career.

I have agreed to continue in my role as dean through June of 2012. This will allow me to help the school through what I believe will be a key transition, moving from the work of grappling with our financial crisis to the crucial tasks of positioning the school for its continuing success in the future. We are fortunate to have tremendous support in this work and the guidance of an organizational development process that we launched in January. We have just completed the assessment stage of that process and have embarked on the next steps that we will take to strengthen our systems, supports, and the ways in which we work as a school. This work has been undertaken in conjunction with a strategic planning process that will help us identify and support our greatest strengths.

Throughout these challenging past few years some important things have remained the same. We have outstanding faculty, staff, and students whose excellence shines brightly in so many arenas. It is no surprise that US News and World Report again rated us as #1 this year. We also have much greater clarity about the path ahead and the commitment and support of the university to help position us for the future.

Our challenges and the work we’ve undertaken to address them have not gone unnoticed in our community. The initial report of our organizational assessment recently became the subject of an unanticipated article in our newspaper. Unfortunately, the article does not represent the full story of our school or its people. Our school is facing significant challenges, many of which have been brought into sharp relief by our budget realities. We are not unique in this regard. However, it is our recognition of the importance of addressing these challenges that led us to engage consultants to help us understand our current reality and identify ways to move forward for the future. We see this as engaging in a process that will not only enable our development now, but in an ongoing way into the future. While continuous quality improvement is not a wide-spread concept in many academic settings, it is close to us as nurses. I know that many of you now working in the health care and other sectors will understand that all high-functioning organizations embrace continuous quality and process improvements as ways to ensure excellence and sustainability for the longer term future.

As always, we look to all of you to be our partners as we move forward. This is a wonderful school whose alumni and friends are a significant part of what makes it special. I look forward to our continuing work together over this next year as we forge a strong and sustainable future that honors and reflects our excellence, leadership, and commitment to the wellbeing of those we serve.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have given so much to our school to move it to where it is – and to all those who will help us build this future together.

Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, FAAN
The Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Dean

What's next at the School of Nursing?

The school’s organization development process, launched by Dean Salmon, is well underway.  We have received the very strong support of the university in moving forward.  Interim Provost Mary Lidstrom has committed to making available the university’s best expertise and consultation to ensure continuation of this process during Dean Salmon’s final year and beyond.  Provost Lidstrom formed a Steering Committee of senior, experienced UW faculty and administrators.  This team will help the school as it addresses the recommendations of its consultants relating to improvement of key work processes, systems, governance, and work climate.   Faculty, staff, and students will partner together to move this work forward. 

Convocation celebrates graduates and award winners

The School of Nursing held its annual convocation ceremony on June 10, 2011, at Meany Hall on the UW Campus. Convocation celebrated the graduation of our students as well as recognized the annual awards given for excellence in teaching and outstanding student awards.

Award winners included:

Vicky Herting, PhD, RN, Rheba de Tornyay Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Valerie Wegermann, MN, ARNP, FNP, Excellence in Clinical Teaching

Barbara Plovie, MN, ARNP, BC, Excellence in Promoting Diversity through Teaching Award

Kristen Killian, Distinguished BSN Student Award

Lam Yoo, Masters Outstanding Student Award

Kori Dewing, Doctor of Nursing Practice Outstanding Student Award

Hyunjin Oh, Dissertation Award in Nursing Science

Congratulations to all of our recent graduates and award winners!

Nurses Recognition Banquet and Soule Lecture 2011

Pictured above, left to right: Emily Butler, Theresa Brown, Dean Marla Salmon, Marilyn Dodd, Donna Gerity.
Pictured below, left to right: Soule Lecturer Joan Shaver, Dean Marla Salmon.

The 2011 Nurses Recognition Banquet and Soule lecture at Benaroya Hall was a great success, drawing guests from around the Puget Sound Region to celebrate nursing in our community. This year, the Annual Soule lecture was held in conjunction with the Nurses Recognition Banquet and provided the perfect environment to celebrate the school’s history while also looking to the future with our newest award winners.

Dr. Joan L. Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN, was the Elizabeth Sterling Soule Endowed Lecturer and shared with attendees a lecture on nursing science and practice. Shaniqua Manning, KING 5 and Northwest Cable News anchor, graciously emceed the Nurses Recognition Banquet for the third year in a row. This year featured Theresa Brown, RN, oncology nurse and regular contributor to the New York Times “Well” blog, who discussed the need for nurses to play an active role in the conversations on the future of healthcare in our nation. She also touched on her most recent blog post with the New York Times “Well” blog regarding the need for better communications between nurses and doctors to enhance patient safety and care. The banquet also celebrated the school’s newest annual distinguished award winners, who this year were all alumnae of the school: Emily J. Butler, Distinguished Practitioner Award; Marilyn J. Dodd, Distinguished Researcher award; and Donna L. Gerity, Distinguished Alumni Award.

Left to right: Jean Reid and Sandy Dyer.

The banquet also honored Robert G. and Jean A. Reid with the first annual Heart of Nursing award, which was created to honor exemplary volunteers or community members who embody the mission and values of the School of Nursing in memory of Peter Dyer. This year’s banquet raised over $60,000 in sponsorships to help underwrite the event. Proceeds were designated to support the School’s Nursing Scholarship Fund. Thank you to all of our sponsors!


School Spotlight

American Academy of Nursing (AAN) selects new fellows
AAN has selected three faculty members and one SoN alumna as new inductees. Betty Bekemeier, Cindy Dougherty, Brenda Zierler and SoN Alumna Lori Loan will all be inducted into the academy this November.

Nurse Camp 2011-- July 11-15
For the past three years, the School of Nursing has sponsored a Nurse camp in the summer, hosted by the School of Nursing's Diversity Awareness Group. This camp is free for participants and designed for high school sophomores and juniors interested in learning about the nursing field and gaining hands-on experience, and is taking place July 11-15.
Learn more...

AAN Honors Dean Emeritus and past president Rheba de Tornyay
The American Academy of Nursing announced the renaming of its annual fund to The Rheba de Tornyay Development Fund in honor of its first president and Living Legend Rheba de Tornyay.
Learn More...

Alumni Spotlight

Gretchen Schodde, BSN, '68, MA, '75

Gretchen SchoddeRecently featured in an article in the Kitsap Sun for her work in creating Harmony Hill Retreat Center, Gretchen Schodde, BSN '68, MA '75 has been an active contributor to the nursing community. While the Harmony Hill retreat center was designed as a facilty focused on general wellness, it's cancer program has gained special attention as one designed to provide supprot and meet the needs of patients.

In 2006, Gretchen was given the School of Nursing's Humanitarian Award (now the Distinguished Practice award), and is a family nurse practitioner, a former UW assistant professor and one of the first nurse practitioners in the state of Washington.

Read the article...

Vol. 22, Issue 2

WE'RE #1!

The University of Washington School of Nursing again has been ranked first among nursing schools in the country, this year joined in this top ranking by two privately funded universities, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. 


By the Numbers

Degrees conferred to students Summer 2010-Spring 2011

PhD: 11
DNP: 29
MN: 87
MS: 11
TOTAL: 258

faculty member leads discussion on putting research into practice

Elizabeth Bridges, Associate Professor in BNHS, led an educational session about how nurses can apply evidence-based practice information they glean from journal articles into their own practices at a American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition.

Read Dr. Bridges tips for turning resarch into best practices

Staff member named SEIU 925 Vice president

Patricia Humphrey, Fiscal Specialist 2 in BNHS, was nominated for and accepted the position of SEIU 925 Chapter Vice President for the University of Washington. Her duties include attending organizing and leadership meetings and making decisions for the UW SEIU membership and union policy for the chapter.


Harborview Class of 1961 Reunion, September 23, 2011
Contact Chris Miller, Assistant Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, 206-221-7674

UW students from different health professions train as patient-care teams

UW launches a program aimed at preparing students to work as patient-care teams in the health care field. Dr. Carol Landis, Professor, BNHS, was among the faculty involved in this seminar in March. The story was featured in several local media outlets.

Read the story...

In Memoriam

Robert E. Rayner
December 29, 2010

Barbara Hoffman
February 12, 2011

Ann Marthaler
February 27, 2011

Barbara Yokoyama
March 5, 2011

Jonnie Ulmer
March 23, 2011

Kimberly Sue Hiatt
April 13, 2011


School of Nursing
Office of Advancement

Alumni Careers

Knowing more about our alumni and their careers is a key piece of evidence when demonstrating the quality of the programs at the School of Nursing. If you want to help the school as we demonstrate our value to the community and compete for foundation grants and other funding, please update your employment information by filling out this form. If you are now retired, please tell us about your last position and indicate that you are retired.

Alumni Career Form


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