N. Jean Bushman Endowed Chair in Nursing

The endowed chair supports a faculty member who is pursuing research, teaching and mentoring other College of Nursing faculty, with the end goal to strengthen the education and practice of nursing.

The N. Jean Bushman Endowed Chair was the first endowed chair at the Seattle University College of Nursing

Image of faculty emerita N. Jean Bushman

This fund was established in 1990 when President William Sullivan accepted a stock gift worth $10,000 from Jean Bushman. She was passionate about starting an endowed chair in nursing. Over the years with contributions of colleagues, alumni, and friends of nursing the endowment grew and has now reached a point where there are sufficient funds to endow two chairs in the College of Nursing.

Ms. Bushman taught in the College of Nursing for 35 years before becoming faculty emerita in 1995. Her enduring legacy enables the College of Nursing to strengthen our capacity to ensure teaching, research, and practice excellence. 

2023-2024 Chairs

Suzan Griffis Knowles, DNP, RN-BC 

Suzan Griffis Knowles, DNP, RN-BC

Dr. Suzan Griffis Knowles joined Seattle University College of Nursing in 2014 where she is an Assistant Clinical Professor. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from SU, a Master’s in Nursing at University of Washington Bothell and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Dr. Knowles has a wide range of experience as both a professional nurse and instructor. Her areas of research include Simulation Learning and Cue-based Infant Feeding in the NICU and Care of the Late Preterm Infant. 

As part of her doctoral studies, Dr. Knowles completed a project concerned with simulation education in undergraduate nursing education focusing on the use in hours substitution for limited traditional clinical placement hours and implementation of simulation program practices to International Nursing Association of Clinical and Simulation Learning (INACSL) standards in Washington state. Her work on this project contributed to the College of Nursing’s selection by the INACSL for the “Healthcare Simulation Standards Endorsement” for the Core Four Standards of: Prebriefing, Debriefing, Facilitation, and Professional Integrity. Seattle University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is the first 4-year nursing program in the entire Northwest region to earn this distinction, shared by only 30 nursing schools across the country.  She recently co-published an article with Dr Diane Fuller Switzer entitled “Ethics Crisis Standards of Care Simulation, in the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal. 

Dr. Knowles is actively involved in numerous professional organization and honor societies including Sigma Theta Tau, INACSL, Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), Pacific Northwest Healthcare Simulation Collaborative (PNWHSC), National Association of Neonatal Nurses/PNANN, and the Association for Women's Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing. In addition, she supports several Seattle University student driven endeavors, Stop the Bleed and Camp Kesem, as faculty advisor and board member.

Melissa Owen, PhD, RN, CNE, FHSA

Melissa Owen, PhD, RN, CNE, FHSA

Dr. Melissa Owen is an Associate Professor who joined the Seattle University College of Nursing in 2022. She earned a PhD in Nursing Science from Rush University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Emory University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Owen has been a nurse for 20 years and has been in academia for over 10. She primarily teaches in the prelicensure program and has held various academic leadership positions. Areas of teaching include medical-surgical nursing, health assessment, professional development and leadership.

Dr. Owen's clinical and research areas of focus are on palliative care in patients with heart failure and heart transplant candidates as well as promoting mental health and wellness is nursing students. She is actively involved in several professional organizations including the Heart Failure Society of America and the National League for Nursing.

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Peggy O’Boyle Fine

Senior Director of Development