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The UW School of Nursing has a national and international reputation for excellence. An unusually fertile environment for nursing research guides and shapes its baccalaureate and graduate educational programs. It also builds practice that emphasizes leadership skills for the health care needs of a multicultural world.


Box 357260
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-8736

Deborah Ward, RN, PhD, FAAN
Associate Professor Emerita

Psychosocial & Community Health
Box 357263
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7263

Email Address:
Debbie Ward was a political science major as an undergraduate at Oberlin College. But instead of law school or the foreign service, Debbie became a home health aide during a stint living in rural Connecticut. This experience led her to the then-newly-re-established program for graduate study in nursing at Yale University; an intense basic nursing program was followed by training to become a family nurse practitioner. Debbie worked as an FNP in the inner city clinic of Yale New Haven and as a solo geriatric practitioner in a public health department in Hartford before beginning her Pew doctoral fellowship in health policy at Boston University. Her doctoral study involved calculating the value of the unpaid work of family caregivers.
Her research and practice interests continue in health politics and policy. She is involved both locally and nationally in the changing format and content of health service delivery. Her teaching interests include discussion-based learning and a focus on students' personal learning styles. Her research has included technologic enhancements to patient education for low health literacy clients, recognizing the expansion of nursing work, and the patient safety movement. In addition to consultative and professional association work, she is immediate past chair of the consumer-elected Board of Trustees of Group Health Cooperative, the Pacific Northwest's pioneering health maintenance organization.
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