2023 Lois Price Spratlen Scholars
Lois Price Spratlen BSN ‘76, Faculty 1983-2011 Ombudsman 1982-2009 was appointed the UW Ombudsman (a role meaning mediator and advocate) for Sexual Harassment in 1982 and was later appointed the University Ombudsman, the first woman in that role. She facilitated communication between the university and its students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and vendors. Spratlen argued that nurses were particularly well-suited to be mediators and introduced other nurses to similar roles. She also served as an ambassador for nurses of color in Seattle and in 2001, she wrote a book chronicling the careers of dozens of black nurses in Seattle. For our centennial in 2018 she was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Nurses, with ties to UW, who have demonstrated an undaunted commitment to improving the lives of others.
The Lois Price Spratlen Foundation was founded to honor the spirit and legacy of Lois Price Spratlen. In the spirit of Lois Price Spratlen’s lifetime of achievement, the foundation works to create future opportunity and advancement in the field of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing. Here are a few of the #HuskyNurses who have received are Lois Price Spratlen scholars.
What is your degree program and graduation year? I graduated with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Washington in 2022.
Why did you pursue nursing? I pursued nursing because I genuinely enjoy connecting with and caring for others, and I have for as long as I can remember. When I became a single mother of three little girls, nursing offered me flexible career options. I could work hours that fit my children’s schedules while still surviving financially. Nursing has been a lifeline to me and gives me the honor of being a lifeline for others in their times of need.
What inspires you about healthcare? Our healthcare system inspires me because it provides extensive options for nurses to work in many different settings. As a nurse, I have served clients in hospitals, nursing homes, adult family homes, jails, substance use recovery facilities, psychiatric hospitals, clinics, and in their own homes. It has been a privilege to serve my community in many areas of high need, especially by keeping fragile children & adults comfortable at home when they may otherwise have had to stay in a hospital or clinic. Its incredible nurses can pursue careers in administration, business, informatics, and the government, among many options, all while in the same career.
As nurses in healthcare, we are afforded many options for upward mobility, allowing us to implement systemic improvements by stepping into management roles, engaging in research and policy changes, and climbing ladders in our careers and education. On my nursing career pathway, I moved from being a certified nursing assistant in 2012 to a board-certified doctorate-level nurse practitioner by 2022.
Any advice for future nurses? My advice to future nurses is to make space for self-care by maintaining boundaries between personal and professional life. When dedicated to being a working nurse, feeling empowered to take a break or ask for help can be challenging. However, healing ourselves is imperative to restoring the physical and emotional reserves needed to heal our patients. Use your PTO for a mental health day, take a vacation, and pursue your dreams outside of work to give yourself the space to heal and grow. Nurses carry the joys and sorrows of our community on our shoulders, and we must set them down every so often to be present for our own.
What is your degree program and graduation year? DNP Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner/2023
Why did you pursue nursing? I loved how versatile nursing is. Nursing has so many different specialties and subspecialties. You can work in a traditional role with a team in a hospital or clinic, or you can change paths and become a nurse educator, consultant, or even specialize in informatics!
What inspires you about healthcare? Healthcare is constantly changing. This can be challenging at times, but it’s also exciting to be a part of new programs or treatments to help patients. I currently work in community mental health, and we recently started offering integrated care so our patients now have access to medical, dental, and mental health care all in one place.
Any advice for future nurses? Stay connected with good mentors from school and clinicals, and never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how small they are!
What is your degree program and graduation year? Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-DNP and I will graduate in 2025.
Why did you pursue nursing? I originally wanted to be a scientist of some sort and thought I would spend my life in a lab, but after my grandmother died and I saw the nursing care that she received, I changed my goal to be a nurse. I wanted to help people in a holistic manner and keep respect for the individual and their needs at the center of my care. In addition, I love science and art and nursing is the art and science of care. I am lucky that I am able to pursue both in my career.
What inspires you about healthcare? I think being a healthcare provider is a privilege; we get to see people on the best and worst days of their lives. You meet so many unique individuals that you may not have encountered if you were not a healthcare provider, and it gives you the opportunity to be in the service of others. Healthcare is also a career in which it is hard to become bored as there is always something new. Our knowledge gets advanced each moment, and we get to (I say get to because I really think nursing is an honorable and humbling profession) use that knowledge to help others live a life of quality and meaning for them.
Any advice for future nurses? The great thing about nursing and healthcare is that there are endless possibilities for you. Nursing is not only beside care; its informatics, its case management, and its art; I mean, you can practically do anything and everything with it. I think that the most important thing for new nurses to know is that you belong, and you matter. It is okay to have temporary misgivings but never doubt your own abilities. In addition, a bad day does not make you a bad nurse, we are human, and we make mistakes; the most important thing is what you do with that information. Finally, why wait until the next day to make changes? You can use the next second or moment to make changes to improve your professional and personal life.