Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders News

April 2021 Newsletter

Executive Director Update - April 2021

April has been encouraging. Sentiment is changing. 

Welcome Spring! Leaders are actively making room for strategic thought, organizational development and themselves. What a change, a mere eight weeks ago we were still in crisis response mode.  Last year a level of cultural stress, unseen since the 70’s, was heaped on top of it all and a flame was lit. The intensity continues to smolder as the pandemic related logistical and clinical crisis calms down and our Nation grapples with moving towards a more just, equitable reformative state. Important steps were made this week and there is much more to be done. 

I was moved deeply as my own CEO of Providence responded after the verdict from Minneapolis, reminding all of us to embrace our role as healers in working to overcome our collective pain, heal our cultural wounds, and endeavor to redefine and deliver a future that is inclusive for all. He didn’t have to make a statement, but he chose to lead and do it with conviction.

Why am I sharing this? 

We as Leaders are increasingly expected to be visible and weigh in on ethical and moral issues, with conviction. We risk losing our credibility, our authenticity and our leadership impact by remaining overtly neutral or passive. Taking the risk to lead by conviction is a hallmark of powerful leaders. It’s also something that is both emotionally challenging and perniciously difficult to leverage with consistency and authenticity without script or agenda. How do we do more of this ourselves, at all levels? Consistently and authentically? In the April newsletter to Leaders I’ll offer a bit more on this topic, some concepts and tools that were recently shared with me. I hope you find them as eye opening and valuable as I have. 

You are the faces of Courage, Grace and Grit.

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Upcoming CE and Informational Events

Virtual Live Event - with Moe Carrick! 

2 CE Event

April 26th Noon - 2:30 PM PST

Moe Carrick, executive leadership and organizational development pro has been resoundingly called back by the Membership to facilitate a workshop on developing personal and teams to "regaining our strength" as we emerge from the Pandemic and define our leader roles going forward. This is beyond inspirational, it is an educational and  actionable work session. You will absolutely come away with capabilities you did not have prior to working with Moe and your Leader Peers. We are thankful she is our continued Trusted Partner and are truly excited to have her back at NWONL in 2021.

Event Info and Registration Here

Seattle Council - Pandemic Impact on Nurse Resiliency 

1 CE Event

April 27th. 5:30 - 6:30 PM PST
Presenter:  Marie Cockerham, MSN, RN

This course will provide the Nurse Leader with updated information on the WA DOH behavioral response report along with the impact and resources for leaders. Open to Members and non-members who have interest.

Event Info and Registration Here


News You Can Use

April CNO & Dean Rounding

At this month's CNO/Dean Rounding call, Jennifer Gentry MSN, RN, NEA-BC and Chief Nursing Officer Providence Portland Medical Center, shared the powerful work that she is leading in her organizations journey of improving RN engagement and a sense of empowerment.  Taking into account the effect that the pandemic has had on morale, she went back to the basics. Starting with ANA's Code of Ethics, a healthy reality check of the current situation, and a keen understanding of healing after a disastrous year, the Leadership team developed a plan to capitalize on Post-Traumatic Growth through 5 Domains. This is a beautiful example of using what we know about healing from traumatic events to redefine what the "Year of the Nurse (part 2) can look like with an emphasis on redefining professional practice, expectations and building a workforce that is empowered. 

For more information or for a copy of Jennifer's presentation, please email

If you haves specific questions, contact her directly: 

Can you benefit from timely Rounding with peer Senior and CNO Level and Dean leaders? Contact to request addition to the Rounding invitation list. 

Leader Highlight Focus

In April we circle back in April to follow up with Jen Packer, CNO at OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center (formerly Tuality Healthcare). We last interviewed Jen in mid 2020 in the center of pandemic response. Jen shares a candid view into her leadership style, the direction of leadership heading toward post pandemic and offers a strong call to action for all of us… plus a bit of what she is learning for fun. Take five and enjoy the interview here. 

If you are a Leader who has a perspective to share... The Leader Highlight is your opportunity as a NWONL Member to showcase your work, bring forward thought-leadership, share a day in the life, a call to action, a retrospective, significant project or celebration get in touch with us, and let's capture some stories and work to advance all Members leadership practices.

Thank You Providence Portland Medical Center!

Jennifer Gentry CNO of Providence Portland Medical Center is the latest Leader to enroll in the Large Group membership. Jennifer has taken the initiative to enroll both emerging and longstanding leaders in NWONL for personal and organizational advancement. Jennifer, your support further energizes us in our endeavor to deliver on our Mission of enhancing Nurse Leaders capabilities so they can be at the center of the future of healthcare in our region. 

Decency Quotient. What is it and why should I be adding this to my Leader capabilities?

Cindi M. Warburton DNP, FNP, Executive Director NWONL

“DQ” was introduced to me in a recent leadership deep dive with peers. Let’s start with definitions and relation. DQ is decency quotient. It is related to IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient) as the third, often overlooked variable in the triad IQ + EQ + DQ. Though I mentally visualize them less as a linear equation and more as complimentary overlapping circles, aka venn-diagram. The reason I’m sharing this is I believe it to be vital in its power and impact as it is the activation and delivery component of the three.  

I was introduced to work by Dean Bill Boulding, Duke University, Fuqua School as an introduction and guide (read the full article here). It is certainly worth your time and consideration. In summary, Dean Boulding relays that  “leaders who possess the ability to perceive unity and instill common purpose exhibit triple-threat leadership capability.” Which he defines as "IQ+EQ+ DQ." 

Where IQ is the mental and technical ability driving competence in a role, the  EQ is the interpersonal empathy and sensing plus understanding of self and other emotional needs in the surrounding environment. The DQ component, in my view, ties them together. Dean Boulder sums DQ as “ truly caring for others and wanting to do right by them.” That’s easy to say, but what does it look like in practice?  How does it tie the others together?

Dean Boulding outlines four characteristics of DQ:

  1. Value, respect and care for others.
  2. Using your role to elevate others to bring out their best.
  3. Humility to learn from others.
  4. Integrity to be honest, transparent and accountable to self and others.

Boulding goes on with a call to action stating that “leaders can cultivate decency by modeling the behavior, holding people accountable and celebrating decency within an organization”. What he tops it off with is that, while related to EQ and heavy on interpersonal behavior, its certainly isn’t “soft.” When you consider that IQ is self focused and EQ is self + others sensing, DQ is therefore the effective delivery of both. Certainly this is an area worth exploration and cultivation in our own Leadership journeys and developing our next-generation leader cadres.

Thanks to a personal friend and fellow leader, Craig Wilhelm, USA ret. for introducing DQ to me. Among many endeavors, Craig is an active member of the Secretary of the Army’s work on understanding and delivering on cultural changes for diversity and inclusion. To say he is a long time leader and a wise one at that is an understatement. Thank you Craig for always having the will to advance leadership at all levels for everyone. Your willingness to be curious, learn, adapt, change and lead with humility and authenticity is a model. 

March Leader Highlight, if you did not read it yet... 

In March we are working to build upon or awareness and desire to advance our DEI initiatives. We reached out to our respected NWONL Members and Peers, Valorie Taylor and Frankie Manning, both African American Nurse Leaders of Distinction. Our goal was to hear from them personally what it means to be a Nurse Leader who is not part of the "majority". They offered a candid glimpse that is noteworthy and also identified key opportunities. We believe that the more we are aware and desire change and the better we become at crafting processes and cultural norms that mitigate bias, the stronger we become individually and collectively. Beyond ourselves, the potential impact on our healthcare delivery outcomes is profound. We emphatically encourage investing time to read the interview here: Leader Highlight section.

April 8th Tele-psychiatry Info Session, what we learned:

Mental Health is at the cusp of what and who we are. It also, like many issues from the last year, has been a priority in the need for access, interventions and innovative approach. This session was an informative overview on where tele-psychiatry programs are being implemented and augmenting the continuum of care. It was surprising to learn about just how integral nurse leaders are in making the case for it in their organizations. For more information about this, you can contact Richard Field

Career Center Upgrade - Are you a Job Seeker?

Frustrated by searching through massive job boards to find opportunities relevant to you? Do you want an easier way to find jobs targeted specifically toward your qualifications and career interests? We hear your laments and subsequently relaunched the NWONL Career Center to help meet this need. You can start today by creating a job seeker profile at If you already have an account, you can access it by resetting your password. When you create a profile you can:

Transformational and Authentic Leader Awards

Our sincerest of thanks to all Member Leaders who participated in the first half of 2021 Award recognition. We will announce our awardee(s) at the the April Live Event on the 26th and via email and our online presence for all members should you not be able to attend as well. The May newsletter will expand on the award and be assured, there will be a second round of awards for the second half of 2021 and we will keep you notified. 

Mentorship Program Update:

The NWONL Leadership Commission is actively working through program goals, controls and implementation of a Mentorship Program based on the MentorLead platform. Rollout is pending and as a Member exclusive you will be kept advised of our progress. This is a huge advancement for our organization to provide a structured Leader Mentor program and are truly excited to roll it out. Keep in mind that there will be a vetting process for both mentor and mentee to ensure fit and quality.  For those who may wonder why mentoring? Here is one, all Magnet  Status organizations have a mentoring program. Another, it is very powerful but also difficult to get right and many organizations struggle, especially the smaller ones. We, like our peers ACNL and AONL are positioning to help our Member Leaders in this area. We are truly excited to add this capability.

Help Us Acknowledge and Celebrate our Leaders

We know you are doing exciting things out there that are worthy of Celebrating! And we have the perfect place to do that very thing in the NWONL Leader Highlights. Send us a quick note so we can be in the know admin@nwonl.orgWe know you are doing exciting things out there that are worthy of Celebrating! And we have the perfect place to do that very thing in the NWONL Leader Highlights. Send us a quick note so we can be in the know

All Members - Monthly CE is our Goal.

In 2021 we are striving for monthly relevant CE for all Members. So far, we haven't missed a month and there are more to truly valuable learning events to come that you can use immediately in your professional practice. Our theme for early 2021 is learning from our immediate past. For a glimpse: May is "Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave – Galvanize Retention Even During a Pandemic" and June is "Staffing Strategies: A Hiring Blitz? Lessons Learned from the Pandemic". Keep an eye on the Events Calendar, your email and social channels.

Advance your Professional Presence

Do you have something you would like to consider for professional presentation? Submit it for consideration Continuing Education Offering Approval Form

Upcoming Meetings, Events and Regional Councils

Councils and Commissions are engaging and excellent ways to get involved and connected with your Nurse Leader peers. Join one!

See all events in one place here at NWONL Events

Do you know what NWONL has planned for 2021?

More than we can summarize but we will try:

What is Group Membership?

It is both a simplified registration and renewal process for members and organizational billing with a discount that recognizes the large scale commitment from an organization. Groups enjoy exactly the same benefits of single Membership in NWONL including: access to free webinars, legislative health policy updates, CE opportunities (CE is always no additional cost to Members), Council attendance and reference, formal board and committee leadership service potential, research on best practices, first access plus discounts on NWONL’s annual conference, regional and virtual summits and professional development courses. That said, if you EVER have any issues with new Member add or Renewal, regardless of organization size contact us immediately! We are a very small staff but we always want to improve.

What is Sponsorship? 

Essentially it is a member paying for membership on another's behalf. Its a unique method for rewarding and promoting others who may not be in a position personally or organizationally to obtain membership. Do you want to assist others in getting connected meaningfully to the Northwest's Premier Nursing Leadership network... this is your lever. Simply email us at and we will get you setup. 

Join or Renew

A Sincere Thank You to our Corporate Partners

Some of you may not know, but in 2020 and now into 2021 several of our longstanding Corporate Partners have continued to support us even as the pandemic continues and uncertainty abounds. They certainly did not have to, and in doing so they are proving yet again, they stand alongside the mission of NWONL for the long-haul. 

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