Nursing Praxis Summer 2020

A word from Lorie Wild

Lorie Wild
Lorie Wild

As the sun sets on our 2019–20 academic year, we can look back on our path to see the milestones accomplished — and it has been a very busy year!

The end of the academic year is a time of transition. For our graduates, the transition into the world of practice either as a first-time nurse or as an advanced practice nurse comes with excitement and a healthy dose of anxiety. We share their excitement, are confident in their skills, and know they are nurses of competence and character, becoming a people of wisdom, and modeling grace-filled community. We applaud our 11 DNP graduates as the inaugural cohort of BSN-DNP students. As with all pioneers, these graduates not only demonstrated patience and flexibility, but also helped shape the contours of the program that will benefit students who follow. We appreciate them and know they will bring those same qualities into their practice.

In the School of Health Sciences (SHS), students are not the only ones in transition. We celebrated the service of several faculty members who are moving into retirement or to new practice and scholarly endeavors — Dr. Julie Pusztai, Dr. Mary Coucoules, Dr. April Morgenroth, and Dr. Lyndsay MacKay. At the same time, we are welcoming new faculty to SHS — Dr. Ebony Blackmon Humphrey, Dr. Chanam Shin, Dr. Erla Champ-Gibson, and Dr. Cindy Dong. We are grateful to our departing faculty who have contributed so much to our students and the SPU community, and we look forward to what our new colleagues will bring to the school.

I am also pleased to share that Dr. Antwinett O. Lee will lead SHS as interim dean as I transition to retirement. Dr. Lee is a gifted leader. In her role as associate dean for Undergraduate Nursing, she effectively led the transition to rolling admissions, introduced a new orientation program for faculty and students, and partnered with faculty to launch the new, concept-based curriculum. Dr. Lee also brings a rich clinical background in community and public health as well as leadership as the director of the nursing program at Lake Washington Technical College. I am excited about what she will bring to SHS and how she will lead us into the future.

As I reflect on my time as dean, I am grateful for the privilege of serving our students, faculty, and staff, along with our alumni and the professional community. I am humbled by the enduring support of so many. I recently read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. In his book, Wohlleben writes about the way in which trees communicate with each other by emitting chemicals to work together to defend against common threats. He also describes how trees develop deep root systems, how individual trees work in concert with other trees toward the success of the forest, and the pivotal role of “nurse logs” to facilitate the survival and growth of seedlings.

In reading this book, I could not help but draw an analogy to the SPU nursing ecosystem. The growth and success of SPU nursing is possible because of the deep roots that are the result of our founding dean, Lydia Green, and every leader following. Each leader, each faculty and staff member, and each student helps add another ring to the trunk to help it grow and thrive. Our alumni and professional community are like nurse logs that help ensure the growth and success of our students and new graduates.

Indeed, the strength of the SPU Lydia Green Nursing Program is grounded in the commitment of those past and present who support us through the gift of prayer and other tangible resources. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community for the past eight years. My gratitude is as deep and wide as the roots that support our mission.

Lorie Wild's signature

From This Place: Notable Notes

Marlia Grace Sutherland, BSN class of 2021, has been selected as the recipient from Seattle Pacific University for the 2020 Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Rosemary Ford Future of Oncology Nursing Scholarship, ($3,000).

Kara (Martin) Lueneburg ’15 is working at Seattle Children’s in ambulatory float pool and began doctoral study in the SPU DNP program in Autumn 2019.

Noah Mozek ’18 and Addison Lin ’14 stepped up to lead the Men in Nursing luncheon for the current students in the program. Mentoring men in the nursing program by alumni that have been in their shoes proves valuable for all involved. 

Lyn Sapp ’85 works at Seattle Children’s as a nurse specialist. She has practiced pediatric rehabilitation, acute nursing, ambulatory/clinical care, management, and education.

Kristina Heiss ’18 works in Med surg/ortho/gen med at UWMC. 

Tara Yanez ’18 works at UWMC BMT/Oncology immunotherapy.

Megann Mitchell ’19 DNP, ’12 MSN, ’07 BSN will have a journal article published based on her DNP scholarly project. Her scholarly work is focused on mediocolegal considerations in the management of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine by Jail Health Services. 

Alisa Kearney ’11 MSN, ’04 BSN, certified family nurse practitioner, has been practicing at the Stanford Neurosurgery department since 2012. She currently provides care for patients in neuro-oncology and spine neurosurgery.

Nursing faculty Bomin Shim had an article accepted in the Journal of Christian Nursing, “Reflections on the Spiritual Lives of Caregivers of Spouses with Dementia: Receiving Grace.” 

Nursing faculty Lena Hristova had an abstract accepted for a poster presentation at the 2020 WIN Conference: “Creative ways to support a nursing cohort of incumbent workers.” 

Nursing faculty members Carol McFarland, Lena Hristova, Chris Hoyle, Antwinett Lee, and Emily Kelly had their proposal, “Team training is not only for clinicians: Implementation strategies for academia,” accepted for the 2020 AHA Team Training National Conference, originally planned for New Orleans in June.

Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization (MMPNO) Scholarship was awarded to three outstanding SPU nursing students:

Ahlam Dakane DNP  2018
Taylor Delahoussaye WI 2019 admit BSN
Judith Ndiwane WI 2019 admit BSN

Faculty member Heidi Monroe 17 PhD, ’07 MSN, ’89 BSN, was promoted to associate professor of nursing in SHS.

Dr. Lorie Wild Retires


Lorie Wild, our gifted and beloved dean of the School of Health Sciences, retired at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. She has had an impactful eight-year run as dean of the School of Health Sciences, bringing more than 30 years of nursing practice and leadership to the role.

Lorie has led the School of Health Sciences with the mantra of robust academics, relationship-centered learning grounded in Christian faith, and values describing the School of Health Sciences experience. This phrase has embodied her leadership for the school and served as a compass directing the path of growth and excellence.

Under Lorie’s leadership and innovative thinking, School of Health Sciences programs have seen growth including the introduction of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. Overall program capacity and enrollment in the undergraduate pre-licensure program have increased by 92%. This increased capacity not only addresses the national nursing shortage, it also supports SPU continuing enrollment, and most important, our SPU students. 

One of the most significant and impactful contributions to the SPU nursing program that has come during Lorie’s term as dean is the new home for the nursing program at 6 Nickerson. The building provides an excellent learning environment that will serve the Lydia Green Nursing Program well for decades to come. 

In the days to come, Lorie looks forward to spending more time with her family and experiencing many travel adventures. She will continue her work within the area of global health as board chair for SCOPE (Strengthening Care Opportunities through Partnerships in Ethiopia). She also will give back to the nursing community through teaching and other volunteer roles. 

While we had hoped to have a community gathering to celebrate with Lorie, the COVID epidemic made this not possible. We hope that Lorie will continue to attend alumni events and know she will always be a strong supporter of the Lydia Green Nursing Program. 

We will miss Lorie deeply and wish her the best in this next chapter.

Quarterly Consecrations


The Undergraduate Nursing program has fully engaged in the rolling admission process, admitting smaller cohorts in each of the three quarters of the academic year. As the practice of planning and coordinating a Consecration ceremony becomes routine, the significance and outcome of the programs is anything but routine. Each ceremony evokes emotions of pride, honor, sentiment, and hope as we launch each new cohort into the nursing program.

We hosted family and friends on campus for the Autumn cohort on October 18, 2019, and the Winter cohort on January 24, 2020. Each celebration is a time for Dean Lorie Wild to welcome family and friends while also giving a word of encouragement to the incoming cohort. In each ceremony, nursing students participate by welcoming guests, quoting Scripture, sharing nursing quotes, and performing musical selections. 

A special component of each ceremony is hearing from alumni as guest speakers. During the past two consecration ceremonies the addresses have not disappointed. The Autumn entry cohort had the pleasure of hearing from Elena Raney ’14 and Gloria Dady ’74. It was during alumni events (Elena as a student leader and Gloria as an alumni attendee) that they forged a bond and friendship. Elena and Gloria encouraged students to build their support team, never forgetting that God is always there by their side. They also encouraged students to cultivate friendships with fellow students and alumni, and to get involved with other nurses, advocating for one another through all phases of life — just as they will advocate for their patients. 

The Winter entry cohort heard from Nick Taylor ’12 as he shared how his own Consecration was a pivotal moment that will stick with him for the rest of his life. He reflected on a question asked of him in one of his first classes: Why do you want to be a nurse? He concluded that if Jesus had not been a carpenter, he would have been a nurse, because he loved to walk the world and heal people in need. As nurses, he shared “we have an open door to be God’s hands and feet in a hurting world.” In his experience he has stood with families, sharing the love of Jesus, and walking with them while they experience healing and sometimes death. 

The culmination of each program came as students received a “Blessing of the Hands” by Rev. Kelsey Rorem from SPU’s Campus Ministries. The blessing signifies preparation for each student into service. A reception was held immediately following each of the ceremonies. 

Spring Quarter ushered in the first-ever Spring cohort in the nursing program. A brand-new cohort entering the nursing program amid the COVID 19 outbreak was challenging! Adjusting to an online delivery of course content and bringing the cohort was difficult, but made a Consecration ceremony all the more necessary. On April 24 the cohort, faculty, and staff gathered on Zoom video while family and friends watched the program on YouTube. Dean Lorie Wild brought greetings to the class cohort with encouraging words of wisdom and urged them to persevere through the unprecedented season of learning. Associate Dean Antwinett O. Lee addressed the class with blessings and reflection, encouraging them to build their VOS (village of support) to help them through the days to come in the program. 

Rev. Kelsey Rorem joined the ceremony as she shared personal reflection of the calling each one of the students answered in their desire and pursuit to be a nurse. As faculty member Heidi Monroe read each student name, Rev. Kelsey blessed them, while each student self-administered balm to their hands (previously mailed to them). Following the blessing of the hands she blessed the class cohort in a closing benediction. Even though it was unconventional, the Consecration ceremony brought the students together in a special way. 

Graduate Commissioning


On Saturday, June 13, the School of Health Sciences embraced the virtual environment and gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates at the first-ever Seattle Pacific University Graduate Nursing Commissioning.

Historically, we held a Hooding Ceremony for students graduating from our master’s programs. Since doctoral candidates normally receive their hoods as a part of the main commencement ceremony, we wanted to preserve our tradition of personally honoring graduates and commissioning them to their professional journey. Hence, Graduate Nursing Commissioning. 

During the ceremony we honored one student completing a Master of Science in Nursing, along with the first cohort of 11 students completing their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees as BSN-to-DNP. The accomplishments of the graduates were recognized as they persevered through professional, academic, and personal challenges along the way to this lifelong goal. 

In her welcome, Dr. Lorie Wild, dean of the School of Health Sciences, congratulated the students in reaching or nearing the end of their educational journey and modeling fortitude and strength of character with courage. To the families and loved ones she offered her gratitude for supporting the graduates with unfailing encouragement and support. Faculty member Debby Bacharach wrote and shared a poem to honor the graduates on this special occasion. 

Each graduate was featured on screen as they were recognized by faculty members Dr. Christine Hoyle, Dr. Lorie Wild, Dr. Gloria Park, and Dr. Bethany Rolfe Witham while being honored for their achievements. 

Kelsey Ann Johnson, Master of Science in Nursing/Clinical Leadership in Practice candidate. Kelsey completed a master’s capstone project titled “More than a Form: Developing the Washington POLST Information Toolkit” with the Washington State Hospital Association.

Mimie N Bagalwa, Doctor of Nursing Practice Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner candidate. Mimie completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Evaluating the Naloxone Administration Program for the Homeless Shelter” with a Homeless Shelter.

Gloria Chang, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Gloria completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Improving Patient Portal Enrollment in a Community Health Clinic: A Quality Improvement Plan” with International Community Health Services.

Jaekyung Cho, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Jae completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Improving Access to Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Disease in the Emergency Department” with Northwest Hospital.

Josephine Adomaah Eshun, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Josephine completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Creating a Tool for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners to Screen and Refer Postpartum Mothers with Complications During Well-Child Visits” with Stepping Stone Pediatrics.

Raman Grewal, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Raman completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Patient Satisfaction Survey Development and Implementation in a Free Clinic Setting” with Care Point Primary Care Clinic.

Bradley Houser, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Brad completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Furthering an Integrative Medicine Program in the Oncology Setting” with the Poly Clinic.

Coreen Klein, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Cory completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Furthering an Integrative Medicine Program in the Oncology Setting” with Swedish Medical Center.

Matthew Sean Krabbendam, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Matt completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Improving PIVC Complication Awareness, Prevention, and Reporting: A Quality Improvement Project” with Swedish Medical Center.

Cindy Jane Mato, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Cindy completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Policy and Procedure Evaluation and Customization for a Free Clinic” with Care Point Primary Care Clinic.

Flannery Jane Moran, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Flannery will be completing a DNP scholarly project with Family Care of Kent.

Azeb Zeleke, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. Azeb completed a DNP scholarly project titled “Transitioning from One EHR System to Another: Strategies for Overcoming Challenges and Ensuring Smooth Implementation” with Care Point Primary Care Clinic.

Following recognition of each student, Reverend Kelsey Rorem, SPU associate chaplain, led the graduates in a blessing of their hands anointing them for their calling to care for those in need. Rev. Kelsey blessed the cohort as they launched into the sacred and holy work of being the hands and feet of Christ. 

Dr. Christine Hoyle concluded the program with a benediction. While not being able to gather in person for the traditional presentation of the masters or doctoral hoods, the virtual program was filled with joy and celebration for the SPU Graduate Nursing Class of 2020. 

Highest Honor Awarded to DNP Candidate


The SPU 2020 Graduate Commencement was held online in a virtual ceremony on Saturday, June 13. President Daniel Martin welcomed students, faculty, family, and friends in his opening remarks. While not being able to celebrate together, Dr. Martin shared that there is a big distinction in where you graduate and where you graduate from. Graduating from Seattle Pacific University provides the foundation for who graduates are and how they think, giving contour and definition to life and reflecting the optimism and grace of God.

During the ceremony the 2020 President’s Citation Award was given to Josephine Eshun, Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner candidate. This award is given to a graduating master’s or doctoral student who exemplifies the mission and vision of Seattle Pacific and is among students with the highest academic standing in their class. Invited to share, Dr. Lorie Wild revealed that Josephine is poised to make significant contributions to the health community both locally and globally. Josephine is dedicated to breaking down barriers to care for marginalized populations, gaining trust for improved health care outcomes. She was accepted into a prestigious, highly competitive, and rigorous residency program in the local community. In the future she plans to return to her home country of Ghana to work as an advanced practice nurse and open an international teaching hospital. Josephine is a skilled clinician with a warm and confident bedside manner. Her DNP scholarly project on postpartum mothers is of the highest caliber and has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of women and families. Josephine talks and lives her Christian values and embodies the values of Seattle Pacific University. The School of Health Sciences proudly celebrates as we recognize Josephine for this high honor.

The ceremony continued with a commencement address from Dr. Lynette Bikos, associate dean in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. Following the address each master’s and doctoral candidate was recognized online during the program and the ceremony concluded with the degrees conferred by SPU President Daniel J. Martin.

Tradition Perseveres: Pinning June 14, 2020


In a season of workarounds and adjusting to the challenges of virtual connections we add the Spring 2020 Lydia Green Undergraduate Pinning Ceremony. While looking very different, this time-honored tradition of the School of Health Sciences proceeded and was as special as ever. 

A portion of the ceremony was pre-recorded and shown live as the 31 graduating students were on screen via Zoom with their loved ones. The program began with a prayer and blessing upon the students by faculty member Carol McFarland. Dean Lorie Wild provided a warm welcome and expressed how proud she was of this class as they completed their program through unconventional challenges intensified by the pandemic. President Daniel Martin addressed the class with a heartfelt appreciation for their chosen profession, as it embodies the SPU mission of serving others in times of need and living a life of greater purpose. The scripture Deuteronomy 15:11 was selected and read by Hannah Hudson because of its exhortation to care and love for all those in need. A prayer of gratitude and blessings was delivered by Melissa Schultz. In her class address, class president Julianne Paine shared a reflection of how the class cohort bonded and grew together in support of each other over the past two years. She expressed that through their shared experiences they helped shape one another into individuals who are compassionate, dedicated, kind, fierce, confident, and resilient, all great traits of a nurse. 

Special recognition during the ceremony included presentation of awards by Associate Dean Antwinett O. Lee. Harmony Low was also announced as the Outstanding Academic Scholar, earning the award with the highest GPA in the nursing major. The Outstanding Clinical Practitioner was awarded to Elizabeth Kudenchuk, chosen by the SHS faculty as the student demonstrating the highest level of performance in the clinical setting. The Award for Competence and Character was presented to Melissa Schultz. This peer-awarded honor is for the student who values serving others and has demonstrated excellence in scholarship while exhibiting honesty and integrity.

Faculty member Desiree Hoffman explained the significance of the pin as a graphic interpretation of SPU, representing learning and the achievement of four qualities: competence, character, wisdom, and grace. Donning the pin ushers the graduates into the nursing profession. As each name was announced, viewers were able to see each student being pinned by their loved ones. Some students were surrounded by multiple family members, some with one person, and some were joined by loved ones via video chat on phones, but they all were very special to view in this unique format. 

Faculty and students joined together to recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge and faculty member Heidi Monroe concluded the ceremony in prayer and blessings over the students. The ceremony was one for the record books, with its unorthodox delivery, but still very heartwarming and special. The Lydia Green Nursing Program faculty members proudly welcome their newest colleagues into the nursing profession.

A Day to Reunite


In conjunction with the annual Seattle Pacific University Homecoming, the Lydia Green Nursing program hosted its annual Nursing Alumni Reunion on Saturday, February 8, at the School of Health Sciences Building. Celebrating the legacy of being a SPU nurse, more than 40 alumni attended the morning tea.

Alumni came from near and as far as Chicago, spanning the decades from 1969 to 2019. Among the attendees were Deanna Ritchie ’69 and Marcia Berggren Johnson ’80. Deanna attended SPU during the era of collaboration with UW, when nursing students completed their final coursework at UW. The class of 1969 was the first class to complete all four years at SPU and we were pleased to recognize this 50-year milestone with Deanna. 

In addition to giving alumni a chance to reconnect, Dean Lorie Wild welcomed alumni and reflected on the rich nursing history at SPU. A part of that history included leadership under SPU Dean Emeritus Annalee Oakes, who passed in late October. Dr. Oakes was a tremendous leader for nursing both at SPU and the larger professional community. She will long be remembered as a nurse, scholar, mentor, and woman of God. 

The SPU nursing program remains strong, with faculty fully immersed in rolling out the concept-based curriculum for the undergraduate program. The graduate program has 11 BSN-DNP graduates this year. The MSN program is considering redesigning its Nurse Educator program and possibly offering a post-grad certificate. 

Lorie Wild announced that she will be retiring at the end of the 2019–2020 academic year. Lorie joined SPU as dean in 2012 and practiced nursing and nursing administration for 30 years prior. She has wonderfully attended to undergraduate programs in Health and Human Performance and pre-licensure nursing, as well as graduate nursing programs, including the launch of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Dr. Antwinett O. Lee will assume the position as interim dean.

The memorable day was capped off with building tours, including the Clinical Learning Lab and Simulation Suite, and scanning the wall of consecration photos. If you are ever on campus, please do stop in to take a quick tour and see our nursing memorabilia. 

Getting Into the Nursing Program

A common inquiry to the School of Health Sciences is, How do I get into the nursing program

Gone are the days of expressing your interest in nursing and maybe sitting down with the likes of Lydia Green to tell her of your intent (an actual story reminisced at the most recent alumni reunion). Admission to the Lydia Green Nursing program is highly competitive. Our most successful applicants demonstrate strong academics, excellent references, work or volunteer experience, strong communication, quantitative skills, and professionalism. 

Completion of an application for admission consideration is a given. As the admission process has become more competitive the admissions process for undergraduate program entry has been one of continuous process improvement over the past several years, including adding an in-person interview component. 

Conducted in a group setting, four to five applicants are asked questions by a panel of interviewers. The interview questions are designed to get a better picture of who the applicant is as an individual. We have found the process to be useful to assess the applicant’s personal abilities, level of maturity, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking that are not necessarily reflected in a GPA. 

The interview day is bursting with excitement as the applicants arrive. Most often they are well prepared, excited, nervous, happy, and scared all at the same time. Several student leaders currently in the program serve as group leaders to talk with applicants and prepare them for the interview session. The process is a group effort with faculty, community members, alumni, staff, and current students all playing vital roles. 

If you are interested in serving on an interview panel, we would love to hear from you. We currently interview two times per year, usually in November and February. Please respond with your interest to

Until Next Time …

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