Skip to main content

Josephine Ensign FNP, MPH, DrPH

Professor, University of Washington, School of Nursing, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health
Affiliate Faculty, University of Washington’s Certificate Program in Public Scholarship
Director, the University of Washington’s Homelessness Research Initiative’s Doorway Project

Through my teaching, public scholarship, clinical practice, and writing, I engage in critiques of current social justice issues such as poverty and homelessness, trauma and resilience, and the well-being of marginalized populations. For the past decade my work has centered on using personal stories to highlight important public policy issues within an emancipatory framework. With an undergraduate degree in medical/health humanities (biology and religion with an emphasis on medical ethics), and a doctorate in international health with a focus on health policy, my worldview is interdisciplinary. My overall aim is to humanize health care, to cultivate empathy leading to action.

I am the director of the University of Washington’s Homelessness Research Initiative’s Doorway Project, an effort to establish a neighborhood hub and navigation center specifically for homeless young people.


  • DrPH, Johns Hopkins University, 1995
  • MSN, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1986
  • BA, Oberlin College, 1981

What classes do you teach?

Community Health; Health Politics and Policy, Health Policy; Narrative Medicine

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

Working with groups of interprofessional health science students, faculty, and staff on meaningful community-based service-learning projects

Scholarly work


Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

Research Areas

  • Health Equity

Research Centers

Picture of  Josephine Ensign

University of Washington School of Nursing
Box 357263
1959 N.E. Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195

Office: T-518C