People of SU / Science, Technology and Health

Dean of Nursing Inducted into WSNA Hall of Fame

August 6, 2020

Kristen Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN

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The Dean of Seattle University’s College of Nursing, Kristen Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, is among those who have been inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) 2020 Hall of Fame, which recognizes achievements that will endure beyond their lifetimes.

The Dean of Seattle University’s College of Nursing (CON), Kristen Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, is among six leaders in nursing who have been inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) 2020 Hall of Fame, which recognizes achievements that will endure beyond their lifetimes.

“Kristen Swanson has had an incredible impact on patient care, leadership, education, public service and clinical practice through her contributions to nursing science and nursing educa­tion,” says the WSNA in Swanson’ inductee profile. “Her Theory of Caring has provided the foundation for hundreds of scien­tific studies as well as a theoretical framework for the nursing care provided at clinical institutions worldwide.”

Swanson’s Theory of Caring is based on the idea that nurses demonstrating they care about patients is as important to patient well-being as the clinical activities provided. It considers and cares for the whole person and is the foundation for better healing and better care. Her Theory of Caring provided much needed guidance for the advancement of nursing science and for the quality of nursing practice in all clinical settings. Her contributions to nursing science and her leadership in nursing education has improved the profession globally and especially in the state of Washington.

Swanson has been dean of Seattle U’s CON since 2014. For nearly 22 years, she served on the faculty at the University of Washington School of Nursing.

She is also well known for her research on pregnancy loss. Swanson has published over 100 articles and book chapters and provided hundreds of presentations and consultations to advance the science related to caring in nursing.

“Her seminal work in the science of caring is having a positive effect on the care provided by nurses and the outcomes of patient care. Her work has helped many, many institutions create a positive workplace environment and advanced the profession of nursing for all of us,” says the WSNA.

Swanson’s professional achievements and awards are numerous. To name a few, she received the Sigma Theta Tau Outstanding Researcher Award in 1984, the National Center for Nursing Research FIRST Award in 1988 and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1991. In 2004 – 2007, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow, an advanced leadership initiative for nurses in senior executive roles who aspire to lead and shape the future U.S. health care system. She is serving her second term on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Board of Directors.

The six recipients were awarded by WSNA during a virtual event on Thursday, Aug. 6. Since 1996, the WSNA Hall of Fame award is given every two years to a select few in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the areas of patient care, leadership, education, public service, nurse advocacy, heroism, patient advocacy and/or clinical practice.

"2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, so it is particularly meaningful to receive this award from WSNA at this point in time and with such an esteemed panel of recipients," says Swanson.

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