Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders News

NWONL December 2021 Newsletter

Executive Director Update

Happy Holidays! We made it through 2021.

This year was arguably as challenging as 2020. Leaders across the region are now buckling in for 2022, which is shaping up to be more covid-surges, staffing challenges, retention issues, burnout (to name a few). However we are in a good place. We are bruised but not broken. We have learned much, grown exponentially and we are wiser.

NWONL is positioned to support you. Our Mentor program launches in January and now is absolutely an ideal time to get yourself and your leaders involved so they can leverage the wisdom and assurance of their seniors and peers across the region. We also are preparing for 2022 to deliver truly impactful guidance and tools for recovery and support, creating workplaces for nursing to thrive and overcoming workforce challenges. That’s just a start, we are going after improving clinical and academic partnering, recruitment and retention strategies, leveraging innovation and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. We also investing renewed energy into new leader development and increasing our legislative positioning and advocacy. It's a big plate, but we are undaunted. Our leaders, our nurses, our communities depend on us as. We will deliver.

You are the faces of Courage, Grace and Grit.


NWONL 2022 Board Update

To all Member Leaders who made time time participate in voting, again, thank you! New Board members and position changes have been reported to AONL and will reflect starting January 1st. Our Board for 2022 are Distinguished Healthcare Leaders from across our Region. We look forward to their stewardship and guidance!


Secretary - Treasurer

Development Commission Chair

Leadership Commission Chair


Leader Highlight

For December, we asked our 2021 Board Leadership to consider their year and share with us a few highlights and offer some honest reflection. By Nurse Leaders for Nurse Leaders, both from a personal and professional viewpoint.  Honest, thankful, hopeful.  We think you'll find a little of each in their reflections.

    "It’s aspiring every day for “My ideal day” a good place to start! I like to have a mix of spending time with staff and leaders rounding in the units and departments where I can see and engage with them authentically. I strive to make opportunities to improve on where we are; this might be in real time problem solving or discussing quality and patient experience “stories” with our teams. For me this has been exceptionally powerful. I have gained a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for my staff and teams after this past two years and, quite frankly, if we can laugh and find joy in our day, it is the BEST day!"
Kelly Espinoza, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer Legacy Salmon Creek. 2021 NWONL President, 2022 Past-President.

    "As 2021 comes to a close, it is hard not to reflect back on the incredible journey that we have all been on during this pandemic. As a healthcare leader a notable quote comes to mind, “Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of those in your charge” (Simon Sinek). No one can argue that healthcare workers have been pushed to limits that many never imagined. We have all spoke of resilience as a key attribute needed in healthcare today. As I reflect on my role as a leader, I truly hope that I have helped “those in my charge”. My hope is not that they have become more resilient healthcare workers, but that they understand their limits and they reach out to others for help. This is not the time to continue to say, “I’ve got this” or “I’m fine”. It is a time to say, “I need help” or “I need a break”. That is truly what is going to allow us all to endure into unknown territory as we continue to battle the pandemic and continue to have healthy and balanced healthcare workers into the future. Let’s all remember to be there and have grace for “those in our charge”.
Jen Packer, MSN, RN, CENP, Chief Nursing Officer OHSU Tuality Healthcare. 2021 NWONL President-Elect, 2022 President.    

     "2020 and 2021 have been a bit if a blur for me, as I suspect of most leaders in healthcare.  My most memorable interactions this past year all have to do with the unbelievably hard things our nursing staff had to do to take care of patients at the peak of our surge when we were at 150% occupancy. I’m still processing the entire experience and pray that we do not have to repeat it. Some things that helped me get through the year were my family, the incredible leaders and staff I am blessed to work with every day, daily exercise, and some books and podcasts that helped me decompress and focus on things beyond work. These include: The Rich Roll Podcast, The Ten Percent Happier Podcast, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle (podcast), The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (book), and Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (book). My hope for 2022 is that our health care teams will continue to find the courage to show up every day and do what is necessary to serve our communities and each other during such uncertain times."
Laura Magstadt, Vice President, Nursing. Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. 2021 NWONL Secretary-Treasurer Elect, 2022 Secretary-Treasurer.

    "We saw a lot of employment change in the last year. Some call it the great resignation.  I call it the great reflection.  Folks are taking time to contemplate their quality of life, values, and priorities and making changes to improve their happiness.  Taking time to reflect and improve is one of the most powerful tools available to us as leaders. Reflection helps us think strategically, grow, and successfully lead others. This year, my great reflection has led to a change in how I refuel myself.  I have cared little for my wellbeing in over 25 years in healthcare and nearly 18 as a nurse. Like many of us, I preached self-care without modeling it.  I told my employees to go home while I stayed to finish one last thing. I worked while I was sick or injured.  I took vacation sparingly and bragged as my time off bank grew beyond what I could reasonably use in a year. This year, I refocused my commitment to physical and mental health. The results of eating better, exercising, being mindful, and engaging in self-care were critical in avoiding burnout. I am not perfect. I fall short of my self-care goals many days or weeks. However, my renewed commitment to myself has made me a more patient leader, a better colleague, and improved my work quality. As you reflect on this past year, I challenge you to evaluate your self-care commitments. Is there something you could be doing to care for your wellbeing? Is there something you wish your team were doing that you could model better?"
Desi McCue, Desi McCue, 2021 NWONL Secretary Treasurer, 2022 President-Elect.

The year’s end provides an opportunity to not only reflect on the past, but more importantly, to look forward to the future.  I look forward to 2022 being a year of recovery, innovation, and growth. As nursing leaders, we are in a unique position to impact the health of our patients, families, and communities. I look forward to leading efforts to eliminate health care disparities for the patients and families that we serve, to develop creative and innovative nursing care models and pipeline/recruitment, and retention strategies to address the nursing shortage, and to develop programs and structures to support our nursing leaders. I firmly believe that our front-line nursing leaders are critical to our success and often under-appreciated and supported.  We have opportunity, both at our own organizations as well as through NWONL, to develop robust development and support systems for nursing leaders. Supporting self-care and work/life balance are critical to ensure the resilience of our leaders. Taking time away to enjoy friends, family, and personal pursuits is key and I work to not only promote that but to be a role model as well.  For me, baking, reading (novels!), and frequent weekend getaways in our RV are ways that I disconnect.  What are yours?"
Bonnie Fryzlewicz, VP Patient Care & CNO, Seattle Childrens Hospital.     2021 NWONL Development Commission Chair, 2022 Secretary-Treasurer Elect.

    "A year of challenges and change from retirement to volunteering at COVID clinics to new professional adventures highlighted by landing a part time rob in Maui – right!? Pinch me… Reflecting over 42 years of a career is an emotional roller coaster ride which caused me to pause and reflect on how to contribute from past and current challenges to support future growth and resiliency in others. My greatest learnings are to listen generously, use manners (please and thank you), and give grace – we all have our own story.  Making professional connections and sharing information to others is what fills my cup.   I have been a NWONL member for longer than I can recall and as I am leaving the NWONL Board in 2022, after a very long tenure, I can’t encourage every nurse leader more to participate and be present with your peers. You will get a return in spades.  Best wishes and wrap some hope around your realities for 2022!"
Pam Steinke, Senior Vice President, St. Charles Health-system, 2021 NWONL At-Large Member, Representative to OAHHS.


Awards and Celebrations

Congratulations to Susan Stacey!

"Following an extensive search, Susan Stacey has been selected as Chief Executive for the Providence Inland Northwest Washington service area of the Washington & Montana Region. Susan currently serves as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. She brings more than 35 years of experience to this position, beginning as a registered nurse in our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Throughout her career, Susan has served in instrumental roles such as executive director of the children’s hospital and women’s services, director for the orthopedic service line and PICU nurse manager. Susan received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Washington State University and she holds an MBA in Health Care Management. She serves in several board positions with local community and business organizations including Partners with Families and Children and the Washington State Hospital Association and President of NWONL."

Susan is our longtime Member and former President and board member. Thank you Susan for your longtime service to both NWONL and our Regions healthcare needs. We are truly better as an organization and profession because of you.

Seeking to Reflect on 2021?

As Leaders of professionals, awareness and authenticity are two of the most salient attributes we can employ in engagement. Those can be hard to couple. We humbly offer these (hopefully fun) points of interest for hosting one on one or small group discussions over the Holidays with your colleagues and teams.

A Day in the Life

Getting Personal

Looking Forward & Gratitude

Mentor Program Launching in January!

At a challenging time when we think we can't possibly add on one more thing, this may be the exact time when mentoring or being mentored will be most helpful. 

Create Your Mentor/Mentee Profile Here Now

Our Member Leaders share a common experience and belief. To be truly competent and impactful as a Nurse Leader is more than just "time in service". It requires an array of capabilities gained and honed through diverse experiences. Is that enough? Of course not.

Do you feel like there is more to gain and offer as a Nursing Leader?  Are you a Nurse Leader seeking clarity, guidance and inspiration to advance your practice? Are you an Senior Nurse Leader ready advance the careers of aspiring leaders and in turn hone your own leader development capabilities? We, like you, believe that Mentorship, when done well and consistently, is an incredibly powerful tool to achieve these goals.

As a NWONL Member you have the opportunity, included with your Membership, of being both a Mentor and a Mentee. Our cohort launches in January 2022 and is backed by the single most trusted mentoring program development platform available for Nursing Leaders: MentorLead. They are experts in bringing Mentor and Mentee together meaningfully to facilitate amazing outcomes. We are not alone in our choice of an expert provider; AONL, ACNL, Multi-Care, Yale, Stanford, plus a myriad of others, are all in agreement. 

Want more details? See our NWONL Mentor page FAQ here. 

What We Learned

December 16th, Future of Nursing: Leader Preparation and Competency in Emergency and Crisis Management

NWONL Board Member, James Reedy MBA, MHA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE Chief Nursing Officer, St. Charles Redmond presented on his DNP program work to date at the University of Pittsburg. James' work is encompassing Leadership of Nursing in Emergency and Crisis Management. He is actively engaged in evaluating various hypotheses and in data collection mode. He is striving to advance the understanding of what historically has been the preparations and practices, the current state and what the direction (for future work) should encompass. The session was highly interactive as the subject is both nuanced and multi-faceted. Peer Leaders were able to provide direct opinion and feedback on hypothesis, testing and next steps. James assures us that NWONL will be included going forward.  Expect to see surveys for additional data gathering as well as report-outs as the project develops. Thank you James! We look forward to helping and being kept abreast of your progress and ultimately its findings/outcomes.


Upcoming CE and Informational Events 

January is (typically) the month where Council Leaders reset times/dates for meetings.
Check the NWONL Events calendars for details!

CNO & Dean Rounding
January 20th,07:00 - 08:00
Invitational Event
Agenda forthcoming, email for invitation if not already confirmed.

Development Commission
January 12th, 12:00 - 1:00pm PST
NWONL Members, information and request invitation here.

Leadership Commission
January 27th, 12:00 - 1:00pm PST
NWONL Members, information and request invitation here.

2022 Board Planning Event
January 7 -8
Invitational Event
Current and Elect Board Leaders will convene in small group and virtually to ratify strategy, offerings and budget for 2022.

Mentor Program Launch
January 17th
Enroll here now, or find more information here.

Southern Oregon Council
February 2, 3:00 - 5:00pm PST
Members are always welcome, even if not in the region. Find more information and register here.


News You Can Use

November Leader Highlight, if you did not read it yet... 
For November, NWONL highlighter our Member Leader Nancy Wiederhold, MN, RN, CSRN, Nursing Manager, Complex Care & Med-Surge Unit, University of Washington Medical Center for both her career accomplishments but in recognition of her 2021 NWON Scholarship award.  Read the Highlight Here.

Development Commission Update
The commission did not meet for regular session in December. The Chairs and Executive Director have convened to layout dates/times/goals for 2022, to be provided to the Membership in January. 

Leadership Commission Update
In parallel to the Development Commission, Leadership did not meet for regular session in December. The Chairs and Executive Director have convened to layout dates/times/goals for 2022, to be provided to the Membership in January. 

Career Center Update
To say our switch to Webscribble as a career center partner was a success is an understatement. We migrated in March 2021 and year-to-date, our expectations have been completely shattered... in a good way! The reach, effectiveness and scope of the new platform is unexpected. We honestly thought they were all about the same, we were wrong. We offer this service in partnership with Webscribble for our Members as a way to help them both in acquiring staff but also as they personally are seeking change. With that, we encourage you to leverage the NWONL Career Center as we know leaders and staff from our region most likely stay in our region, Oregon and Washington plus the surrounding West coast areas (predominantly California). Take a look should you have interest: NWNOL Career Center.

Did you know NWONL has a personal Recruitment Specialist assigned to us?
Yes! It means you have an extra hand, a recruitment professional that is also a pro in using the NWONL Webscribble career site. Our contact is Jonathan Andrews. Feel free to share his information with your recruitment team or contact him directly: 


2022 Member Event Survey Results

Wow, the feedback was great! Here are some of the key findings:

Event Attendance

This is good to know! It means that not only do we need to keep a consistent flow of events, but we need to keep them varied and "smaller" as our Leaders are busy (understatement). 

Top 10 Focus Areas for 2022, in order of priority.

  1. Recovery and Support for Nursing Professions (addressing burnout, PTSD, resiliency, wellbeing)

  2. Creating workplaces for Nursing to thrive, grow and stay engaged.

  3. Overcoming workforce challenges and creating opportunities.

  4. Improving clinical and academic partnering.

  5. Recruitment and retention strategies.

  6. Leveraging Innovation (ie. Surge planning, virtual and tele-health)

  7. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (beyond awareness)

  8. New "covid" nursing graduates. How to set them up for success.

  9. New leader development.

  10. Legislative actions, positioning and advocacy.

While this is a "top-10" list ordered by the number of respondents, the content and priority are not necessarily indicative of the state of all organizations or regions. With this in mind, our Development and Leadership commissions will utilize this feedback to better field timely and relevant resources and events to Members.

Annual Event?

We asked do you want an annual event (similar to past annual events, pre-covid). The response was a resounding YES! Albeit with trepidation, as there is a keen desire to remain leaders modeling best practices in an age of evolving covid related risks. Here is what was requested:

Great feedback! With this we can locate areas, amenities and size appropriately. In fact, we've already started! We are excited about this prospect and will provide high level event info ASAP. Expect that in January. Look forward to a Q2 event likely in the Portland or Seattle vicinity.


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

Jan 7-8, NWONL Board Planning
Jan 12, Development Commission
Jan 17, NWONL Mentor Program Launch
Jan 19, CNO & Dean Rounding
Jan 27, Leadership Commission
Feb 02, Southern Oregon 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. Leader Highlight and Member Newsletter are finalized the second week of the month for delivery the 3rd week. Email us at to be included. 


Finished 2021 Strong!

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.