Rx for Nursing: Three past and present leaders
in nursing ensure profession thrives
by Greg Brewis
Karen Phillips '55
In the early ’50s Karen Phillips ’55 spent over five
years in nursing education, the standard for the time. She studied
for a year at PLC, three years at Emanuel Hospital in Portland (where
PLC nursing students then received their clinical training), another
year at PLC, and a final three months at Emanuel.
After graduation, Phillips served as a nurse
in the hospital in her hometown, Ritzville, Wash. She then worked
at Swedish Hospital in Seattle before helping to open the new University
of Washington Medical Center in 1959, where she worked for 30 years.
An expert in clinical nursing, Phillips held
leadership roles at the UW during decades of astounding advances
She was head of the UW Medical Outpatient Clinic,
helped prep patients for the first heart transplants at the UW and
served on the teams that established the first cancer clinic, the
first Alzheimer’s clinic and the first AIDS clinic there.
Phillips retired in 1989 and serves today as
a PLU regent.
R. Eline Kraabel Morken
While at the Emanuel School of Nursing, Karen Phillips studied under
R. Eline Kraabel Morken, who was educational director there. Morken
later left Portland to become director of the Pacific Lutheran Department
of Nursing, which would become the School of Nursing, serving from
1953 to 1966.
Morken oversaw the establishment of the nursing
clinical program in Tacoma, which consolidated all four years of
nursing study on campus. She also led the school through its initial
accreditation by the state.
Many of Morken’s family members have
attended and supported PLU over the years. Recently the family has
played a lead role in funding the Morken Center for Learning and
Technology, which will be the new home for academic programs in
business, mathematics and computing.
“Studying nursing under Eline Morken
was very much like being in the army,” Phillips said. “She
was just like a staff sergeant, lining us up for inspection every
morning before we went to work. She was intimidating, but the education
we received was the best.”
Lori Loan '82
Lori Loan ’82 received her BSN from PLU and her master’s
in science and Ph.D. degrees in nursing from the University of Washington.
She is chief of Nursing Research Service and a member of the Executive
Board of Directors at Madigan Army Medical Center.
During Loan’s 15 years in research, she
has written or assisted in writing 61 grants, of which 42 received
external funding of more than $8 million for nursing research.
She is a member of the National Neonatal Intensive
Care Certification Exam Development Committee and the National Army
Nursing Research Advisory Board. Loan is the Northwest Nursing Research
Leader for the TriService Nursing Research Program, on the Board
of Directors for PLU Alumni Association, and the president elect
of the Pacific Northwest Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Loan holds clinical faculty member positions
in the schools of nursing at University of Washington and PLU.
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