Master of Nursing


Master of Nursing Symposium

Graduating Master of Nursing students come together for one to two days of oral presentations as the culmination of their graduate degree work. Each student presents their capstone project informed by their work in the field. The symposium is always an impressive arena for students’ innovative work and dedication. This is a public event. Guests and community partners are welcome to attend. 


Mark you calendar for the spring 2023 Symposium

  • Schedule: Wednesday & Thursday, June 7th and 8th, typically from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Presentation schedule available Mid-May of 2023
  • Options for guest attendance

Spring 2022 Presentations

Presentations are listed below and are available to download here.

Day one: Wednesday, June 8

Presenter Presentation Time 
Mei Louie 9:15 am -9:35 am
Kristen Barrante 9:40 am -10:00 am
Sarah McGuire 10:05 am -10:25 am
Sarah Lewicki 10:30 am -10:50 am
Break 10:50 am -11:05 am
Lee Johnson 11:05 am -11:25 am
Brett Zalkan 11:30 am-11:50 am
Kirsten Caldejon 11:50 am -12:10 pm
Gurpreet Pawar 12:15 pm-12:35 pm
Lunch  12:35 pm-1:05 pm
Nicole Todd 1:05 pm -1:25 pm
Stephanie Beebe 1:30 pm -1:50 pm
Melora Riveira 1:55 pm -2:15 pm 
Kye Steele 2:20 pm -2:40 pm

Day two:  Thursday, June 9

Presenter  Presention Time 
Stefani Ostrowski 9:00 am -9:20 am
Christal Salib 9:25 am -9:45 am 
Maria (Nina) Kirk 9:50 am -10:10 am
Chris Linton 10:15 am -10:35 am
Bradley Stanbary 10:40 am -11:00 am
Break  11:00 am -11:05 am 
Jamie Lamb 11:05 am -11:25 am
Michelle Zundel 11:30 am -11:50 am
Taylor Sytsma 11:50 am -12:10 pm
Megan Haan 12:15 pm -12:35 pm
Catherine Nolan 12:40 pm -1:00 pm
Lunch 1:00 pm -1:30 pm
Vanessa Rodgers  1:30 pm -1:50 pm
Jodi Cooley 1:55 pm -2:15 pm
Dennis Dulle 2:20 pm -2:40 pm

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Presenter: Mei Louie

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Mo West and Dr. Linda Eaton

Time: 9:15-9:35 am

Transforming Nursing Education to Meet the Changing Workforce and Health Care Needs
In the MN Nurse Educator track, I dedicated coursework, extracurriculars, and fieldwork towards achieving the National League for Nursing Core Competencies for Nurse Educators and discovering evidence-based and innovative teaching methods to facilitate the development of clinical judgment skills in nursing students. I also learned of the call for faculty to prioritize implementing teaching and learning methods to help students gain effective critical thinking skills. During my fieldwork, I developed up-to-date nursing simulation curriculum, led debriefing to promote reflective practice, and co-founded the MN Peer Community, which provides peer mentoring and other opportunities to enhance learning outside of the classroom.

Presenter: Kristen Barrante

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stoerm Anderson and Dr. Meghan Eagen-Torkko

Time: 9:40-10:00 am

Engaging Underserved Populations in a Community Health Needs Assessment
Barriers to accessing healthcare in the United States disproportionately affect underserved populations. Acting in a consulting role during my fieldwork experience, I developed a comprehensive plan for Verdant Health (VH) to conduct a supplementary, qualitative community health needs assessment (CHNA). This CHNA will engage with underserved individuals and communities in VH's service region, whose needs and voices may be less clearly revealed in the quantitative survey that is typically used for such needs assessments, in an effort to improve health outcomes and promote more effective and sustainable care. Having focused my study on global health during my Master of Nursing degree, I intend to emphasize active community engagement as a central tenet of professional practice to advocate for improved health equity, both locally and globally. 

Presenter: Sarah McGuire

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Mo West and Dr. Nora Kenworthy

Time: 10:05-10:25 am

Reducing Readmission Risk for Older Adults After an ED visit: A Quality Improvement Project
As a post-acute specialist leading quality, education, and technology initiatives at EvergreenHealth Home Care, I recognize transitions of care are perilous times for older adults. These transitions carry the risk of further patient decline due to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and insufficient follow-up. This project focused on older adults transitioning back to their home setting after a visit to the emergency department. I worked to develop a quality improvement project designed to reduce patient risk for later ED return or hospitalization at EvergreenHealth based on available best-practice literature and EvergreenHealth emergency department data and processes.

Presenter: Sarah Lewicki
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Linda Eaton and Dr. Chris Wade
Time: 10:30-10:50 am

A Break in the Workforce Pipeline: Nursing Program Capacity Challenges  
As a Nursing Professional Development Practitioner at Seattle Children’s, I pursued the Master of Nursing Administrative Leadership program to learn about creating systemic change within the nursing profession. I developed a policy brief for my capstone project to address nursing program capacity challenges, as qualified applicants are being denied admission to nursing schools nationally and in Washington state. This presentation outlines factors impacting nursing program capacity, approaches to address capacity challenges, and current legislation impacting nursing education. This presentation also addresses strategies for how nursing professionals and community members can engage in advocacy and the legislative process to create change.

Presenter: Lee Johnson

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stoerm Anderson and Dr. Jody Early

Time: 11:05-11:25 am

Implicit Bias Education for nurses at Swedish Medical Center.
Implicit bias refers to unconscious attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes a person may have towards another person(s).  In healthcare implicit bias may promote negative health outcomes for marginalized patients.  For this project, current implicit bias education at Swedish RNs was reviewed and analyzed. A literature review of peer-reviewed evidence on the effects of and tools to mitigate implicit bias was conducted.  Strategies were developed to administer, review, and analyze RNs self-awareness and beliefs on implicit bias, and a more comprehensive for implicit bias education was developed. 

Presenter: Brett Zalkan

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Sunita Iyer and Dr. Mo West

Time: 11:30 - 11:50 am

A Psych RN Kobayashi Maru: Paths to Success with Behavioral Health Patients in the ED
This project investigated challenges that behavioral health (BH) patients present for emergency room nurses. These patients consume the time and energy of nurses. While the presenting crisis is acute, the underlying pathology tends to be chronic with an uncertain prognosis. Many studies demonstrate that nurses regard these patients with stigma. They tend to view a positive outcome as unattainable and thus hesitate to develop therapeutic relationships with the patients. As the nurses grow frustrated working with the population, quality of care diminishes, boarding times increase, and the probability of readmission grows. At one Seattle area hospital, new ER RNs participate of a simulation with BH patients that replicates such frustrating encounters. As originally written, the simulation results in the patient's refusal of medication escalating to an agitated state. In debrief, participating nurses express feelings of demoralization and futility. This project revised the simulation so that nurses can use therapeutic communication methods to de-escalate the patient and achieve her cooperation with care. Following this simulation, nurses expressed much more optimism about working with BH patients. Instead of reinforcing negative attitudes, the simulation intends to create an expectation that with patience and an authentic attempt to communicate, RNs can gain the trust and cooperation of the BH patient.

Presenter: Kirsten Caldejon
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stoerm Anderson and Dr. Chiyoung Lee 
Time: 11:50 am-12:10 pm 

Integrating Mentorship Frameworks to Increase Nurse Retention in Education and Healthcare 
Nursing shortages and increased nurse turnover have been a recurring problem in nursing. Additionally, as the population of the United States grows rapidly in diversity, it is essential that the nursing workforce mirror the populations it serves. I collaborated with Shoreline Community College to conduct interviews with underrepresented students aimed at informing mentorship frameworks focused on nurse resiliency and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Using the leadership skills and techniques explored in this program as a foundation for my project, I will utilize the information gained from this Capstone experience towards mentorship and retention practices as a nurse leader at Swedish.   

Presenter: Gurpreet Pawar

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Jamie Shirley and Dr. Nora Kenworthy

Time: 12:15-12:35  pm

Educational Project related to Heparin Infusion Therapy
Unfractionated heparin (UFH) is anticoagulant agent widely used for prevention and treatment for thromboembolic disorders.  This medication has a high-risk profile due to its narrow therapeutic index, frequency of titration needs, and adjustment of dosage monitoring per lab results.  My capstone project focused on the development of an educational program for acute care nurses to learn to implement a new Nurse-Driven Heparin Infusion policy at the Seattle Veterans Affair Medical Center (VAMC).  The policy is designed to enhance nursing autonomy and improve patient safety outcomes.  I collaborated with the Nursing Educational department of VAMC to develop, deliver, and evaluate a training program that would alleviate staff concerns and facilitate effective implementation of the policy.

Presenter: Nicole Todd
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Chiyoung Lee and Dr. Jamie Shirley
Time: 1:05-1:25 pm 

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: Utilization of a Discharge Teaching Checklist
Surgical site infections (SSIs) have long plagued hospitals, physicians, and patients. Discharge teaching plays an incredibly important role in preventing SSIs and empowering patients to act early. To better understand the relationship between SSIs and discharge teaching, a review of the literature was conducted. It was determined that implementing a discharge teaching checklist at the bedside allowed patients to reflect on their own needs and allow staff to identify potential gaps early. This project's original intention was to examine how a bedside discharge teaching checklist might impact SSI readmission rates. However, due to constrictions of the Omicron surge, the project shifted to focus on how feasible the bedside nursing staff felt this would be in their daily workflow.

Presenter: Stephanie Beebe

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Chris Wade and Dr. Ko Niitsu

Time: 1:30-1:50 pm

Program Analysis of Harborview Medical Center Outpatient Burn Clinic Center of Excellence
Burns are physically and psychologically painful wounds to endure. The Harborview Medical Center Outpatient Burn Clinic offers multidisciplinary care to patients who were burned on the job through the Center of Excellence (COE) for Burn Care program. This program has been in effect between Washington State Labor and Industry and Harborview since 2017, and this capstone project focused program analysis of the COE for Burn Care through the perspective of a nurse manager. The project consisted of data collection and analysis to ensure that injured workers needs are being met and activities that expedite effective return to work are prioritized with recommendations for ongoing success.

Presenter: Melora Riveira
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Shari Dworkin and Dr. Stoerm Anderson
Time: 1:55-2:15 pm 

Adapting and Implementing a Patient Acuity Tool: Improving Operational Efficiency and Nurse Satisfaction 
As an advanced practice nurse, the ability to improve the work environments of our nurses will continue to be more critical than ever. Retention of highly skilled nurses ultimately improves patient outcomes and organizational costs. Through the lens of the AONL competencies focused on business skills, knowledge of the healthcare environment, and communication and relationship building, I had the opportunity to initiate a collaborative quality improvement project aimed at understanding how adapting an evidence-based acuity tool for a hospital-based infusion and procedural unit could impact nurse satisfaction and operational efficiency. The ability to integrate the voice of the staff is central for the advanced practice nurse to lead and advocate for resources effectively. 

Presenter: Kye Steele

Scholarly Committee: Dr. Chris Wade and Dr. Jamie Shirley

Time: 2:20 - 2:40 pm

Growth and Development Through Building Capacity in Advanced Practice Nursing Competencies
As an RN in the cardiac catheterization lab at UWMC, my educational goal has been to develop my skillset for leadership, combining my passion for cardiology with a business focused acumen. I chose four competencies from the American Organization of Nursing Leadership which are: evidence-based practice and outcome measurement and research, diversity, financial and strategic management, and information management and technology. My focus has been on enhancing advocacy for nursing staff, gaining financial and business literacy, and advancing my own practice and understanding of the challenges that face modern healthcare.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Presenter: Stefani Ostrowski
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Nora Kenworthy and Dr. Chiyoung Lee
Time: 9:00-9:20 am

A Resilience Toolkit: Helping Nurse Leaders Foster Resilience Amongst Frontline Nurses 
As a graduate student in the Master of Nursing Program at the University of Washington, I have pursued coursework focused on administrative leadership. My studies and fieldwork concentrated on professional competencies related to staff retention, the promotion of staff development, and relationship management, as outlined by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. My capstone work was completed in partnership with the Washington Center for Nursing, with whom I created a resilience building toolkit for nurse leaders to implement with their frontline teams. Future goals for myself include furthering work towards fostering resilience in the nursing workforce and promoting nurse retention. 

Presenter: Christal Salib
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu and Dr. Ko Niitsu
Time: 9:25-9:45 am

Reimagining Nursing Education
My presentation is a reflection of my journey in the MN nurse educator track. I utilized the National League of Nursing’s novice academic educator competencies as my guiding framework. My interest in innovative teaching methods led to my fieldwork in nursing simulation.  As part of my fieldwork experience, I gathered the latest evidence-based practice guidelines that nurse educators can use to facilitate simulation. I also created a literature review matrix on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to enable their integration into nursing simulation. I am thankful for my time at UW because it allowed me to explore creative, non-traditional ways of teaching and learning through advanced technology, pedagogy, and nursing theory which I plan to use with my learners in the future.

Presenter: Maria (Nina) Kirk
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Jody Early and Dr. Meghan Eagen-Torkko
Time: 9:50-10:10 am 

Addressing Discrimination and Bias in the Nursing Workplace: Developing Learner-Centered Education
During the MN program, I sought to achieve MN program goals and strengthen National League for Nursing competencies to become a change agent, leader, and nurse educator. In this Capstone project, I applied a mixed methods approach (an online survey and class learning activity) to assess RN-BSN students’ knowledge, skills, and comfort with addressing discrimination and bias in the workplace. Results underscore the need for integrating anti-racist pedagogy and curricula in nursing education programs. Findings and recommendations can support the development of nursing curricula that prepares nurses to help create inclusive work environments and challenge systems of power and privilege that perpetuate inequity for both staff and patients.

Presenter: Chris Linton
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu and Dr. Chris Wade
Time: 10:15-10:35 am 

Developing Postpartum Discharge Curriculum for Pre-Licensure Nursing Students 
The United States has high maternal and infant mortality rates compared to the rest of the developed world. A way to help decrease these rates is to provide individualized, comprehensive, and patient centered postpartum education to the birthing person and their family. To support nurses’ ability to provide this important postpartum education, nursing schools should prepare their students through a comprehensive obstetric curriculum that emphasizes core obstetric knowledge and postpartum discharge teaching.  The purpose of this project was to create a learning module that will educate prelicensure nursing students about postpartum discharge. This curriculum improvement project received positive feedback, and was approved and implemented in the winter quarter of 2022 at Shoreline Community College. 

Presenter: Bradley Stanbary
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Jody Early and Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu 
Time: 10:40-11:00 am 

Exploring Diabetes Burnout and the Role of Therapeutic Communication in Prevention
During my time at the bedside, I realized my passion for education. Diabetes became of interest to me when I married a person with type one diabetes. My Capstone is a scoping review of Diabetes Burnout, a condition that occurs when people with diabetes stop all glucose management because they feel overwhelmed with the chronic nature of diabetes self-care. The results of the review revealed four primary themes, including the promise of therapeutic communication as a prevention strategy. The results of this Capstone will help strengthen my own practice as I work to become a diabetes and education specialist (DCES).

Presenter: Jamie Lamb
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Ko Niitsu and Dr. Jody Early
Time: 11:05-11:25 am

Preparing Nurses to Prosper in a Broken System: The Moral Distress Education Project
As a master-prepared nurse educator, I recognize the privilege I hold as a respected leader in the nursing profession. With this privilege, I cannot ignore the realities in this current state of nursing. Nurses are leaving the profession “in droves” often due to moral distress, moral injury, and/or demoralization. This curriculum development project aimed to keep new nurses retained in the profession for longer by integrating concepts surrounding moral distress into an RN-BSN program in a scaffolded approach. The educational intervention reached beyond self-care and resiliency models by prompting students to critically reflect on the complexities of care situations and evaluate the systems they’re working in, as there often are problems within the system which generate the constraints leading to moral distress. Educating new nurses to identify, investigate, and talk about moral distress is expected to give momentum toward action that would initiate change. Through this new curriculum, RN-BSN students became more reflective in their practice and began to develop their voice as professional nurses to advocate for a better system.

Presenter: Michelle Zundel
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Robin Fleming and Dr. Grace Lasker
Time: 11:30-11:50 am

Stopping the Brain Drain: Creation of a Nurse Leader Mentorship Program
Around 70,000 nurses retire annually leading to a significant loss of nursing leadership wisdom from organizations. Leaders are responsible for managing the most valuable resources: human and capital. In order to achieve nurse leaders’ success, organizations are required to place a focused intent and fiscal responsibility to support continued development for retaining new and current leaders. To effectively address the continual siphoning of nurse leaders from healthcare organizations, development of a nurse leader mentorship program that fosters empowerment is essential. In addition to improving care quality issues, such a program can strengthen and empower nurse leaders to remain resolute, confident, and effective when addressing the challenges that nurse leaders face daily. A considerable number of highly competent and effective nurse leaders have left their positions due to the pressures placed on them through organizational biased expectations by having the title “Nurse.” Knowledge sharing through mentorship may be a key to help galvanize and equip nurses to withstand and address the mounting pressures they face by healthcare leadership. 

Presenter: Taylor Sytsma
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stefanie Iverson Cabral and Dr. Chris Wade
Time: 11:50-12:10 pm

Leading Teams Through Change: A Nurse Leader’s Quest to Understanding Change Management in Healthcare Settings
Leading dynamic nursing teams through change will continue to be a high priority in our current healthcare climate. As a nurse leader in the intensive care unit, I have seen first-hand how changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the patients, the workforce, and the healthcare system. For my capstone project, I took a deep dive into change management literature, and I collaborated with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to conduct qualitative research to better understand the barriers and facilitators of change. The project outcomes will benefit nurse leaders in all specialties as they guide others through uncertainty.   

Presenter: Megan Haan
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Jason Daniel-Ulloa and Meghan Eagen-Torkko
Time: 12:15-12:35 pm

Improving Black Maternal Health Outcomes Through Community Knowledge 
Maternal mortality and morbidity ranks as a primary driver of health inequities for Black women and their community with Black women experiencing death and near-death experiences at significantly higher rates than other racial groups. Through the creation of an executive committee of leaders in the Black maternal health community, I recognized the importance of community knowledge, the need to examine positionality as a nurse leader, and the skill of being less of an expert.  The community brief demonstrates potential solutions to maternal morbidity and mortality and contributes to knowledge translation to be reflective of the community’s priorities. These practices are a step in addressing the structural racism that has contributed to this grave health disparity.

Presenter: Catherine Nolan
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stefanie Iverson Cabral and Jamie Shirley
Time: 12:40-1:00 pm

Advancing Pre-licensure Nursing Education Through Clinical Experience and Debriefing: A Journey into Nursing Education
Utilizing my experience in acute care nursing and operating room nursing, I can keep clinical education for pre-licensure nursing students relevant and interesting, while also keeping it grounded in evidenced based practice. Through my pursuits of getting a Master of Nursing with a focus in education, I was able to expand on my passion for teaching nursing students and helping them guide their own learning through post-clinical debriefing. I am utilizing the core educator competencies of facilitating learning and being a contributor to curriculum design through my fieldwork with an educator for Bellevue College’s Nursing program during clinical rotations.

Presenter: Vanessa Rodgers
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Stefanie Cabral Iverson and Dr. Jamie Shirley
Time: 1:30-1:50 pm

Giving Nurses a Voice
As a nurse with many years of experience, I chose to pursue the Master of Nursing Administrative Leadership program to focus my efforts on the leadership, mentorship, and professional development of nurses. My project focused on working with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to develop a nursing shared decision-making program. Nursing shared decision-making has positive impacts on nurses, patients, and organizations. This project supported these positive effects by creating education for staff and leaders and establishing recommendations for implementing a standardized shared decision-making model. My work on this project supports and empowers nurses to have a voice in their clinical practice and work environment.

Presenter: Jodi Cooley
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Grace Lasker and Dr. Jamie Shirley
Time: 1:55 - 2:15 pm

Voices Hearing Simulation: An Effective Tool to Promote Therapeutic Alliance Building in Nursing Students
I am a Psychiatric nurse and clinical nursing faculty. I entered the MN program on the Educator Track to gain skills as I transition from clinical to theory instruction. I bring with me a strong sense of advocacy for Behavioral Health patients and the nurses engaged in their treatment. My Capstone focused on increasing mental health literacy with the aim of promoting educational methods to improve the nurse-patient therapeutic alliance. My project adapted and implemented a Hearing Distressing Voices simulation for Associate Degree nursing students. Students experienced simulated auditory hallucinations, processed their responses, and identified strategies for therapeutic interventions. They reported increased empathy, understanding of auditory hallucinations, and confidence working with this population. My sponsoring institution has now incorporated the simulation into the mental health nursing course curriculum.

Presenter: Dennis Dulle
Scholarly Committee: Dr. Jamie Shirley and Dr. Daniel Cavanaugh
Time: 2:20-2:40 pm

Telemedicine and Care of the Burn Patient
Addressing the needs of burn patients is a complex and lengthy process requiring the coordination of multiple services over an extended period of care.  The COVID-19 pandemic added a new layer of challenge to addressing the needs of these patients.  In this data-driven project, I collected data about the care experiences of patients burned in industrial accidents across the span of the pandemic.  Using descriptive statistical analysis, I explore how the expansion of the use of telemedicine could improve care for this patient population, emphasizing issues of health equity and organizational and reimbursement structure policy changes.   


Past Symposiums

Updated June 2022