2023 Washington State Nurses Convention inspires attendees

In-person event gets 90% approval rate; kudos on speakers, food, venue.

This story was published in the Fall 2023 issue of The Washington Nurse.

  • DSF8021
  • DSF8191
  • DSF8955
  • DSF9128
  • DSF9143
  • DSF9199
  • DSF9306
  • Awards
  • DSCF0336
  • DSCF0344

The 2023 Washington State Nurses Convention held May 17-19, 2023, at the Tacoma Convention Center, was everything a convention should be — organized, inspiring, welcoming, educational, and fun.

Keynote speaker Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN, set the tone of empowerment by telling attendees: “Nursing is bigger than we ever thought it could be. Employers should not be dictating our vision of nursing.”

The feedback that we’ve received, including from survey responses, has been overwhelmingly positive — with about 90% saying they were satisfied or very satisfied. Members were happy to be together again at an in-person event.

We had more than 400 people in attendance.

“The highlight for me was when I was checking folks in at registration,” said WSNA staff member Annalise Zappone. “There was a sense of joy and gratitude at being able to see colleagues that our members may have only been able to meet with on Zoom for the past three years.”

Members said they felt chills when our awardees got up and spoke — see excerpts on the following pages. Attendees also loved the food and enjoyed the many vendors.

Memorable speakers

WSNA thanks WSNA President Lynnette Vehrs for welcoming the attendees and mediating our business sessions, WSNA’s Government Affairs Director Kathleen Weiss on the state legislative update, and all our wonderful speakers:

  • Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, a senior policy service professor at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at the George Washington University School of Nursing, delivered the keynote with Dr. McLemore on Voice Matters: Transforming Health Care in a Post-COVID Era.
  • Patti Timbers, MBA, RN, a life coach, and director of informatics at Northwest Kidney Centers, spoke on Reigniting Your Passion and Letting Go of What Doesn’t Work.
  • Albert Munanga, DrBH, MSN, RN, HC, chief clinical officer for Serengeti Home Health based in Renton and clinical faculty at the University of Washington’s Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics in the School of Nursing, spoke on Acute Care Hospital to Long Term Care.
  • Elsa Sjunneson, an internationally published author on disability and ableism, delivered a keynote on Ending Ableism Against Disabled People.
  • Jennifer Flynn, CPHRM, vice president of risk management for the Nurses Service Organization in the Healthcare Division, spoke on Malpractice Insights: Top Registered Nurse Liability Concerns.
  • Jennifer Magnani, MSW, LICSW, the assistant program director for the Psychiatry Consultation Line run by the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services, spoke on Psychiatric Patients: Pearls for the Bedside Nurse.
  • Jennifer S. Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, president of the American Nurses Association, delivered ANA Legislative Update: Federal-level Progress on Nursing Safety.
  • Kim Petram, BSN, RN, the director of case management for UW Medicine Valley Medical Center, spoke with Dr. Munanga on Acute Care Hospital to Long Term Care.
  • Lois James, PhD, an assistant dean of research and an associate professor in the Washington State University College of Nursing, delivered a keynote on Research Insights in Nurse Fatigue.
  • Sara Kim, PhD, a research professor in surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, spoke on Leading with a Curious Intention: A Path to Holding Difficult Conversations.
  • Meghan Eagen-Torkko, PhD, CNM, ARNP, FACNM, director of nursing at the University of Washington Bothell School of Nursing & Health Studies who maintains a clinical practice in sexual and reproductive health at Public Health Seattle-King County, facilitated a Panel on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Ronda Conger, a businesswoman, professional speaker, and author, delivered the closing keynote on Leading Through Extraordinary Times.