Dean’s Welcome

Our vision is to live as an engaged, creative and dynamic learning organization, committed to social justice, innovation, clinical scholarship, teaching excellence, and the formation of professionals ready to meet the evolving heath care needs of a global community. As Dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University, I am honored to be a part of this faculty and staff whose mission is to educate and inspire leaders to transform health care for a just and humane world. 

The Jesuit values of social justice and life-long learning are embraced by faculty, staff and students in the College of Nursing and reflect my own core values of stewardship, caring, and inclusivity. For many years my research has focused on caring and healing. Through a series of studies I have come to define caring as "a nurturing way to relating to a valued other toward whom one feels a personal sense of commitment and responsibility." Caring consists of five basic ways of relating. These include knowing, being with, doing for and enabling, and maintaining belief. Healing is the expected outcome of caring. A healing outcome of knowing is the recipient feeling understood. Being with leads to the experience of feeling valued. Doing for evokes a sense of safety and comfort. Enabling enhances the recipient's capacity to deal with whatever lies ahead. Maintaining belief engenders a sense of hope (as opposed to hopelessness). Putting it all together as a consequence of knowing, being with, doing for, enabling, and maintaining belief the recipient should feel understood, valued, safe and comforted, capable and hopeful for the future.

Seattle University College of Nursing graduates are educated to lead change, think critically, and transform health care. Inspired by Ignatius of Loyola, to “see God in all things,” we are committed to caring for all people, inviting plurality of thought, enhancing the diversity of our profession, and sustaining an environment that promotes wellness. 

In the coming years, we will focus on realizing our strategic goals of attracting and retaining outstanding faculty, partnering with practice colleagues, providing educational opportunities for all qualified students, and enhancing curricula offerings at the baccalaureate through doctoral levels to provide nurses ready to serve in an era of health care reform. That means we are enhancing our programs to educate nurses at the entry and advanced practice levels for ambulatory, primary, and transitional care. Our graduates will be educated to walk alongside of patients, their families, other health care providers, employers, payers, and community activists to ensure that the highest quality health is a possibility for all. 

I am proud to be a member of the Seattle University Redhawk community. My return to Seattle has been blessed with rewards: being near family and friends; living in the Pacific Northwest; discovering what it means to be part of a Jesuit University; coming to know the outstanding faculty, staff, and students of the College of Nursing; and discovering the joys of being part of an urban campus committed to making a difference in our community. 

Kristen M. Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN
Dean and Professor 



Dr. Kristen M. Swanson, Dean of the College of Nursing