Lois Price Spratlen is Professor of Psychosocial and Community Health Nursing at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing. She was appointed as Ombudsman for Sexual Harassment in 1982. Since September 1988, she has also served as University Ombudsman — the first woman, professional nurse and African-American on the campus to occupy this latter role, established in 1969. Lois developed and uses the Price-Spratlen Ombudsman (PSO) Model to provide services in the areas of conflict management, dispute resolution and mediation to all enrolled students, staff, faculty, administration and alumni on a free and confidential basis. Her professional practice includes lecturing, consultation, mediation and serving as expert witness in dispute resolution, with special emphasis on sexual harassment and workplace mistreatment.
Lois earned her BSN from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia in 1954, a Master’s degree in Community Mental Health Nursing from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Washington. She is a board-certified psychotherapist, holding the designation of Clinical Specialist, and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Her academic and professional affiliations include Sigma Theta Tau and the California Caucus of College and University Ombudsmen, who named Lois as Ombudsman of the Year in 1998. She founded and is co-editor of The Journal, the only peer-reviewed publication for ombudsmen scholarship.
Lois has been a member of WSNA since she moved to Seattle in 1972 and has maintained her WSNA membership for over 30 years. In 1975, she ran for President for WSNA as the first African-American to ever seek this office. She lost the election to Louise Shores, another Hall of Fame member. Soon after her arrival in Seattle, she also became a member of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization. She is past president and an active member of Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization where she established the MMPNO Endowment Fund which provides scholarships for students. During the first 10 years, the principle amount to sustain the endowment grew from zero to over $100,000.
Lois is the author of the book African American Registered Nurses in Seattle: the Struggle for Opportunity and Success. The book chronicles the history of African American registered nurses in Seattle. Their personal stories are recorded so that through their narrative accounts of education, employment and other experiences are documented. This book will have lasting value for those who desire to understand these extraordinary women’s life experiences and is the only book to document this important history. She is currently working on a companion volume on African American Registered Nurses in Mississippi.
Locally, Lois is chair of the King County Board of Ethics and has served other boards, including Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound and the Metropolitan Seattle Urban League. In 2005 Lois received the Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Alumni Award for her life-time contributions to diversity. Her career community service contributions were recognized in 2006 with the receipt of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in the UW Health Sciences.
Lois’ research and writing have addressed the needs of African American professional nurses and other nurses of color. She has truly represented the nursing profession in both her community work as well as her advocacy work. Through writing and social and professional actions, she has championed the needs of the under-served and un-served populations. She has challenged the “power-elite” in the nursing profession to pursue more democratic and diverse policies and practices. As Lois is fond of saying, “we are all sisters in the nursing profession.”