Through her research and service to the nursing profes­sion, Louise Kaplan, PhD, MN, ARNP has made signif­i­cant contri­bu­tions to advanced practice nursing as well as to the nursing profes­sion overall. In her teaching, leader­ship and mentoring roles, Louise has demon­strated an extra­or­di­nary ability to thoroughly under­stand and effec­tively explain very complex issues to very divers and different audiences.

Louise received her Bache­lors of Nursing from Simmons College in Boston and a Master’s Degree as a Family Nurse Practi­tioner at the Univer­sity of Washington. Always the nurse activist with a passion for health policy, Louise eventu­ally went off to Brandeis Univer­sity to earn a PhD in health policy.

Her nursing career has spanned two conti­nents and bridged many cultural gaps. Her many varied roles included working for the Indian Health Service in Fort Defiance, Arizona and the Colville Reser­va­tion in Washington; a clinical nurse practi­tioner intern­ship in Israel; polit­ical intern­ships with both Congres­sional and State legis­la­tors; Medicare quality of care reviewer for the Health Care Financing Admin­is­tra­tion; researching and writing about radia­tion health effect at Hanford; family nurse practi­tioner in a rural clinic; nursing faculty at Pacific Lutheran Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Washington, and Washington State Univer­sity. You get the idea – Louise Kaplan keeps herself busy and has left an impres­sion across the state, across the country and across the globe.

Louise is currently Associate Professor at the Washington State Univer­sity Inter­col­le­giate College of Nursing in Vancouver, Washington. She has been an active researcher for many years, working with her colleague Marie-Annette Brown for the past eight years on impor­tant research on Washington’s Advanced Regis­tered Nurse Practi­tioners with a special focus on prescribing controlled substances. In 2005, Louise testi­fied on bill on behalf of ARNPs by using her research to support elimi­na­tion of a restric­tive require­ment for joint practice agree­ment with a physi­cian to prescribe most feder­ally controlled drugs. Thanks to her research and testi­mony, the bill success­fully passed the Legis­la­ture providing ARNPs with fully autonomous practice. This inter­sec­tion between research, service and practice exempli­fies Louise’s career and impact on the nursing profes­sion and is just one of the many times that Louise has appeared to testify before the Legislature.

She has secured tens of thousands of dollars in grants and funding for her research projects over the years, including $25,000 to develop a distance learning program. She has also contributed numerous schol­arly commu­ni­ca­tions including articles in articles, book chapters, and a soon to be published new book titled The Advanced Practice Nurse as Prescriber’.

Louise has always been an active and engaged member of WSNA, serving in a variety of roles. In the early 1980s, she served as WSNA Second Vice Presi­dent for four years and served on the Legisla­tive Committee. She spent count­less hours organizing the first ever Nurse Lobby Day in Olympia ion 1984. Fearing that nobody would come, she spent hours on the phone almost single-handedly turning out 150 people for that historic first event. Now over 20 years later, Nurse Legisla­tive Day has grown even more successful, with nearly 700 nurses attending each year, many of whom are students who all leave with a clearer under­standing of the need for nurses to serve as polit­ical activists and policy experts.

After leaving the state to pursue her PhD, Louise returned in the late 80s and resumed her activism with WSNA. She served as Presi­dent of her district associ­a­tion and was elected Chair of the Legisla­tive and Health Policy Council and member of the WSNA Board of Direc­tors in 1999. She continued serving on the Legisla­tive and Health Policy Council for 10 years, working to expand WSNA’s role in health policy and regula­tory issues.

In 2001, she ran and was elected as WSNA Presi­dent, serving until 2003. During her term, she was the WSNA repre­sen­ta­tive to the Washington Nurse Leader­ship Council which devel­oped the Washington State Strategic Plan for Nursing that led to the creation of the Washington Center for Nursing. The Center has taken the lead on efforts to address the nursing shortage, improve faculty recruit­ment and reten­tion and to advance nursing educa­tion. Under her leader­ship as Presi­dent, WSNA also gained tremen­dous credi­bility and visibility in the health care arena.

She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Inter­na­tional Honor Society of Nursing and has been honored numerous times including the Graduate Faculty Excel­lence in Teaching Award and Faculty Excel­lence in Teaching Award from the Inter­col­le­giate College of Nursing at WSU. WSNA recog­nized Louise with the Nurse Researcher of the Year Award in 2007 and ANA Honorary Member­ship Award in 2003 for demon­strating outstanding leader­ship that contributed to the purposes of WSNA and ANA.