About Us

On this page:

Vision Mission Strategies
Our History
Board of Directors

Additional information:
Archived Annual Reports
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 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, BSN RN, CCRN, MM, MBA
Board President
Vice President of Operations /Regional Chief Nursing Officer
NWONE Representative

Chris Birchem RN
Board Vice President
Staff nurse, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Bellevue
Washington State Nurses Association Staff Nurse representative
Grace Yang RN BSN

Board Secretary/Treasurer
Staff Nurse, Harborview Medical Center
SEIU 1199 NW Staff Nurse representative
Rebecca Ainley, RN, BSN, CEN, CCRN
Multicare Covington ER
UFCW representative

Debbie Brinker, RN, MSN, CNS
Past Board President
Clinical Assistant Professor Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs
Washington State University College of Nursing

Katie Eilers, MSN, BSN, RN
Director, Community Health
Kitsap Public Health District
Public health nurse representative
Victoria Fletcher RN MSN ARNP FACNM
ARNP representative

Lena Hristova DNP, MN, RN, CNE, OCN, CMSRN
Nursing Faculty, Seattle Pacific University School of Health Sciences

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

Elizabeth Adams, DNP, MSN, RN, BSN, NEA-BC
President and CEO
Match Healthcare Design and Innovation LLC
NWone Position

Antwinett Lee EdD, MSN-CNS, RN
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing
Seattle Pacific University School of Health Sciences
Ethnic Nurses Association representative

Jamie L. Shirley, PhD, RN
Director, Nursing Programs
Nursing and Health Studied
University of Washington Bothell
CNEWS University representative

Steven C. Simpkins, PhD, RN
Nursing Program Coordinator
Nursing Program
Highline College
CNEWS Community/Technical College representative

Diane Sosne RN MN
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Nurse Alliance, Renton
SEIU 1199NW representative

Sally Watkins Ph.D., MS, RN
Executive Director,
Washington State Nurses Association
WSNA 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




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
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report

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