Nursing dean plans return to science, teaching

By Alli Benjamin, College of Nursing

Butterfield-80SPOKANE, Wash. – Patricia Butterfield, dean of Washington State University’s College of Nursing, announced today that she will return to a faculty role in April 2015. She directs nursing education at WSU’s campuses in Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Yakima. 

“This is such an exciting time for health sciences at WSU,” she said. “I’m looking forward to stepping away from administration and digging back into the science and teaching that I love.”

She is a strong proponent of research, and the college increased its research portfolio more than four-fold during her tenure. Two doctoral programs – a Ph.D. and a doctor of nursing practice – were launched under her leadership. In the most recent ranking of graduate nursing programs by US News and World Report, WSU ranked in the top 12 percent nationwide.

“Dean Butterfield’s impact on the College of Nursing and at Washington State University has been dramatic, positive and lasting,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “I am extremely pleased that she will continue to contribute as a faculty member.”

She is a nationally recognized environmental and public health leader. Her work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, addresses household environmental health risks to rural low-income families. She has served as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee.

“Pat Butterfield’s career has been devoted to helping solve some of our most pressing public health issues,” said Yale School of Nursing Dean Margaret Grey. “She has accomplished much, not only through her research and leadership, but also in assuring that the next generation of nurses is prepared to address these issues.”

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished,” said Butterfield. “Thanks to our committed faculty and staff, WSU nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse scientists serve in every community in our state and region.”

In 2013, Butterfield received the top national nursing award from CleanMed, a national organization focused on healthcare sustainability, and participated in invitational meetings at the World Health Organization addressing green health purchasing systems. In 2014, she received the YWCA of Spokane’s Women of Achievement Award in Science, Technology and the Environment.

She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Program.

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