Praxis Autumn 2016

A Word From Dean Lorie Wild

Lorie Wild

Celebrating Our Past and Future

As a part of the SPU Grand Reunion in October, we had the opportunity to come together to celebrate milestones and the future of the Lydia Green Nursing program. We are grateful for the 77 years of nursing education that are a part of SPU’s 125-year history.

Our graduates are making a difference in the lives of patients, families, and communities near and far; they also continue to make a difference in the profession.

One path to the future for nursing at SPU is the introduction of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) beginning in the 2017–18 academic year. Nursing national organizations have endorsed the DNP as the academic qualification for entry into practice as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN): family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP), and adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (AGCNS).

Increasingly complex care management and changing health care delivery systems demand new knowledge and skills for APRNs of today and the future. Moving to the DNP will keep SPU competitive in the market for APRN education and continue a tradition of excellence in graduate nursing education.

We currently are accepting applications for each of our APRN pathways for 2017–18, including being able to enter the program either as a BSN-to-DNP or as a post-master’s DNP.

We invite you to learn more about the DNP program on our new website or by contacting Enrollment Counselor Beth Van Camp.

We are blessed to continue our commitment to robust academics and relationship-centered learning that is grounded in Christian faith and values. Each of you is an important part of our success.

Nurse Practitioners: Help Needed

Nurse Practitioners

Calling all SPU grads in the medical professions, especially nurse practitioner alums: Want to take your career to the next level? Consider becoming a preceptor for an SPU nurse practitioner student. You can share your knowledge and experience with a student who would love nothing better than to learn from you as you care for your patients, interact with your colleagues, and model the health care provider role at its best.

As nurses, we are all here today because a busy health care professional was willing to help us realize the dream of joining our wonderful profession. SPU NP graduates are highly sought not only for their knowledge and skill, but for their concern for the vulnerable and marginalized among us.

Most preceptors find it gratifying to help students grow in confidence and competence, and to send them forth from SPU to “engage the culture and change the world” for years to come in clinics, medical centers, public health departments, schools, skilled and long-term care facilities, colleges and universities, governmental agencies, and business settings. Honor your preceptors and help the next generation of SPU NPs move forward — become an SPU preceptor!

For more information, contact Linda Pedersen, director of the nurse practitioner program.

125 Years and Counting … A Grand Reunion

Grand Reunion

The School of Health Sciences welcomed a large gathering of nursing alumni at an October 8 breakfast held in conjunction with SPU’s 125th Anniversary. What a joy it was to host so many SPU-trained nurses during this historic event.

Attendees spanned the years from 1951 to our most current 2016 graduates. With a challenge to see which class would have the most attendees, the class of 2016 came in first with 10 in attendance, with the six attendees of the class of 1976 making a strong second-place effort. There were several classes with multiple attendees, making for fun-filled, lively conversations, reminiscing, and laughter.

Hearing stories about nursing school experiences over the years was a delight, including what it was like learning under the watchful eye of the program’s namesake, Lydia Green. Many alums made their way over to the Nursing Skills Lab, where they scanned the wall of consecration photos to find themselves in the photos. If you are ever on campus, please do stop in to take a quick tour and see our nursing memorabilia.

Audrey Tjepkema Thorsen, Marilyn Thorsen Glinskas

A highlight of the reunion was meeting Audrey Tjepkema Thorsen ’51, who attended the reunion with daughter Marilyn Thorsen Glinskas ’76. Audrey moved from Spring Arbor Junior College to attend Seattle Pacific College, which was the only Free Methodist college that offered a nursing program at the time. She joined her class of five students, living on the SPU campus for a few quarters, then moving to the student nurses’ residence hall a block from Swedish Hospital. The SPC students joined the University of Washington nursing student cohort because of the collaborative union between the two schools.

The five-year degree program earned Audrey dual BSN degrees from SPC and UW. Following the state boards in October 1951, she returned to Michigan until April 1952, when her fiancé, Andy Thorsen ’52, traveled east to claim his bride. Audrey worked part time at Emanuel Hospital in Turlock, California, until the birth of their second daughter. She served as a camp nurse, keeping her RN license current until the age of 65. Both of their daughters are SPU grads: Marilyn in nursing and Karen in teaching. What a great SPU family legacy!

Dean Lorie Wild reflected on the rich nursing history at SPU, a program that has graduated nearly 3,000 BSN- and almost 500 MSN-educated nurses. The program remains strong, with faculty fully dedicated to the relationship-centered learning philosophy. Students are brighter than ever, meeting a continually higher bar, and graduating to proudly represent SPU in the nursing community. Wild thanked alumni for their generous support and invited them to consider supporting the nursing program with financial gifts and prayer.

Consecration Celebrates Vocation, Commitment


During the excitement and busyness of Autumn Quarter, the School of Health Sciences continues to make the time-honored nursing consecration ceremony a mainstay event. This event is a celebration service of vocation and commitment, setting our students apart and readying them to serve as they enter the nursing major. The idea of being “set apart” is thread throughout our program with robust academics, relationship-centered learning, and being grounded in faith and values. SPU nursing graduates are consistently sought after as being well prepared and special with that “something extra.”

Students invited family and friends to join them at the ceremony. Audrey Hazel welcomed family, friends, faculty, and her fellow classmates, followed with prayer led by Julissa Villar-Lucero. The student-planned program was filled with beautiful music, including an a capella rendition of “Amazing Grace” performed by Eliot Dancy. Liliya Semenyuk delivered a heartfelt dramatic reading from The Gift of Pain by Paul Brand and Phillip Yancey. Other highlights were Scripture passages read by Carly Andrews and faculty recognition by Sandy Ho.

Alumni speaker Emily Kelly BSN ’06, MSN ’15 encouraged the students to remain connected to “those people who know you and can remind you of who you are when life becomes chaotic.” Students were urged to invest in relationships with fellow students in the program and to utilize the expertise of the nursing faculty.

Rev. Kelsey Rorem, associate director of University Ministries, performed a special “blessing of the hands” of each student in preparation for service. In addition, a Gideon’s Auxiliary representative presented each student with a copy of the New Testament.

A reception was held immediately following the ceremony. Prior to the event, Dean Lorie Wild hosted an open house in the Nursing Skills Lab. Family and friends toured the facility and learned more about nursing school expectations and received tips on how to support their students.

Engaging the Culture: Interprofessional Grand Rounds

Tent City 3

The School of Health Sciences, in collaboration with SPU’s Pre-Professional Health Sciences program, offers Interprofessional Grand Rounds, informative campus and community sessions focused on health care issues. Over the past two years, engaging topics have been discussed, particularly the issue of homelessness.

Interprofessional Grand Rounds aims to generate collegiality, communication, and collaboration among students preparing to work and serve in the complex intersection of real-world professions. On November 10, the group hosted a conversation focused on engaging homelessness by exploring the link between shelter and healing.

Speakers included Professor of Sociology Jennifer McKinney; Associate Professor of Sociology Karen Snedker; Director of New Horizons Mary Steele; Director of Mary’s Place Marty Hartman; and Administrator of Neighbor Care Zoe Reese. SPU organizations NAPS, MAPS, GWO, Ivy Honorary, Sociology Club, BEGIN, and the President’s Commission on Engaging Homelessness helped sponsor the discussion.

Guatemala Nursing Experience

Guatemala Nursing Experience

In mid-August, 15 SPU nursing students traveled to Guatemala for a four-week study abroad community health course experience. Students worked directly with community leaders and citizens to determine needs and implement health promotion projects.

The program aimed to provide BSN students with a community health clinical internship experience in a developing country. Guatemala provides a unique opportunity to learn community and population health in an international context. Students had the opportunity to assess social determinants of health and health disparities that affect Latino populations in their native country. The immersion format of the clinical experience allowed for integration of faith, learning, and service.

Upon arriving in Antigua, students were immersed in Latino and Mayan culture by taking a one-week intensive Spanish language course. They also lived with host families and went on excursions. During the following weeks, they traveled to Magdalena, where they managed community-based assessment, program planning, and implementation of health-promotion projects.

Guatemala Nursing Experience

The students were overwhelmed with the genuine, gracious hospitality they received during their home stays with host families. Despite Guatemala’s economic challenges, students found its people rich in culture, joy, and hospitality. One student shared that the experience taught her what it means to be a culturally competent nurse.

Bethany Rolfe Witham, DNP, FNP accompanied the students as the class instructor, along with Emily Kelly BSN ’06, MSN ’15. Bethany and Emily are “super alums” of the SHS nursing program, having earned both their BSN and MSN degrees at SPU. Also accompanying the group for an abbreviated stay was SHS Dean Lorie Wild.

Practice Makes Perfect

Flu clinic

Level 1 (junior) nursing students recently helped staff a flu vaccination clinic at Group Health in Bellevue. Students rotated into the clinic as part of their scheduled clinical rotation for their basic nursing practicum course. The rotation began during their fourth and fifth weeks of the Autumn Quarter. For most students, it was their first time administering shots, which is an exciting first (Remember yours?). Although some students felt apprehensive going into the clinical experience, they all agreed it was a great event to be involved with and were thankful for the opportunity.

From This Place: Notable Notes

From This Place

Marilyn Thorsen Glinskas ’76 BSN, has been the lead school nurse for the Empire Union School District since 1986, serving eight schools (some rural) and traveling up to 500 miles each month. She has also been an American Red Cross CPR first-aid instructor for 26 years. Marilyn recently earned a master of arts degree in education from California State University Stanislaus.

Patricia “Trish” Rantos ’87 BSN, ’96 MSN, works as a nurse practitioner at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center. Trish noted that she is proud of her SPU nursing education and always enjoys seeing the SPU nursing students at Virginia Mason.

Three SPU nursing graduates were named SPU’s “125 Ones to Watch,” a list of notable GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) alumni. Individuals were selected based on demonstrated leadership and success in their professions. Nursing alums included Megan Boone ’13 BSN, ICU nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center; Lindsay Nelson ’06 BSN, a family nurse practitioner in Houston; and Alyssa Singh ’12 BSN, a Seattle Public Schools nurse and executive director for Imani Care International.

Mackenzie Fox Anderson ’15 BSN, works in the birth center at Mount Vernon’s Skagit Valley Hospital. Mackenzie was recently featured in the Skagit Valley Herald “Get to Know” section.

Until Next Time …

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