Wednesday April 28, 2021

8:45 am - 9:00 am


Log in, test your connection, and get situated.

Watch this short video (80 seconds) on what to do once you've logged in.

9:00 am - 9:35 am

WSNA's President's welcome 0.5 CNE

Review of WSNA’s accomplishments over the past biennium and issues the Association will focus on in the biennium ahead.

Lynnette Vehrs, MN, RN

President, Washington State Nurses Association

9:35 am - 10:35 am

Keynote – Team intelligence: Navigating the pandemic and beyond 1 CNE

Learn strategies to harness the power of team intelligence to improve quality, safety, and satisfaction in the professional proactive environment.

Suzanne is an award-winning journalist and author who writes about health care delivery and health care systems and patient safety. Her books about nursing’s contribution to health care include “Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines” and “Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care.” With Bernice Buresh, she is author of “From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public,” which is in its third edition.

Suzanne coined the term “Team Intelligence” to describe the constellation of skills and knowledge needed to build the kind of teams upon which patient safety depends. She is a strong advocate of teamwork, and her own books on the subject have addressed important and complex issues in patient safety.

Suzanne Gordon

Journalist and author

10:35 am - 11:05 am


Break and exhibitor hall

11:05 am - 11:50 am

Concurrent sessions 0.75 CNE

Applying Tips for Team Intelligence

This session expands on the power of team intelligence, providing tips and ideas to move principles of team intelligence into action

Suzanne Gordon

Optimizing Simulation to Prepare New and Cross-trained Nurses for Practice

This session explores challenges associated with preparing new nurses for practice and cross-training experienced nurses for new areas of practice during the pandemic and beyond. Current research on simulation optimization will be described and evidence guiding the use of simulation (to replace traditional clinical training/experience) will be explored. Resources from Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare ( will be provided to facilitate the use of simulation as a means to provide training and improve patient outcomes.

Katie Haerling, PhD, RN, CHSE

Malpractice Insights: Top Registered Nurse Liability Concerns

This session uses case studies and claim data from NSO and CNA’s updated nurse liability claim report to provide registered nurses with immediately implementable practices that they can use to help protect themselves against allegations of malpractice or unprofessionalism. Through the experiences of their peers, nurses can gain valuable tools to improve their patient safety practices and reduce their liability exposure.

Roxanne Filson, MBA

Katie Haerling, PhD, RN

Associate Professor, University of Washington Tacoma

Roxanne Filson

Program Manager, Health care Division, Aon, Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.

Suzanne Gordon

Journalist and author

11:55 am - 12:25 pm

Legislative update 2021: State-level progress on priority issues 0.5 CNE

Jennifer has worked in public affairs for 20 years, specializing in government relations and political communications. She joined WSNA in late 2016.

In her role as Director of Public Affairs for WSNA, Jennifer led efforts to pass the Rest Breaks and Overtime Protection and Workplace Violence bills in 2019. She served as a key liaison with the Governor’s Office and other state agencies throughout the COVID-19 crisis, fighting for the protections and supports nurses need.

Previously, Jennifer served as the Director of External & Legislative Affairs at Public Health – Seattle & King County and as Vice President of Public Affairs for the Washington Health Foundation. In these positions, Jennifer led government relations and health policy strategy, and cultivated partnerships with external organizations. Her passion is helping others feel empowered to tell their stories and make positive contributions to health policy outcomes.

Jennifer served on the Washington State Public Health Association board for five years, leading its policy and legislative work; and spent a number of years as the Co-Chair of the Public Health Roundtable.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University.

Jennifer Muhm

Director of Public Affairs, Washington State Nurses Association

12:25 pm - 1:25 pm

Lunch break

Break and exhibitor hall

1:25 pm - 2:25 pm

Keynote – Creating a culture of anti-racism in health care 1 CNE

Identify inequities in health care, respond to racism in their professional practice environments and effect positive change.

Ben Danielson, MD, is a pediatrician and advocate for the health and well-being of children and families with low incomes. For 20 years, he served as the medical director of Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic – a post he resigned from in November 2020 to protest what he identified as racist and discrim­i­na­tory practices at Seattle Children’s. He is a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.

Along with two sisters, Dr. Danielson was raised by an amazing single mom who instilled in him an appreciation for the value of education and a desire to be a contributing member of the community. In college, he decided that becoming a doctor was a good way to meld his scientific and human service interests.

Dr. Danielson graduated from Harvard University and then the University of Washington School of Medicine, specializing in pediatrics. He completed his residency at Seattle Children’s before assuming responsibility for the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in 1999. Dr. Danielson participates on numerous boards and committees, including the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities (chair), the Group Health Foundation (chair) and the University of Washington Foundation.

Ben Danielson, MD

Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington

2:25 pm - 3:40 pm

General Assembly

The WSNA General Assembly business meeting will address many items of important business for the WSNA membership, including proposed resolutions and final nominations for elected offices. Proposed non-emergency resolutions and candidate statements were published in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine, which is posted on the WSNA website (PDF download).

Read the General Assembly rules.

Thursday April 29, 2021

8:45 am - 9:00 am


Log in, test your connection, and get situated.

First time logging in? This short video (80 seconds) shows what to do.

9:00 am - 10:15 am

Keynote – High reliability and getting to zero harm 1.25 CNE

Information and transformative guidance to achieve patient and workforce safety in health care.

Craig is a consulting engineer who has 30 years of experience improving reliability in power, transportation, manufacturing and health care. He specializes in failure analysis, event analysis, reliability improvement and safety culture improvements. Prior to entering private practice, Craig worked for multiple consulting companies, including Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI), Performance Improvement International, and Failure Prevention Inc (FPI). He has led safety culture transformation engagements for health care systems. Craig is a registered professional engineer in Arizona and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Jennifer has been a proud member of the health care community in the Pacific Northwest for her entire, multi-decade career. Before joining Kaiser Permanente as the Vice President for Quality and Safety in both the Northwest and Washington Markets and serving as the Regional Chief Nursing Executive in Washington, Jennifer was the Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at the Washington State Hospital Association — where she was instrumental in creating a formal partnership for the nearly 200 hospitals across Alaska, Oregon and Washington whose exclusive focus was on reducing harm and improving patient outcomes. Prior to her role at WSHA, she completed a successful tenure as Chief Executive at both Swedish Edmonds and Swedish Ballard.

Craig Clapper, PE, CMQ

Safety expert

Jennifer Graves, RN, MS

Vice President, Washington State Nurses Association

10:20 am - 10:50 am

American Nurses Association: Lessons learned from the pandemic 0.5 CNE

Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN is the Vice President of Nursing Programs at the American Nurses Association. In this role, she is provides senior leadership to the Directors of the departments of Health Policy, the Center for Ethics and Human Rights, and the Minority Fellowship Program. These departments are responsible for guiding policy development, as well as advising the ANA CEO, President, and Membership, on the full range of policy and practice issues facing the nursing profession. As part of her policy portfolio, Ms. Peterson is responsible for managing ANA’s participation within the International Council of Nurses, as well as supporting the development and implementation of quality indicators affecting patients, nurses, and the entire health care team. Since coming to ANA in 1990, Ms. Peterson has developed expertise in several areas including political education and campaign involvement; lobbying issues related to labor, employment, trade and immigration; and policy development on the supply of and demand for nursing services. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University.

Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN

Vice President for Nursing Programs, American Nurses Association

10:50 am - 11:20 am


Break and exhibitor hall

11:20 am - 12:50 pm

Washington State – Voices from the Frontlines of COVID (panel) 1.5 CNE

  • Introduction by Molly Voris, Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health and Health Care at Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
  • A panel will discuss the experiences and lessons learned from our nurses across the state, and how we can best support our members on the frontlines.

Christine Watts, MN, RN, CLNC

Senior Labor Consultant, Washington State Nurses Association

Clarise Mahler, BSN, RN

Registered nurse, Evergreen Cardiology Clinic

Clint Wallace, BSN, RN, CCRN

Registered nurse, Sacred Heart Medical Center

Danielle O'Toole, RN

Registered Nurse, Tacoma General Hospital

Janet Stewart, BSN, RN

Nurse Representative, Washington State Nurses Association

Jay Inslee

Governor of Washington

Julia Barcott, RN

Chair, Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare, Washington State Nurses Association

Kate Scherer, BSN, RN, CEN

Registered nurse, Island Hospital

Molly Voris

Special Advisor for Pandemic Health Response and Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health and Health Care, Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

12:50 pm - 1:50 pm

Lunch break

Break and exhibitor hall

1:50 pm - 3:05 pm

Closing keynote – Cultivating kindness 1.25 CNE

Learn about kindness in the health care workplace and the effects on registered nurses and the patient experience.

Linda, also known as the “kindness catalyst,” is a professional speaker and consultant. She works with businesses and associations on the ROI of Kindness. She helps leaders improve communication, boost teamwork and improve the client experience through further engagement in acts of kindness. Linda’s first book, “1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire and Change Your Life,” is an inspirational guide to a life of gratitude. Since her book’s publication, she has been interviewed on National Public Radio, NBC and ABC and FOX television.

Linda received her bachelor’s degree from American Jewish University and master’s degree from Brandeis University. Linda is the past president of the Oregon chapter of the National Speakers Association.

Linda Cohen

Professional speaker and consultant

3:05 pm - 3:15 pm

Closing remarks