Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Public Health Colleagues!

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

As you have read in the year-end email communications from our leadership, Public Health has had an exceptionally productive year.  On July 1st, the Nursing Office began our 4 year, 2.8 million dollar grant to prepare the next generation of ambulatory care nurses.  We are leveraging the work of this grant across the department to support the training and development of our nursing and medical assistant staff. Look for more information and sharing of this resource in 2019 and beyond.

Thank you for another year serving the residents of King County.  We have the privilege of working in this amazing organization, making a difference in the lives of many.  I am very proud to support you in the care you provide to our community.  Have a safe, happy and healthy 2019.

The Washington Center for Nursing has just released their nursing workforce report. It made me curious to know what our internal statistics were in comparison.  I’ve highlighted interesting data from the report below, with our data at the end of this blog post.    Continue reading

Public Health – Our Health

During Nurse’s Week 2018 the Office of Nursing launched a blog to bring about awareness to the important role that Public Health plays in the care of our community. In the spirit of friendly competition we decided to invite our nursing group to send in suggestions for our official “Name Our Blog Contest”.  After recieving many deserving entries the Office of Nursing is thrilled to announce our winner, Paul Kunkel. His entry was simplistic and to us, embodied our mission at Seattle & King County Public Health. Here are Paul’s thoughts surrounding his entry:

“I suggested that our Nursing Office blog be named “Public Health – Our Health” because I have worked in Public Health for over 27 years – 15 with Chelan-Douglas Health District and 12 with Seattle & King County.  When most people discuss health care, they focus on primary care, procedures, and hospitalizations.  For those of us who work under the radar in Public Health, we know that everyone benefits from the safety net we have built.  Our focus is on prevention and holistic health.  We provide nurturing prenatal, pediatric and family planning care.  We prevent epidemics, strive to diminish community health problems and are prepared to provide services during catastrophic events.  Public Health programs provide a solid foundation for everyone’s health – our health.” ~ Paul

Please join us in celebrating Public Health – Our Health and the extraordinary work that our Nurses do to improve the health of our community!

Blog Winner

Paul Kunkel, Public Health Nurse (left) and Amy Curtis, Nurse Recruiter (right) at Columbia City Center for Public Health

Nursing Office receives HRSA grant!

image003By Dorene Hersh

I am very pleased to announce that the Nursing Office has been awarded a 2.8 million dollar grant over the next 4 years.  Our grant is titled: Ambulatory System Supported by Education and Training (ASSET).

Our goal is to establish Public Health as a training center of excellence for community-based primary care nurses.  We will create a formal programmatic partnership with Seattle Pacific University (SPU) nursing program in order to train baccalaureate nursing students in the provision of evidence-based, trauma-informed primary care to medically underserved populations (MUP).

Year 1: Develop standard work for all positions in our ambulatory care clinics.  We will next develop a Nurse Residency Program to fully train and orient new nurses in public health to work at the top of their licensure.  Curricula will include chronic disease, substance use, behavioral health and trauma-informed care.

Year 2: We will provide senior clinical practicums to 7 SPU nursing students (per year) using the “Dedicated Education Unit” model.  It will bolster the education of students and RNs practicing in these settings, and will result in broader and lasting outcomes for patient care, nursing practice, and health status indicators.

Years 3 & 4: Extend the program into our community with other schools of nursing and community health centers.

This grant will develop the infrastructure to maximize our learning management system and SharePoint across Public Health for all divisions.  Dorene Hersh will be the Principal Investigator, and Shayla Holcomb is the Project Liaison.  We have an evaluation component and will periodically update you with our progress through this blog and our SharePoint site.

We look forward to the learnings associated with this wonderful opportunity. It is a gift for our organization and community.



Celebrating National Nurses Week

Why I Chose Nursing

Guest post by Antwinett O. Lee, EdD, MSN-CNS, RN Associate Dean, Undergraduate Nursing and Assistant Professor of Nursing at Seattle Pacific University

When I was in High School, I volunteered as a Candy Striper in the hospital. During my time as a Candy Striper, I was mesmerized by the role of the nurse and how they provided care at the patient’s bedside. I was constantly observing nurses and doctors on the unit and knew in my gut that Nursing was my calling.

Antwinett O. Lee Pic

Antiwinett O. Lee, EdD, MSN-CNS, RN

Over the years, many people have asked me why I did not become a doctor and I always tell them that I was called to be a nurse. I chose nursing because of the diversity of roles, experiences, and settings available to the profession of nursing.

As a nurse, one is taking care of vulnerable populations and delivering care with the three C’s —Caring, Compassion, and Competence. Not only are nurses providing the 3 C’s but they also do this in a multitude of settings and roles.

In my nursing career, I have served at the bedside as an Oncology Nurse, been an Assistant Head Nurse, Pheresis Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Public Health Services Supervisor, Disease-Base State Manager, Corporate Educator, Nurse Educator, Home Health Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Home Health Nurse Manager, Nursing Program Director, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Nursing.

Overall, nursing has been my life’s work and I love the nursing profession and my colleagues. Nurses make a difference every day no matter where they choose to serve and that is why I chose nursing.