Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders News

August 2021 Newsletter

Executive Director Update - August 2021

This time its different... 

There is a heaviness in the air as we all face the realization that once again, nursing is thrust into an unwelcome and unrelenting crisis. 

It’s different this time and we all are feeling it. Moral and ethical dilemmas abound, resentment is building and burnout is pervasive. The break room talk of “I’m done with this…” feels like its at an all-time high. Add in the challenge of vaccine mandates creating a rift with a significant amount of caregivers openly voicing disdain for those (peers and patients) who are unvaccinated and conversely, outrage on the other side of the argument lamenting a no-vaccinations and don't impinge my freedom angle. Perhaps these are problems that have been smoldering for sometime, but they have been fanned into infernos over the last several weeks. It feels like a “hot mess” out there. 

Here are two observations, and I assure you, no platitudes: First, as Nurse Leaders, we have been here before and we will move through this. Complex and “messy” situations are our forte. To do it "sanely" requires that we continue to support each other, connect,  and share the lessons along the way. It is far easier when we all take on some of the burden. Second, we have the opportunity to shape the narrative that is driving the trajectory in this pandemic response. This requires Nurse Leaders to get out in front, be seen, heard and lead. It also means relentless listening and understanding. All of that requires endurance. Likely more that our last go-around... take care of yourself, so that you can continue to lead.

You are the faces of Courage, Grace and Grit.


Leader Highlight

In August, NWONL has chosen Peggy Woolf, a longtime and exceptionally active Member who we consider a core-contributor to our Mission. Peggy might tell you she is a “retired” but given her involvement in the regions nursing initiatives, I’d submit that’s an overstatement. What we admire greatly in Peggy is her demonstration of the impact of lifelong nursing on individuals, organizations and the communities they serve. We asked her to share some wisdom and guidance with us.
CW – Peggy, you've been a longtime Nursing Leader and member of NWONL. Tell us about your career and where you are now.
Peggy“My nursing career has afforded me the good fortune to do a variety of things in different parts of the country. My work experience included direct patient care (25 years), teaching nursing (5 years), and eventually formal leadership (15 years). I enjoyed patient care and imagined being in that role for my entire career, until I was recruited into management. When in my first real management job, I planned to stay for two to three years and then return to active patient care. When the two-year mark arrived, I clearly realized there was a lot remaining that I needed and wanted to do in that role, and I certainly still had much to learn. I also began to understand that being in formal leadership enabled me to have a wider sphere of influence than was possible in most direct care positions, even the ones in which I had nearly boundless opportunities to grow.
I have now been retired five years. A tendency of mine is that I can easily overextend myself. I took to heart the wise words to dip my toes in slowly to do whatever was next for me. My various post-employment volunteer activities have centered on leadership, finance, civic engagement, and determinants of health. I continue to enjoy being a NWONL member, geographically located with the Portland & Vancouver Council. In addition to the networking and continuing education, I’m glad to be working on judging and now updating/developing the various NWONL awards—very inspirational. When I was employed, NWONL helped me get outside my everyday “stuff” and look at leadership more broadly. Participating in regional council gatherings was always refreshing. Now I find I still can be refreshed as a retired member and of course through virtual means in 2021. (This is not a paid political announcement for NWONL; it’s simply the truth.)”
CW – Yours is clearly a demonstrated and distinguished career. What has been noteworthy? What stands out for you and why?
Peggy – “One thing that struck me is how much overlap exists in nursing with other disciplines and roles in life. When I decided to pursue graduate business studies later in my career, I purposefully chose to step away from the medical campus and study with people in different fields. I wanted to learn and see things from different points of view. I found spending time in this alternative setting increased creativity as I worked to prevent, define, and solve problems in my last two formal nursing leadership positions. Another thing that stands out is how well both nursing and management prepared me for an assortment of post-retirement volunteer positions.”
CW – So it wasn’t just direct Nursing and Nursing Leadership, it was across the spectrum… Given your background and experience, what are the perennial challenges and opportunities face both new leaders and longstanding leaders? 
Peggy“Two challenges/opportunities are especially clear for me. The first is we must continue to support one another as nurses and nursing leaders—during a pandemic or not. Without working together as team members, I don’t see how we can thrive or even get through each day. The second is the challenge of staffing. Whether in professional or lay media, nursing staffing is front and center. I point out to those studying to become nurses and those who are new nurses – numerous possibilities will exist for you. I also encourage them to spend adequate time in direct care nursing, even if they have different end goals for what they wish to do.”
CW – You identified the critical need of being a team and supporting one another and the (ongoing) need for developing nurses. Expanding on the above: What do you forecast on the horizon for nursing leaders and what should we be talking about and working on that we may not have engaged on (or enough) yet?
Peggy“First, fairly recent history tells us that if we nurses don’t work inside and outside our ranks to clearly define and solve the staffing issue, others outside of nursing will try to “solve” it for us. And almost certainly the non-nurses will see the solutions as those based merely on tasks, rather than based on the professional role of nurses. I care about this issue as a nurse and also as a patient. Second, we as nurses do a great job of communicating amongst ourselves the value of nursing. What we do not do so well is to quantify this value and to get the information about our worth out there to the rest of the health care world and to the public. Only when my friends and family require some kind of nursing care do they begin to understand its importance. Here’s an aha moment: looks like I have not done an adequate job communicating to those closest to me the significance of who we are and what we do.“
CW – What I interpreted was “we need to ensure we are involving and communicating well outside our ranks and own organizations” if we are to make an impact and sustain change. What are key points, both personally and professionally, you would like to share with aspiring and new(er) nurse leaders?
Peggy“At this point in my post-employment phase, I have the benefit of perspective to look back over five decades of nursing. Nursing leadership has provided me with tremendous personal and professional growth. My most intense management position started with seemingly insurmountable challenges, even though I had good support from my director and others. In fact, to this day I sometimes consider what this director would think or say about a particular predicament. Thank goodness I powered through, although I’m not exactly sure how I did that. Nursing leadership changed the way I see the world. Now, as a seasoned leader, when I become aware of a particular situation in which judgment may seem to come easily, I wonder about the rest of the story, because very likely there is more to the situation than what I just heard. What a gift! I found I became a more intentional listener. I have a healthy level of skepticism not unlike the kind I had when I was the parent of a teenager. The percentage of what I hear that I take to be certainties decreased during my years of formal nursing leadership and stabilized at well under 50%. That has led me to see even more clearly the need to evaluate the accuracy of circumstances that appear to be facts. My nursing leadership career was and remains a huge part of my life. It also prepared me for what was next after full-time paid employment. I am grateful for what my nursing leadership career has given me.”
CW – That was a powerful closing response, especially (for me) your point that there is very likely more to the situation and how nursing prepares you to see the world in a different way. I speak on behalf of our Board and Membership when I say thank you.


Upcoming CE and Informational Events

The Leadership Survival Bootcamp

A 5-Hour* Live Virtual Survival Bootcamp exclusively for healthcare leaders to create an individualized leadership survival blueprint, so they can be resilient, feel healthy and have an impact on their team in and in their organization. Survival Bootcamp sessions are 1 hour each day for 5 consecutive days 

Open to All. Provided by Missing Logic
Monday through Friday,  6 - 7pm EST (3 - 4pm PST).
Replays will be available each day, 1 hour after the session.

The Dynamic-Duo, Tracy Christopherson and Michelle Troseth of MissingLogic, have provided NWONL Members, at a discounted rate, a unique and overtly beneficial virtual (online) learning activity that occurs for 1-hour each day for 5 days (Monday-Friday). During the survival bootcamp sessions participants will learn a proven strategy for establishing and sustaining dynamic balance between their personal and professional lives and develop a personalized blueprint for action to meet their unique needs. It is the kind of engagement that you can immediately use with yourself and your teams. We encourage you to attend. 

Survival Bootcamp Schedule:

Day 1: Looking at Balance Through a New Lens
Day 2: Clarity on What You DO and DON’T Want
Day 3: Putting Your Action Plan in Place
Day 4: Establishing Your Early Warning System
Day 5: The Secret Ingredient


NWONL Roundtable - Leading Through Emotional Upheaval

Member Info Session Provided by NWONL
Wednesday September 22nd 
10 - 11 am PST

"Moral and Ethical dilemmas in covid-care, vaccinations and making difficult decisions when supporting your teams." Join fellow leaders as they round to share what is working in their teams and organizations as our Region moves through a pandemic resurgence response that is very different emotionally than the recent past. A panel of NWONL Member leaders across the region will be present to share what is working and to engage with fellow Member Leaders to better position themselves and their teams as we move through these new challenges. 

Coming Soon, a Second Chance 

Embracing Our Diversity with Authentic Leadership with Anna Franklin

November 2021, date and time TBA

A Second Event?

Demand was high for the initial August Live with Anna Franklin and so was our staffing and pandemic response demands... Many were able to attend and many said they wanted another chance. Anna Franklin has graciously agreed to a second round with NWONL! As a bonus, we are extending the program time moderately to allow for more engagement and practice with Anna. 

Awards and Celebrations!

Advancing Leader Award

Our second award for 2021 was announced and presented at the August Virtual Live event. We congratulate Gretchen McCullough MSN, RN of OHSU for her obtaining the nomination and selection by her NWONL peers. Gretchen will be our September Leader Highlight where we will share her nomination plus some of her career experiences with our Members. Congratulations Gretchen!

Career Advancements

Jennifer Gentry, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Jennifer has taken on a larger scope to include leadership across Providence: Oregon Regional CNO at Providence. Jennifer also serves on our Board and is highly impactful in both Oregon and the Region's healthcare advancement. Congratulations Jennifer, Providence is fortunate to have you in their ranks.

Anna Franklin, MBA, our highly respected affiliate and DEI expert, and Virtual Live Event facilitator, has taken on an even more expansive role: Regional Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Providence. Additionally, Anna currently serves on Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Women’s Commission; on the boards of directors of the Spokane Branch of NAACP and Spokane YWCA; and she is a member of the Health Science & Public Health Advisory Board of Eastern Washington University; she chairs the PHC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee; Congratulations Anna, we are honored to have you as our steadfast partner.

Significant Commitments

We want to thank Jerome Mendoza Dayao MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, CCRN-K , CNO of Harborview Medical Center for taking the initiative to sponsor and renew 26 Nursing Leaders at Harborview. Jerome, like many of our Leaders is a highly visible and respected voice for Nursing Leadership across the region. Thank you for your ongoing support Jerome!

News You Can Use

Council Updates

Have you joined into your local NWONL Council?
With so much to learn and information to share, we invite you to participate in the Council meetings that unique to NWONL members. Yes, you can join a council outside your area, many members attend multiple councils! Follow the links below for complete information and to contact the Council Leaders directly for addition to their invitation lists. 
Upcoming Council Meetings:

Sept 17th Portland & Vancouver Council 
Sept 28th Eastern Washington Council
Sept 28th Seattle Council

August CNO & Dean Rounding

For the first time in a year and a half since launching the Regions only emerging/immediate "issues rounding" for executive level leaders from practice and academia... we made the choice to cancel the August session. While a difficult decision, our regions senior leaders simply needed to focus exclusively on the current pandemic response surge. We certainly were not anticipating this and be assured, we are on track for September. Kindly email to request addition to the distribution/meeting list.

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

For July, NWONL asked Debbie Brinker, MSN, RN, CNS, Washington State University Dean for Clinical Affairs and Faculty; AACN Clinical Scene Investigator, Academy Faculty and Leadership Consultant to reflect on her distinguished career and offer what are some key learnings from her work in DEI. With 46 years of Professional Nursing, Debbie humbly offered some lessons learned and a call to action for Nurse Leaders at all levels. Take a moment and give it a read.  

Career Center Update

Here is an interesting stat, as of August, we have had 41 organizations (employers) register with NWONL's Career site since the March launch. Each of them selected NWONL as a Northwest Nursing resource  solely on its reputation and reach. It was already hard enough to find talented staff pre-pandemic. We know leaders and staff from our region most likely stay in our region. Therefor Our focus is Oregon and Washington plus the surrounding West coast areas. Take a look should you have interest: NWNOL Career Center

Development Commission Update

Our Development Commission has delivered on the second Award for 2021 and is engaged in Scholarships. NWONs Scholarship cycle opened August 16th, all Members were notified via email.  Two awards of $2500 each are offered to NWONL members pursuing graduate-level education with a focus on leadership. Application period will close September 20th at midnight.

Leadership Commission Update

The next Leadership Commission meeting in Aug 26 and included legislative and policy updates. As a standing meeting, sometimes it is "behind" then newsletter. Therefore an additional Member email will be sent out afterward with a brief update.  

What We Learned

NWONL August Virtual Live with Anna Franklin

The primary goal of a virtual-live event is to engage with leaders meaningfully, that they might then immediately employ the content. On this goal Anna delivered strongly. Key takeaways included:

Demand was high for the initial event and unfortunately so was our unplanned staffing and pandemic response demands... Result, many were anable to attend but said they wanted another chance. Anna Franklin has graciously agreed to a second round with NWONL and as a bonus, we are extending the program time moderately to allow for more engagement and practice with Anna (feedback was overwhelming that more time was needed). Our plan is for a November date/time. Look for announcements and event registration coming soon!

Corporate Partner Highlight - MissingLogic®

We have been fortunate to have MissingLogic on our side this last year and a half and given that they have extended multiple offerings to NWONL Members we wanted to highlight them so you could also find out why we appreciate their ongoing support as well as the value they bring to our Member Leaders. We would like to introduce you to the Dynamic Duo Michelle Troseth, MSN, RN, FNAP, FAAN & Tracy Christopherson, PhDc, MS, BAS, RRT, founders and partners who lead MissingLogic.

The Dynamic Duo’s Partnership Story and The Birth of MissingLogic®

In 2018, Michelle and Tracy co-founded MissingLogic to drive the creation of healthy healing organizations by coaching healthcare leaders to live thriving resilient and dynamically balanced professional and personal lives thus transforming healthcare one leader at a time.  They have developed two frameworks, the Dynamic Balance Effect Framework™ and the Healthy Healing Organization (H2O) Framework™.  Both frameworks are grounded in Polarity Intelligence™ which is the “missing logic” in healthcare.  Michelle and Tracy are also co-hosts of a top-ranked healthcare leadership podcast, Healthcare’s MissingLogic Podcast. In the past 18 months, Michelle and Tracy have held several survival bootcamps for healthcare leaders to achieve dynamic balance in their lives during the pandemic.  Following the survival bootcamp participants have joined their many coaching programs which lead to their unique healthcare leader community membership called the Court of Support for Healthcare Leaders. In summary, Michelle and Tracy have been very busy...

What Can MissingLogic do For Me?

First, they acknowledge the truth that it’s likely going to get tougher before it gets easier. Michelle and Tracy have been through it, our Member Leaders are going through it now (again) with the new COVID-19 Delta variant on the rise and the myriad of both clinical care and organizational leadership challenges borne from it.  What MissingLogic is striving to do is facilitate leaders to prioritize health and well-being before the craziness and escalating challenges burn you out. That is why they have crafted a specific program to help leaders who are constrained. Therefore, since we are all exceptionally busy putting everyone’s need before your own, staying at work, bringing work home most nights, and missing opportunities to spend time with your family, then we highly recommend gifting yourself a bit of respite and taking MissingLogic's offerings into consideration. Learn more at MissingLogic®

To Michelle and Tracy, on behalf of NWONL, thank you for your ongoing support of our Member Leaders and our Mission!

Upcoming Meetings, Events and Regional Councils

Councils, Commissions and Events 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

Aug 24th Seattle Council - NOT IN SESSION FOR AUG

Aug 26th NWONL Leadership Commission

Sept 8th NWONL Development Commission

Sept 10th NW Washington Council

Sept 13 - 17th 5-Day Survival Bootcamp

Sept 15th CNO & Dean Rounding

Sept 17th Portland & Vancouver Council

Sept 20th NWONL Scholarship Application Ends

Sept 22nd NWONL Member Roundtable: Leading Through Emotional Upheaval

Sept 23rd Leadership Commission NWONL

Sept 28th Eastern Washington Council

Sept 28th Seattle Council

Maximize your Membership

Advance Your Leadership Skills Repertoire 

It is one thing to lead from a position of authority within the boundaries of your own organization. Its a completely different skill set to influence and lead others outside your organization and when you have no positional authority. Yet as we move laterally and vertically in our organizations and regions we must master the ability to influence and lead others regardless of their position and organization. The more you advance in your career, the more the need for adaptive leadership skills. You can read about this, even take classes and get mentoring. Ultimately do do it well means you have to put in the time to practice. Consider leveraging NWONL in this journey. Through Council, Commission or even Board Leadership, you have the opportunity to develop and hone your skills outside the boundaries of your position and organization. 

Expand Your Professional Presence and Add to Your CV

Do you have something you would like to consider for professional presentation? Are you a Graduate or Doctoral candidate with something to share? Do you or your team have a salient project or program outcomes that are compelling? Do you simply want to increase your skills at public presentation? 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. NWONL has the capability to support you in these endeavors. Submit your idea/concept/presentation/research for consideration Continuing Education Offering Approval Form. If you have something that you feel is worthy but not directly CE related, that is also an option for you, reach out to us via the Continuing Education Offering form (above) or contact us at  Sharpen your skills, build your CV, trial concepts and ideas and contribute to a vibrant Northwest Nursing Leadership knowledgebase.

Stay Meaningfully Connected and Informed

To move from a distinctly local operations focus to strategic and visionary leadership requires being attuned to what is happening not only in your organization but in your community, state and region. To hack a well worn phrase, no organization is an island... When you make time to join and attend Councils, information and CE events and contribute, you invariable are brought close to what is really impacting your community and region. These affect all of us in the Northwest, large and small. As a Leader, staying attuned to the what, where, why, who and how of your community, state and region is a hallmark of an influential leader.

Acknowledge and Celebrate Peer Leaders

We strive to recognize both the little and big events that mark our careers. They all are important in their own unique ways and ultimately contribute to the legacy we will leave upon our teams. Our primary methods is to both recognize strong leadership formally and make it visible to our members. Each month we seek to acknowledge the advancements and contributions of Member Leaders and affiliates though direct recognition at events and our Newsletter and a Leader Highlight. Annually we conduct our awards and for 2021 we have issued two thus far, our Advancing Leader Award and Authentic Leader Award. 

What next for the second half of 2021?

Two quarters down, two to go...

Membership Info

What is Large Group Membership?

It is a simplified registration and renewal process. Organizations submit a list of new or renewing members, we add them and one payment is made for all. In lock-step with AONL, a Large Group Membership discount is also given.Group Members enjoy exactly the same benefits of single Membership in NWONL including: access to webinars, legislative health policy updates, CE opportunities (peer 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? 

There are Nurse Leaders in our region that do not have organizational support for Membership, for a variety of reasons and that is understandable. Sponsorship is when Member pays for the 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. A Member may sponsor one other non-member for a year. The dues are $95 and akin to the privileges of the graduate student level 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. 

Need to reactivate a membership? 
We are not sure if you knew this but, there is no penalty for late renewals, your account will simply "time out" and you will go into a dropped-pending reinstatement status. You can pick back up when your able. 

Having Issues with reactivating or renewing? 
Nurse leaders are exceptionally busy... we certainly don't want to pile on, so email us at and we will take care of it for you ASAP!

Want to renew early? 
If you want to pay early, you can do that too, your membership term is extended for a year from its end date. Of note, invoices are generated 30 days prior to renewal. 

Re-activate your Membership 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. Every one of our Partners offers demonstrated value and we are grateful for their ongoing support.