About Us

Who We Are

The Inland Empire Nurses Association is a non-profit organization representing nurses in District Four of the Washington State Nurses Association. IENA’s jurisdiction presently includes the counties of Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln and Pend Oreille.

In October 1898, nine graduate nurses met at the Spokane Hotel and organized the Spokane County Nurses Association. The annual membership fee was $1.00, and a directory was issued.

In 1909 the Association was incorporated and the name changed to the Spokane County Graduate Nurses Association. This was the foundation for today’s IENA.

There are currently more than 1,911 members in the Inland Empire Nurses Association.

The IENA Board of Directors meets the first Monday of each month at 5:30 PM in the conference room upstairs from the IENA office at 222 West Mission. All members are welcome to attend.

Meetings are not held when the first Monday of the month falls on a holiday, nor do they occur during July and August.

Historical Timeline

The original logo of the WSGNA.The Early Years (1908-1920): During the early part of the 20th century, the health needs in the state of Washington were many and varied. Although the trend was for more hospitals, the bulk of hospital nursing service was provided by students, and the largest field for graduate nurses was private duty nursing in the hospital and the home.

The hours were long and the wages low. In the majority of cases, this meant 20-24 hour duty with an average wage of $3-$5 per day. It was also in this period that the need for the visiting or public health nurse became apparent. The first industrial nurses were also employed in this era – and indications were that this too would be a consistently growing field of nursing.

As the country moved into World War I, the first experience with a serious shortage of trained nurses became a reality. The need for nurses was compounded by the national influenza epidemic of 1918 and the public demands for the development of public health. These factors placed a heavy burden on the nursing profession.

In addition, the scope of nursing practice was expanding with corresponding demands for nurses in laboratory work, anesthesia and hospital staff work.

Program from the 9th Annual WSGNA Banquet in 1916. Click on image to see larger size in a new window.1908: Following two years of intense work, the delegates of the third Washington State Graduate Nurses Association (WSGNA) Convention finalize and adopt the original Articles of Incorporation.

1909: WSGNA lobbies the Legislature and achieves passage of the first Nurse Practice Act in Washington State. This was no small feat in that many legislators feared that the title “Registered Nurse” would make it possible for nurses to practice medicine, surgery or midwifery.

Nurses, however, were determined not to fail in their first organized attempt to set standards and gain status. This was the beginning of the aggressive government relations program that remains an integral part of the Washington State Nurses Association today.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the IENA shall be to act and speak for the nursing profession and to promote and enhance the accountability and control of nursing practice by the nursing profession through:

  • Working for the improvement of health standards and the availability of health standards and the availability of health care services for all people and fostering high standards of nursing.
  • Stimulating and promoting the professional development of nurses.
  • Advancing their economic and general welfare.
  • The functions of the IENA shall be to:
  • Promote standards of nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing service as defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA).
  • Promote adherence to the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.
  • Influence legislation, governmental programs, and public health policy.
  • Promote and protect the economic and general welfare for nurses.
  • Provide for the continuing professional development of nurses.
  • Encourage research in nursing and the utilization of research findings as a basis for nursing.
  • Represent nurses and promote relationships with allied, professional, community and local governmental groups and with the public.
  • Assume an active role as consumer advocate in health.
  • Advocate the merits of professional nursing as a career.
  • Meet the qualification requirements as a constituent of WSNA, and;
  • Promote relationships with local chapters of the State of Washington Associated Nursing Students.


Your IENA Board

Left to Right:

  • Mikey O'Sullivan, Co-Board President
  • Michelle Waud, Secretary
  • Elissa Pennebaker, Member at Large
  • Jacklyn Smedley, WSNA Representative
  • Fran Castillo, Member at Large
  • Martha Goodall, Treasurer
  • Kathleen Thompson, Member at Large
  • Cheri Osler, Co-Board President
  • Chet Roshetko, Member at Large

Not pictured:

  • Sarai Libsack, Member at Large