About Us

On this page:

Vision Mission Strategies
Our History
Board of Directors

Additional information:
Archived Annual Reports

2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report



Vision Mission Strategies

The Washington Center for Nursing is a Private 501c3 nonprofit.

Our Vision

Transforming communities in Washington State through increased access to quality nursing care.

Our Mission

The Washington Center for Nursing supports a healthy Washington by engaging nurses’ expertise, influence, and perspective and by building a diverse, highly qualified nurse workforce to meet future demands.

Did you know? Every nurse licensed in Washington State pays a $5 surcharge on their license to WCN.

Your funds accomplish the following:

Nursing workforce data: Maintaining information on the current and projected supply and demand of nurses through the collection and analysis of data regarding the nursing workforce. Providing consultation, technical assistance, data, and information related to WA state and national nursing resources.

Active community collaboration: Facilitating partnerships with the nursing community and other health care providers, licensing authority, business and industry, consumers, legislators, and educators to achieve policy consensus, promote diversity within the profession, and enhance nursing career mobility and nursing leadership development

• Promoting diversity within the profession

Promoting nursing leadership: Enhancing nursing career mobility and nursing leadership development for nurses in education and interdisciplinary collaboration

Advancing nursing education: Evaluating the effectiveness of nursing education and articulation

Promoting nursing as a profession: Educating the public including students in K-12.



Our History

Nursing leaders in Washington State have been working since the late 1990s to address the need for nurses, specialized education and skills.

The Nursing Summit in 2001 resulted in a Strategic Plan for Nursing to ensure that we have enough nurses to care for our citizens – the Washington State Strategic Plan for Nursing (WSSPN), which was adopted by the Washington Nursing Leadership Council (composed of CNEWS, NWONE, NCQAC, WLN, WSNA).

In response to this plan, the Washington Center for Nursing was created in 2003 as the statewide nursing workforce organization. Since then, WCN has worked on variety of nursing projects, including the Master Plan for Nursing Education and the organization of regional stakeholder meetings on the Nurse of the Future.

Read our brief history, year-by-year, here. (PDF)



Board of Directors

Michelle James, BSB, RN, CCRN, MM, MBA, CENP
Board President
Executive Director
Providence St. Joseph Health Nursing Institute
NWone Representative


Chris Birchem, RN
Board Vice President
Staff Nurse, Overlake Hospital Medical Center
Orthopedic/Spinal Surgery
WSNA Staff Nurse Representative

Grace Yang, RN, BS, ENPC, CCRN
Board Secretary/Treasurer
Staff Nurse, Harborview Medical Center
SEIU 1199 NW Staff Nurse Representative

Debbie Brinker, RN, MSN, CNS
Past Board President
Clinical Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs WSU College of Nursing
Member at Large

Rebecca Ainley, RN, BSN, CEN, CCRN
ER Nurse, Multicare Health Systems, Covington
UFCW Position Representative

Katie Eilers, MSN, BSN, RN
Director, Office of Family and Community Health Improvement
Washington State Department of Health
Public Health Position Representative

Victoria Fletcher, RN, MSN, ARNP, FACNM
Per Diem Clinician, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest
and Hawaiian Islands
Washington State Department of Health
Public Health Position Representative

Nursing Faculty, Seattle Pacific University School of Health Sciences
Member at Large

Melissa L. Hutchinson, MN, ARNP-CS, CCNS, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist – MICU/CCU
VA Puget Sound Healthcare System – Seattle
ARNP Position Representative

Antwinett O. Lee, EdD, MSN-CNS, RN
Associate Dean, Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate Nursing School of Health Sciences
Ethnic Nurses Association Position Representative

Jamie Shirley, PhD, RN
Director, Nursing Programs Nursing and Health Studies
University of Washington Bothell
CNEWS University Position Representative

Steven C. Simplkins, PhD, RN
Nursing Program Coordinator, Nursing Program Highline College
CNEWS Community/Technical College Position Representative

Diane Sosne, RN, MN
President, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Nurse Alliance
SEIU Position Representative

Sally Watkins, PhD, MS, RN
Executive Director, Washington State Nurses Association
WSNA Position Representative




WCN Staff

Sofia Aragon JD, BSN, RN
Executive Director

Theresa Berry
Finance and Operations Associate

Frank Kohel
Program and Support Associate

Rebecca Pizzitola, MPH
Program Manager

Brenda Little
Communications Associate




WCN partners with stakeholders within Washington and across the United States to make the best use of our human and financial resources in addressing nursing workforce issues.

Our partners include:
ARNP’s United of Washington
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Center of Excellence for Allied Health
Council on Nursing Education in Washington State (CNEWS)
Eastern Washington Area Health Education Center (EWAHEC)
Executive Alliance
Independent Colleges of Washington
The Nonprofit Centers
Prosperity Partnership
Rural Outreach Nursing Education (RONE) Steering Committee
RWJF/AARP Campaign to Champion Nursing in America
School Nurses of Washington State (SNOW)
SeaMar Community Health Centers
State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC)
Student Nurses of Washington State (SNWS)
Washington Student Achievement Council
Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA)
WA Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB)
Western Washington Area Health Education Center (WWAHEC)
Workforce Development Councils of WA (12, geographically situated)



On this page:

Vision Mission Strategies
Our History
Board of Directors

Additional information:
Archived Annual Reports

2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report

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