Connections enewsletter header September 2011
UW School of Nursing: September 2011 Connections, Vol. 22, Issue 3

Message from Dean Salmon

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of Washington.  With remarkable foresight a group of early Washington State settlers and philanthropists built a great public university that has helped define the American Northwest and is committed to creating healthier lives here at home and around the globe.

In those very early days, nursing was not yet an established training program.  By 1918, public health nursing was included in the summer curriculum and our story as a celebrated School of Nursing began. We owe much to our first Dean, Elizabeth Sterling Soule, who established the UW Department of Nursing in 1922 and a bachelor of science nursing degree the following year.  Her vision and her ability to build partnerships and inspire support led to the creation in 1945 of the University of Washington School of Nursing, the very first independent school of nursing on the West Coast and just the second university-affiliated school of nursing in the nation. 

By 1984, our School was recognized throughout the nation as the number one ranked school of nursing because of the size and quality of the graduate program, the number of faculty with doctorates, and the reputation of Dean Rheba de Tornyay.  At the time, Dean de Tornyay gave the credit to “a fantastic faculty and excellent students who are highly sought after for positions in hospitals and the community.”  Many of you were those students and faculty and I am pleased to say that her words are as true today as they were 27 years ago.

All anniversaries are a time for reflection. Here at the UW School of Nursing, we are humbled by remembering all those who over the last 90 years built such a great school whose excellence has grown and endured.  We are also reminded that we are the stewards of this precious resource for improving health and care and we are prompted to consider our own responsibility to pass on this legacy.  We are committed to maintaining greatness for the benefit of future generations of nurses and for the families and communities they will serve.

We also remember that our history of excellence in education and research has been made possible because of the generosity and support of our alumni and donors, as well as our clinical and community partners.  Our achievements reflect on all of you just as your success and support reflects on the UW School of Nursing. 

Our commitment to excellence in improving care and health remains strong even as the University and the School face the many challenges posed by the economic distress of these past few years.  This task is made easier because we know that with your help can we forge a new future that does not compromise the excellence we have built together.

The State of Washington invested heavily in the education of nurses in the past, but unfortunately will not be able to do so in the foreseeable future.  We must count on all of you, our partners, to help ensure that future generations of nurses and nursing faculty receive the training, education and support needed for the future of health care in our state, our nation and the world. 

Thank you for investing in a healthy future and excellence in nursing education by supporting the UW School of Nursing. 

Dean Marla Salmon

Faculty members win prestigious FNINR Awards

Carol Landis and Pamela Mitchell, both Professors in BNHS, have been selected as winners of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) annual nurse researcher awards. Landis will receive the 2011 Pathfinder Award and Mitchell will receive the 2011 Ada Sue Hinshaw Award. The awards will be given to Landis and Mitchell at the annual Friends of the National Institute of Research NightinGala, November 14, 2011, in Washington DC.

You can read more about the awards and their research here.

High School students participate in third-annual NurseCamp

2011 Nursecamp Students, photos courtesy of Carolyn Chow

While many high school Juniors and Seniors spent their summers spending time with friends, working part-time jobs or heading off on family trips, one group of 24 students experienced first-hand what it is like to be a Nurse. The School of Nursing held its third-annual NurseCamp July 11-15, 2011, which was sponsored entirely by local donors and run by the student-led DAwGs (Diversity Awareness Group).

“It’s inspiring that everyone at the school has come together to support this effort and to help make this happen for the future of nursing,” said Carolyn Chow, School of Nursing Director of Admissions and Multicultural Student Affairs and advisor to the SoN DAwGs group.

Activities at the camp included a first day crash course for hospital staff including first aid, CPR, HIPPA, hand washing, infection control and technology in health care. The “Organ Lady,” SoN Alumna Colleen McElroy-Williams gave campers an inside look at real human organs. The campers spent the rest of the week shadowing nurses at the University of Washington Medical Center, practicing nurse skills in the learning lab, and discovering different nurse specialties in a nursing "speed date" where campers met and talked with nurses working in all areas of health care, from forensic and public health to emergency and research. On the final day, attendees learned about applying to college and understanding financial aid as well as having a celebration with family and friends.

“Honestly, I loved every second of it and I am so thankful for this opportunity. I hope to come back as a volunteer someday,” said one student.

To see the full schedule for the 2011 NurseCamp, please click here.

Information about how you can get involved in 2012 NurseCamp will be available soon.

Faculty News

School of Nursing announces new professorship recipients

Basia Belza, professor, BNHS, was reappointed as the Aljoya Endowed Professor in Aging. This professorship supports and recognizes faculty whose scholarship and research advance the study of healthy aging. Belza has built interdisciplinary teams and worked with community partners in testing, disseminating, and adopting evidence-based disease prevention programs for older adults, which have led to improved health outcomes. Belza is recognized for her commitment to teaching and research to enhance the School’s ability to contribute to health policy and services for older adults.

Patricia “Patti” Brandt, professor and chair, FCN, is the recipient of the University of Washington Medical Center Endowed Professorship in Nursing Leadership, created to recognize and support an outstanding faculty leader’s work in educating future nurse leaders, both in academic and clinical settings. As the UWMC endowed professor, Brandt will work closely with UWMC nursing leaders to strengthen joint initiatives and collaboration efforts around emerging issues and trends in academic nursing practice.

Diane Magyary, professor, PCH, and Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, is the inaugural recipient of the Kathryn Barnard Endowed Professorship for Infant Mental Health. This professorship was created by faculty emerita Kathryn Barnard to recognize distinguished faculty who advance knowledge in infant mental health and development. Magyary is recognized for her expertise in maternal child nursing including infant, child and adolescent development and health, in addition to family-centered counseling. She works collaboratively with Seattle Children's Hospital and Odessa Brown Children's Clinic as well as other local agencies.

Basia Belza wins Apex award for groundbreaking database
The Environmental and Policy Change (EPC) Clearinghouse, lead by PI Basia Belza, prof., BNHS, recently won a 2011 APEX award for publication excellence. The EPC Clearinghouse is a product of the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network (CDC-HAN). Belza was joined on the project by the School of Nursing’s Technology Innovations in Education and Research (TIER group), and grant co-PI Becky Hunter of the University of North Carolina. Read more about her research here.

Linda Teri discusses alzheimers on VoiceAmerica
Linda Teri, prof., PCH and director of the Northwest Research Group on Aging was interviewed live on VoiceAmerica’s Family Caregivers Unite! on August 2. She discussed caregiver-support programs for Alzheimer’s disease patients. Learn more and listen to the broadcast.

Brenda Zierler talks interprofessional education
Brenda Zierler, assoc. prof., BNHS was a presenter in an AARP and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation webinar titled "Preparing Health Professionals for Interprofessional Collaboration" on July 21. Her presentation, “lessons learned in preparing student health professionals for interprofessional collaboration at the University of Washington” offered perspectives on her extensive work in interprofessional education at the UW. Learn more and watch the webinar.

Student Spotlight

Delilah Bruskas, '06 MN (UW Tacoma)

BruskasDelilah Bruskas, PhD student and UW Tacoma School of Nursing Alumna, recently received the UW Tacoma Alumna of the Year award for her extensive work with children in the foster care system. A foster child herself at the age of 5, Delilah founded the Pacific Northwest Alumni of Foster Care (PNAFC) as a way to help create a voice for youth and alumni of foster care. In a recent interview with The City of Tacoma’s Cityline Program on August 4th , Delilah and her colleauge discussed the lack of support for children entering the foster care system, and how often children are not aware of the reasons for their placement into the system.

Delilah will continue her work with foster children while pursuing her PhD at UW SoN. Read more about Delilah's story here.

Continuing Nursing Education

Upcoming CNE Offerings

Medical-Surgical Review & Update – ONLINE – Autumn 2011

Wound Management Education Program—Summer/Fall Course 2011

Update in Medical-Surgical Nursing—9th Annual Conference--September 22, 2011 to Friday, September 23, 2011

Advanced Practice in Primary and Acute Care—Pacific Northwest 34th Annual National Conference--October 27-29, 2011

Immediate Response—Essential Skills for Urgent Clinical Situations -- November 8, 2011

Wound Management Update2011—Successful Wound Care: It Takes a Team-- November 17-18, 2011

Neonatal Drug Therapy-- March 23, 2012

Visit the CNE site to learn more about these conferences

Vol. 22, Issue 3


The University of Washington is launching its 150th year celebration this month. You can learn more about events and UW history here. Keep watching your email and mailboxes for more information about upcoming events and more ways to get involved.

Welcome new students!

We're looking forward to welcoming many new and returning students to the School of Nursing this fall. Orientation activities begin the last week of September.

2011-2012 Academic Year
Incoming students
Undergraduate: 140
Graduate: 168

Total: 308

School of Nursing class of '61 reunion

On September 23, 2011, the School of Nursing’s Class of 1961 will hold their 50th class reunion.  Classmates will start their day  at 10:00 a.m. visiting the Center for Excellence in Nursing Education’s Simulation Lab, learning more about the current research in nursing science and then a box lunch at 11:30 a.m., giving everyone a chance to visit and hear about the future of the School of Nursing.


The University of Washington Alumni Association has launched an alumni directory project as part of the UW 150th celebration. In the past few weeks, you likely received a postcard from Harris Connect, who will work with the UWAA to complete the project. Alumni are encouraged to contact Harris Connect to update their information. You can learn more about the project here.

New grant focuses on faith and healthy living

On July 20, churches around the Seattle area embarked on a new collaboration to encourage healthy living through a grant led by Associate Professor Doris Boutain. The grant, funded through the King County Department of Public Health, focuses on encouraging healthier living through existing church communities. Several local media outlets highlighted this grant project, including the Seattle Times, Komo News and Yahoo News. You can read more about the grant here.


In Memoriam

Sister Kathleen Cyr
May 3, 2011

Helen Elizabeth McCann-Sales
July 10, 2011

Katie Keiper
July 20, 2011

Patricia Witte
July 31, 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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