Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders News

June 2021 Newsletter

Executive Director Update - June 2021

Gift yourself a day...

We all know how important rounding is to help get a true sense of how the team is doing or gain perspective on challenging situations plus celebrate and reinforce whats working. For the past six weeks, I have embarked on my own version of rounding with Nurse Leaders across the Northwest. Small face to face meetings, an opportunity to hear how it's really" going and to see a smile in person, a hug... it has been enormously refreshing and welcome change.  No surprise, it's still tough out there and hospitals and clinics are still bustling, people are tired, nurses are getting harder (understated) to come by. I'm hearing a general sentiment that what is needed most right now from leaders is time, and a little free "head space" to step away, reset and refresh, even if just for a day.  

In giving yourself the small gift of time, and enabling your team to do the same, perhaps moving through and forward will become more clear. The mental version of clouds parting and the blue sky peeking through. 

You are the faces of Courage, Grace and Grit.


Presidents Message

The pandemic is losing ground and we are emerging from the crisis with new discoveries. Some good, some different, some ominous unless we create opportunities based on what we have learned to change the trajectory of nursing through leadership, innovation, advocacy and rising together!

The good news!

The nursing pipeline is strong, our nursing programs are still seeing high enrollments and the interest in nursing is positive and profound.

What is different

Patients are coming back to receive care in person. The acuity and volumes are overwhelming the systems in many areas throughout Oregon and Washington. The reasons may be a combination of things; patients fearful of seeking medical care during the pandemic are now experiencing acute symptoms of chronic conditions. Virtual visits offered limited understanding of in-the-moment chief complaints; patients with multiple health issues have exacerbated "symptomology".

What is ominous

The nursing workforce is at grave risk. Turnover is high and this is just the beginning. Many of our most experienced nurses are cutting back or planning early retirement. It is estimated that 20% of the nursing workforce will retire in the next 10 years. Our RN preceptors are fatigued and have reached saturation. The great limiter is the ability to onboard graduate RNs while maintaining our experienced workforce to provide a safe, cohesive orientation and achievement of competency.

Our opportunity

Is it time that we re-imagine the role of the professional nurse and capture a narrative that shapes and guides the work that nurses do? This will require sharpening the focus and partnerships between academia and organizations that employ nurses. What can we do to incorporate upstream thinking to address health and social determinants of care long before acute care is needed? The past focus on educating and training a BSN workforce to be highly skilled for acute care and hospital settings will need to shift in order to meet the needs of supporting healthy populations today.

Unleashing the professional nurse on the larger public health issues and increasing access to care outside of crisis care will help contribute to how nurses are prepared to deliver care. The professionally trained Nurse should be primed for advocating for regulatory and legal changes to support this shift. Nurse leaders will play an important role in looking forward to innovative solutions and ushering in a strong narrative for nursing.

Professional nurses are thought leaders who lean into challenges as demonstrated by our strength and ingenuity during this past year. This is our catalyst moment!

President Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders
Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
Kelly Espinoza, PhD, RN


Corporate Partner Highlight 

Jeron Electronic Systems

At NWONL we focus heavily on leader development and part of this is the ability of leaders to field effective systems and processes. In June we have partnered with Jeron Electronic Systems to focus on this aspect of leadership. Jeron brings a significant base of experience and is providing our Member Leaders a learning session (June 23rd NWONL webinar) that will discuss and answer questions about incorporating better communication strategies that bring frontline staff, management, and administration closer together to help reduce the strain of patient and staff isolation.

Value Proposition

It is no surprise that now more than ever clinical leaders are being tasked with maintaining and improving quality patient care amidst pre and post pandemic protocols. This is precisely what compels NWONL to give Jeron the June highlight. Bringing together the right technologies to create a total solution can remedy communication breakdowns that affect patient and staff safety and can diminish patient experience. Jeron specifically leverages standardized nurse call technology to streamline communications and create successful peer collaboration through alerting, everywhere-access, and workflow can improve outcomes. As we know, effective communications technology is a bedrock of conducting operations and should be a priority for every organization. Through the years of experience working closely with worldwide healthcare customers, Jeron Electronic Systems, Inc.  is leveraging significant advances in design and manufacturing technology, to offer a complete continuum of nurse call systems to meet the needs and budgets of a variety of healthcare facilities.  On the June 23rd NWONL webinar, Stephanie Kuhl BSN, RN, CPHQ, LEAN Certified Clinical Education Specialist will discuss and answer questions about incorporating better communication strategies that are applicable in any size or type of clinical environment. Stephanie will include ways to improve the quality of patient care and staff experience through cross-unit staff communication, avoid duplicate technology, streamline workflows to improve efficiency, and optimize existing resources.
We asked Stephanie, what should we be considering in leveraging technology to drive sustained positive outcomes, she remarks, “Through the creation of standardized practices within the system, using equipment like customized whiteboards and workflow stations with one-touch functionality. It reduces friction and simultaneously facilities can get a wealth of valuable information that applies to every department and will positively affect their day-to-day processes and ultimately drive improvements to patient satisfaction.”


While Jeron was founded in 1965 in a residence on the north side of Chicago, currently, Jeron Provider systems are sold worldwide and is still a family run business headquartered just 10 miles from where it all began over 55 years ago. When moving to the nearby suburb, the new Jeron headquarters provided the much-needed additional space for manufacturing, a new engineering design and testing center, and a new end-user focused hands-on experience lab called the Provider Technology Center. From a single room to our current home, Jeron has maintained a family focus including a direct line of communication from customers to senior management; enabling a nimble product design and manufacturing process that meets ever-changing customer needs. By working closely with their healthcare customers for many years and leveraging significant advances in design and manufacturing technology, their focus is on  assuring customers of the unparalleled reliability and safety of Jeron’s ‘Made-in-the-USA’ Nurse Call Systems that are certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories to the applicable UL1069 standard for “Hospital Signaling and Nurse Call Equipment.”


We invite you to visit our corporate facility, where our end-users, future clients, and partners can tour the headquarters with a hands-on, or interactive virtual tour, of our Provider Technology Center that has all our nurse call systems, options, and integrations on display!   Your tour will be customized to show how Provider nurse call solutions can address your unique challenges and pain points.
Contact Laura McKeown for more information. 


Upcoming CE and Informational Events

Leveraging Nurse Call Technology to Improve Safety and Quality Initiatives

1 CE Event, June 23rd 09:00 - 10:00 AM PST

Presenter - Stephanie Kuhl,
 BSN, RN, CPHQ, Clinical Education Specialist, Jeron Electronic Systems, LEAN Healthcare Consultant

Now more than ever before, clinical leaders are being tasked with maintaining and improving quality patient care amidst pre and post pandemic protocols. Bringing together the right technologies can create a total solution that can remedy communication breakdowns affecting patient and staff safety and experience within the healthcare environment. Stephanie Kuhl, BSN, RN CPHQ of Jeron Electronic Systems will discuss options utilizing nurse call technologies to improve outcomes by streamlining communications to provide actionable information. Stephanie will refer to specific examples of successful peer collaboration through nurse call alerting, communications, and workflow utilizing a LEAN healthcare approach.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss and answer questions about incorporating better communication strategies that bring frontline staff, management, and administration closer together to help reduce the strain of patient and staff isolation.
  2. Discussion topics to include ways to improve the quality of patient care and staff experience through cross-unit staff communication.
  3. Learn how avoiding duplicated technology, streamlining workflows to improve efficiency, and optimizing existing resources directly impacts patient care.

Click Here to Pre-Register

Rise Up as a Resilient Healthcare Leader Masterclass Series & Ultimate Dynamic Balance Bootcamp Information Session

June 27th 4:30 to 5:30 pm PST 

The dynamic duo, Michelle Troseth and Tracy Christopherson, from MissingLogic® will be LIVE with us in July to share two new learning and growth opportunities for NWONL members: 

A Free 3-Part Master Class Series on Being a Resilient & Balanced Leader (on-line, self paced)

 The FREE three-part master class series is offered as a self-paced on-line program with videos and workbooks for reflection.  NWONL leaders will  learn new ways of thinking and receive tools and strategies they can apply immediately and well into the future to create stability during times of change and chaos, become resilient, and live a balanced life. Each masterclass comes with a workbook to guide your learning experience.
Click Here to Pre-Register 

The Ultimate Dynamic Balance Bootcamp (September 13 – 17, 2021)

 The 5-day bootcamp is designed exclusively for healthcare leaders to help them experience more joy and be their best self in their personal and professional lives without feeling guilty, conflicted, and exhausted.  NWONL members will leave with a complete strategy and ready to implement it for creating balance between their professional and personal lives.
Click Here to Pre-Register 


Second NWONL Virtual Live is open!

2 CE Event, August 11, 9:00 - 11:30 am PST

Why attend?
Do you have a plan, or your organization is actively engaged in DEI initiatives, use this conference to validate, evolve and adjust targets and priorities plus methodologies. Do you do not (yet) have a DEI program in place: learn what it takes, best practices for healthcare organizations and its stakeholders, how to negotiate barriers and launch a program of your own and measure its outcomes. We are highlighting three themes during August event oriented on Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity:

Awareness of DEI including our own implicit biases.
Conversations to strengthen relationships when micro aggressions or biases occur.
Hiring strategies that are supportive of a diverse and healthy organization.
This is beyond topical information, its an an interactive work session brought by true expert leaders with deep experience in advancing healthcare initiatives. At a minimum you will increase your own capabilities and leave better prepared to advance in this crucial area of organizational and cultural development.

Presenter and Facilitator - Anna Franklin, MBA
Anna is the Director of Clinical Effectiveness at Providence. She is a diversity, equity and inclusion executive and Lean Six-Sigma master black belt with extensive experience in program development, strategy, change management, financial services, teaching, and communications. She is at the forefront of community led health equity initiatives across various organizations and communities. Anna is a thought leader in diversity, health equity and inclusivity, she focuses on social and political determinants of health and health system transformation. Her work bridges healthcare operations, strategic planning, technology, population health and public health – translating discoveries into meaningful, sustainable partnerships and practices for improved outcomes.

Click Here For Full Information and to Pre-Register

News You Can Use

Northwest Washington Council Update

We want to inform Membership that the Distinguished Healthcare Leader Michelle Sand, CNO Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics is working with NWONL to reinvigorate the Council. 2020 was hard on everyone and some Councils and were uniquely challenged. We thank Michelle for taking initiative and also Kelly Espinoza, NWONL President, for her direct support of the Council. Find all Council events on the Events Page or contact Michelle to be added to their email distribution list for meeting invitation:

June CNO & Dean Rounding

Bonnie Fryzlewicz, VP/CNO Seattle Childrens and Debra Ridling, Associate Chief Nurse for Practice and Research shared their three-year nursing strategic plan focused on Anti-racism and EDI.  Their plan includes 27 projects focused on diversifying our nursing workforce, belonging and engagement, and learning and growth opportunities, including Academic partnerships. The progress they have made, their simultaneous bottom up/organic and top down/strategic approach have yielded great progress and promise.  Are you in a senior leadership role and would you benefit from timely rounding with peers across both practice and academics? Send us an email at to request joining the monthly rounding (every 3rd Wednesday, 07:00 - 0:800 am PST).

June Leader Highlight Focus

We are dedicating June to Kelly Espinozas NWONL Presidents Message. 

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

We presented our 2021 Authentic Leader award to Julie Gilespie, MSN, RN, ONC. The nomination was noteworthy, take five minutes and give it a read.  

Development Commission Update

This commission has been working hard on finalizing the scholarship application and NWONL award process. We are delighted to offer two scholarships of $2500 each, to be awarded to members pursuing graduate-level education with a focus on leadership. Look for the announcement email later this week. Additionally, we are also pleased to announce the next NWONL Award Category, the Advanced Leadership Award.  We will be announcing the winner of the award at our upcoming August Summit. The award nomination can be found here and is open until August 5th. 

Leadership Commission Update

The last meeting was 5/27 and we had several important updates from the State Board of Nursing in Oregon, OCN, the Washington Nursing Commission and WCN:

Oregon Highlights

Washington Highlights

The minutes from the Commissions can be found on your member portal on the website under Member Menu, Resources, NWONL Files. If you are not familiar, it looks like this:


Career Center Update

How is the new Webscribble Career Center Platform is off to a compelling start! Here are our stats since we started on the new platform since April:

The reality is not all of us work in  large organizations with multitudes of sites and opportunities. Sometimes our options are limited and we need to change our focus in our career or look outside for talent. This is why we offer the Career Center. Consider it as a resource if either looking for a new focus or searching for talent in our region. 

Help Us Acknowledge and Celebrate our Leaders

Thank you AnneMarie West of Portland Providence Medical Center for enrolling your Leaders via the Large Group Membership. We truly appreciate your dedication to this organization and the Nursing Leadership profession. 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 

All Members - Monthly Relevant CE and Information Sessions are the Goal

We heard resoundingly in 2020 that for 2021 our Member Leaders need relevant and timely info and interaction. 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. Keep an eye on the Events Calendar, your email and social channels.

Advance Your Professional Presence and Add to Your CV

Do you have something you would like to consider for professional presentation? Submit it for consideration Continuing Education Offering Approval Form Not only as a Member Leader can you leverage NWONL for practicing and honing your skills, you can build your CV, trial concepts and ideas and contribute to a vibrant Northwest Nursing Leadership knowledgebase. There is something distinctly unique and valuable from sharing your knowledge outside the confines of your own team, department or organization. It is part of truly gaining perspective, feedback and advancing your practice. 

What We Learned

May 25th Seattle Council with  Renee Rassilyer-Bomers the Chief Quality Officer and Chief Nursing Admin as Swedish Health

Swedish Medical Center presented at the NWONL Seattle Council meeting about the Swedish Learning Day. Swedish Medical Center was able to host a virtual live event for their staff highlighting EBP work across their campus. This was the first time that the posters and presenters were interdisciplinary and highlighted the continued work to improve care and innovate during the past year. The leaders worked to mentor new presenters providing templates and support through the process. The day also involved presentation on current topics such as covid response and EDI. This was a wildly successful event and they are in the works to plan the next one for the fall. 

June CE: "Staffing Strategies: A Hiring Blitz? Lessons Learned from the Pandemic"

We learned to identify potential staff recruitment challenges, define strategies including virtual hiring process for new-grads and how to strategically implement the hiring process and how to evaluate the outcomes. That is a lot of information in a small amount of time. We truly appreciate our Member Leaders, AnneMarie West MBA, BSN, RN Director of Professional Practice, Portland Providence Medical Center and Lora Horn MSN, MHA, BSN, RN Director of Women and Children Services, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center for their work. They certainly deserve recognition as well, their goal was to hire 50 new grad RNs and 45 new grads were hired, all during a pandemic. Thank you for teaching us and congratulations on a job well done!

Second 2021 New Member Meet & Greet!

Our second Meet & Greet of the year was quite informational! We welcomed new Leaders from clinical department Management, multi-departmental Directorship, CNO and Deans. We heard from our new Member Leaders they are seeking peer connection for working through concepts and strategies, personal connection and techniques for advancing their own leadership style and impact on their teams. We have heard you and will reach out directly to those who attended to help them specifically with their unique ask and to connect them with their regional Council as well. If you missed this event, our next Meet & Greet is in October. We are also modifying the time, earlier, to make it easier for attendance (thank you for the feedback). 

Upcoming Meetings, Events and Regional Councils

Councils and Commissions are engaging and excellent ways to learn 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 in 2021?

More than we can quickly summarize but we will try:

What is Large 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

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.