Nursing Praxis Summer 2019

A word from Dean Lorie Wild

Lorie Wild
Lorie Wild

As the sun sets on our 2018–19 academic year, we can look back on our path to see the milestones accomplished — and it has been a very busy year!

Graduation is always a culminating event and this year was particularly exciting as we celebrated the first graduate of our Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Megann Mitchell, DNP, ARNP, FNP-BC is a three-time Falcon nurse, having completed her BSN and MSN, and now her DNP, at Seattle Pacific. Megann models our core mission to develop graduates who engage the culture and change the world. We are grateful for her pioneering spirit. Along with her fellow students, she has stepped into a brand new program and has excelled!

We also honored 10 MSN graduates who completed their course of study in the family nurse practitioner pathway. We share their excitement as they prepare to move into the world of advanced practice nursing!

Finally, we celebrated one of our largest BSN classes ever, with 69 students participating in our traditional pinning ceremony and commencement. It always is a joy to celebrate our graduates, along with their families and friends.  

Successful CCNE accreditation

One of the hallmarks of nursing program excellence is accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). We just received notice that we have been awarded full accreditation for all of our programs — BSN, MSN, DNP, and postgraduate APRN certificate. The process began with submission of an extensive, written self-study followed by a site visit in November. We met all standards for all programs and were granted maximum duration for each program — five years for the DNP program and 10 years for all others. Successful CCNE accreditation speaks to the committed efforts our faculty and our position within the University at large.

New SHS building

We are settling into our wonderful new facility on the east side of campus. Students and faculty alike have enjoyed the expanded spaces for teaching and learning, including the spacious and enhanced Clinical Learning Lab and Simulation Suite. The SHS building has become home for nursing students at all levels. Their energy creates a lively sense of community among faculty, staff, and students and reminds us daily of our purpose. We are grateful to the many supporters  — alumni, community partners, and friends  who have helped make the vision of this space a reality. If you haven’t seen it already, you can take a short video tour of the new Clinical Learning Lab.

Positioning for growth

We moved to “rolling admissions” for the undergraduate pre-licensure program this year. By admitting a smaller number of students in “rolling” quarters, we are looking forward to expanding enrollment. Rather than admitting 64 students in Autumn Quarter, this year we admitted 32 in Autumn and another 32 in Winter Quarter. Our goal is to admit a third cohort in Spring Quarter. The new enrollment pattern not only allows for growth, it also will support our clinical partners by providing a steady flow of graduates throughout the year. 

Grateful for the past and looking ahead

We are grateful for the success of our students and our programs. We also know that success stems from the visionary, committed work of faculty and leaders, past and present, and, most importantly, the support and prayers of our alumni, emeriti faculty, and community of supporters. We are humbled by your faithfulness in the past and your faith for the future.  

Lorie Wild's signature

2019 Graduate Hooding and Achievement Celebration


SHS Dean Lorie Wild and Associate Dean for Graduate Nursing Christine Hoyle welcomed graduate nursing students along with faculty, family, and friends to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2019 at midday on June 7, 2019.  

Following a reception in the Fine Center at First Free Methodist Church, the graduating students and their faculty donned academic regalia and processed to the church sanctuary for the School of Health Sciences Hooding Ceremony. This traditional event provides an intimate setting to recognize master’s graduates and draws attention to the scholarly and personal achievements of the candidates for graduation. During the ceremony, MSN graduates were presented with a hood which signifies their passage from student to “master.”  

Megann Mitchell with her parents Wendy and Jeff Mitchell

Megann Mitchell with her parents Wendy (Westrope) Mitchell '77 BSN and Jeff Mitchell

In addition, Megann Mitchell was recognized as the first graduate of the SPU Doctor of Nursing Practice program, having completed her DNP scholarly project, titled “Medicolegal Considerations in the Management of Opioid Use Disorder with Buprenorphine by Jail Health Services.” Megann is a three-time graduate of the Lydia Green Nursing Program, earning BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees, and has been in practice as a family nurse practitioner since 2012.    

Hooding ceremony highlights included an address to students by adjunct faculty member, preceptor, and nurse practitioner Bob Smithing, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, FAANP, reminding graduates that “You’ve got this!” and a blessing of hands by Rev. Kelsey Rorem, associate director of University Ministries. Graduating students also added to the celebration with Megann Mitchell (BSN 2007, MSN 2012) giving an invocation to begin the ceremony and, to close, Melissa Frondozo (BSN 2000) giving a benediction.

With thunder showers in the forecast, graduates made their way to Royal Brougham Pavilion for the SPU Graduate Commencement ceremony. During the ceremony, each graduate was conferred their degree by SPU President Daniel J. Martin, and Megann Mitchell was formally presented with her doctoral hood by her faculty, Dr. Mary Coucoules. Chitra Hanstad, executive director for World Relief Seattle, delivered an address to those gathered.

Congratulations to the Graduate Nursing Class of 2019:

  • Robera Aman Aleye, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Sandra Elizabeth Ann Bell, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Melissa Valero Frondozo, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Angela Susan Klementson, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Marit Sally Knutson, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Katie Marie McWilliams, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Megann Nicolle Mitchell, Post-APRN DNP
  • July Pan, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Danielle Mary Klein, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Amy Eloise Whitney, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Toe Kyaw Zaw, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

See more photos from the hooding ceremony here.

Largest BSN Cohort Participates in Pinning Ceremony

Lorie Wild

First Free Methodist Church was filled to capacity as family, friends, and faculty gathered to watch 69 students receive their Lydia Green Nursing Program pins at the June 7 ceremony.This year’s ceremony featured Scripture readings by students Amber Callison and Hannah Munyaga, a rousing faculty address from Dr. Vicki Aaberg, and a class address by student speaker Lauren Goldstone-Perez. The ceremony also included a special music performance by Anna Olson (accompanied by Colin Blyther), a candle-lighting ceremony honoring Florence Nightingale, and, of course, the presentation of the pins.

Special recognition at the Pre-Licensure Pinning included the award for Competence and Character presented to Matt Wallace. This special award voted by peers is for the student who values serving others and has demonstrated excellence in scholarship while exhibiting honesty and integrity. The Outstanding Academic Scholar Award honoring the student with the highest GPA in the nursing major was awarded to two students tied with the highest GPA, Madison Boggan and Victoria Garvin. The Outstanding Clinical Practitioner is chosen by the SHS faculty for the student demonstrating the highest level of performance in the clinical setting. With so many outstanding students, the selection process is difficult. But after much deliberation, Hannah Munyaga was selected as the Outstanding Clinical Practitioner. 

Candle Lighting

The pinning program embraces the newest graduates into the profession of nursing while taking part in the time-honored tradition established by Florence Nightingale. The pinning tradition was started over 150 years ago when Florence presented medals of excellence to her brightest graduates, and the tradition was adapted in the early 1900s by nursing schools in the U.S. Each school has a unique pin.

The BSN class of 2019 joins a legacy of graduates of one of the most well-respected nursing programs in the region. Members of the Lydia Green Nursing Program faculty proudly welcome their newest colleagues into the nursing profession.

See more photos from the pinning ceremony here.



Lt. Jordan Seid receives her bars

The School of Health Sciences hosted a commissioning ceremony on June 10 for Cadet Jordan Seid, who completed the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFROTC) program that is offered to SPU students through an agreement with the University of Washington. The AFROTC program, with its time, physical, and travel commitments combined with the rigorous BSN program requirements, is daunting — but you would never know it by way Jordan has handled it. Not only has Jordan successfully completed the rigors of both programs, but she has been a leader among her peers, serving as the class co-president for her cohort. 

Colonel Jon-Paul Mickle, commander of the UW AFROTC Detachment 910, noted in his opening remarks that Jordan is among the one percent of our society that stands up and defends our country. During the commissioning ceremony, family, friends, faculty, and community members witnessed as Second Lieutenant Jordan Seid took her oath of office from Captain Kasey C. Vaughn, USAF. Pinning of the lieutenant bars was performed by her fiancé, Captain James Eichelberger, USAF, and her first salute was to fellow nursing cohort member Petty Officer Second Class Colin Blyther, U.S. Coast Guard. 

Once Jordan passes the NCLEX she will move to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to begin her nurse residency. This hospital was previously ranked number one in the entire Air Force worldwide. In a message to faculty, Jordan said, “I am so thankful for your encouragement, support, and guidance throughout nursing school — especially when I didn’t think that I would be able to continue with the program. I would not be who I am, and where I am today, without your guidance! Thank you for everything.” 

See more photos from the commissioning ceremony here.

Building Dedication and Alumni Celebration


Homecoming 1979 alums (from left) Vicki Marxen, Sue Tompos, and Fema Meyers. Photo of Sue and Vicki in background.

Seattle Pacific University’s Lydia Green Nursing Program officially dedicated its new home, the 6 Nickerson Building, during Homecoming weekend, when over 150 faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the School of Health Sciences community joined Dean Lorie Wild and SPU President Dan Martin to commemorate the occasion. During this open house, guests toured the redesigned building that provides flexible learning spaces for our nursing students with four 40-person classrooms, two seminar rooms, an advance practice learning classroom, faculty offices, and a Clinical Learning Lab. 

An entire floor of the building is dedicated to clinical learning, with a Clinical Learning Lab which allows both undergraduate and advanced degree students to simulate clinical skills in a variety of health care settings, using sophisticated technology in a safe educational environment. The Clinical Learning Lab’s high-tech audiovisual infrastructure means that students can be observed and recorded during their simulations, and then learn from watching themselves on video. 

The following day, a large number of nursing alumni returned for the Nursing Alumni Reunion Coffee. Many gathered for a time to reminisce with classmates and meet other alumni from across generations. Several emeriti and former faculty members attended as well, and heard from Dean Lorie Wild as she shared nursing program updates and highlights. 

Alumni enjoyed touring the building with all its amenities and browsing a wall of consecration cohort photos spanning the years from 1963 to present. A feature wall greets guests as they enter the building with a wood-mounted collage of vintage and current photographs. The installation celebrates the school’s legacy by highlighting the past and present. 

We encourage you to reconnect with classmates and colleagues at the next reunion event, planned for Homecoming Weekend in February 2020.

Take a virtual tour of the new facility in this SPU Voices article.

View more Homecoming photos here.

Clinical Learning Lab Update

The nursing lab

The 2018–19 academic year was a milestone year for the Clinical Learning Lab in the School of Health Sciences. The biggest milestone event occurred in November, when we moved into our new space at 6 Nickerson. With this move, the lab nearly tripled in size from its previous space in Marston! 

Designed with active learning in mind, the new Clinical Learning Lab incorporates a simulation suite with two hospital rooms and one clinic exam room, a flex classroom that has both a didactic learning space and exam suites optimized for graduate learning, and a skills training room with hospital beds and functional air and suction units designed for undergraduate learning. 

In addition, University Advancement worked hard to secure a grant from the Murdock Foundation to purchase new, state-of-the-art equipment. Items purchased with Murdock funds include:

  • An expanded and upgraded audiovisual recording system for the simulation suite 
  • A high-fidelity birthing human patient simulator from Laerdal Medical (SimMom)
  • Pyxis ES brand automated drug dispensing units
  • Alaris IV point-of-care units and modules, syringe modules, and PCA modules 
  • Ten new laptops and workstations-on-wheels for mobile charting
  • Four new Welch Allyn Connex vital signs monitors
  • A crash cart with defibrillator for simulating arrhythmias
  • Exam table, integrated wall system, and diagnostic equipment for the clinic exam room
  • Multiple new task trainers including a clinical male pelvic trainer, rectal exam trainer, and pressure injury staging model

Despite the challenges of moving the entire lab and setting up in a new space, we are excited for the enhanced learning afforded by the larger space and new equipment. The new simulation suite, in particular, has greatly improved our ability to offer high-quality and high-impact simulated learning. Students have repeatedly commented on the enhanced fidelity, or “believability,” of the new space. With rooms and equipment designed to replicate those found in local health care facilities, students are more easily able to immerse themselves in the simulation, which solidifies their learning and facilitates transference into the clinical environment. 

From This Place: Notable Notes

Melissa Schultz with Associate Dean Antwinett Lee

Melissa Schultz with Associate Dean Antwinett Lee

Melissa Schultz, BSN class of 2020, was selected as SPU’s recipient of the $3,000 Rosemary Ford Future of Oncology Nursing Scholarship at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Established in 2015, the scholarship honors Rosemary Ford, BSN, RN and her 40-year legacy of leadership in oncology clinical nursing. The scholarship is intended to inspire students to pursue a career in oncology nursing. The award ceremony was hosted by Dr. McDonnell CNE, vice president of clinical operations. Lee Rhodes, founder and owner of glassybaby, and Danny Baldino, creative director of glassybaby, attended the ceremony as well as representatives Tom Eichert (Celgene), Todd  Smith (Merck), and Tracy Budden (Pfizer). Rosemary Ford delivered a talk that touched on the historical foundation of nursing at Fred Hutch and built the legacy of oncology care of which they are so proud to still be actively engaged in, financially supporting our future oncology nurses with these scholarships. Anna Stewart ’17 (previous award winner) was the featured scholarship speaker at the award ceremony.

Hannah Hudson, BSN class of 2020, received the SPU Barnabas Award. Hannah was recognized for her Christian character, leadership, commitment to on- or off-campus service, and willingness to take on tasks/responsibilities regardless of the recognition or challenge. As the recipient of this special, campus-wide award, Hannah received a $750 cash grant and a contribution of $250, given in her name, to a charity of her choice.

Emeriti Tea

Emeriti Ruby Englund, Annalee Oakes, Emily Hitchens

Annalee OakesEmily Hitchens and Ruby Englund attended SPU's annual Emeriti Tea. Provost Jeff Van Duzer updated emeriti on student enrollment, goals, and plans for the future. Names of 18 faculty who will be joining the emeriti group were listed, along with their years of service, which total over 500 years. Ruby Englund noted, “It is so good to gather as former SPU faculty.”

Marit Knutson ’19 MSN will be co-presenting with Amy Levi, PhD, CNM, WHNP at the 22nd Annual Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health conference in October 2019 in Savannah, Georgia. Their presentation is titled "Adding Mifepristone to the Miscarriage Management Toolkit."

Kathleen ‘Kat’ Johnson, ARNP, FNP, PMH, ‘17 MSN recently presented at a workshop sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University titled "Partners in ARNP Education: Transition of Care, Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics and Beyond." Kat also opened a practice, Yellow Brick Clinic, that focuses on integrative healthcare for pediatric and adolescent patients with developmental and behavioral needs, ADHD, and autism.

Sarah Bear, ‘07 MSN, ’91 Athletic Administration, received the award for Nurse Leadership and Management from the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA). Other SPU faculty recognized with WSNA awards included Antwinett Lee for Ethics and Human Rights, and Bob Smithing for Best Practice. Congratulations to all!

Nursing faculty Julie Pusztai and Carol McFarland presented at the May 2019 Higher Education Summit on Homelessness. President Dan Martin and Vice President for Student Life Jeff Jordan also attended, as did senior administrators from Seattle University and University of Washington. The goal of this work is for institutions of higher education to work collectively to be a part of the conversations the city is having and to make a difference. Julie and Carol presented on “Creative Teaching” and shared examples of how they/we are working to engage students on issues related to homelessness — in the classroom, practicum, Interprofessional Grand Rounds, the foot care clinic, and service learning projects.

Nursing faculty Julie Pusztai and Bomin Shim received an SPU Faculty Research Grant award for their study, Living with Dementia.

Heidi Monroe had an article published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, “Nurses’ Professional Values: Influences of Experience and Ethics Education” (January, 2019, https: //

Several nursing faculty presented their scholarship at the April 2019 Western Institute of Nursing Communicating Nursing Research meeting held in San Diego, including Bomin Shim, Bethany Rolfe Witham, Heidi Monroe, and Erika Busz.

Nursing faculty member Vicki Aaberg gave a poster presentation called “Student Knowledge, Attitudes, and Self-Efficacy Toward Sexual Education” at the AWHONN national conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in June. She also facilitated a classroom teaching session called “The Consent Game” in April at the National Sex Educator’s Conference in Newark, New Jersey. 

Until Next Time …

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