DiversityNursing.com’s sixth $5,000 Education Award Winner is… Quyen Stevenson, NP. Quyen is an eternal Student, Nurse, Mother, Marathon Runner, Violinist and Community Service Activist. Quyen lives in Kirkland, WA with her husband and 2 sons, Matthew & Mark, ages 7 and 10 respectively.
Quyen was born in Vietnam and came to the US with her family when she was a year old. For 6 months, Quyen’s parents and their 5 children were in refugee camps in the Philippines, Guam and Camp Pendleton in CA. A Lutheran church in WA sponsored her family to live in the US and they grew to have 1 more child.
Throughout Quyen’s life, she’s had multiple mentors that advised her to continue her education and she has dutifully followed their advice. Quyen has worked 20 years in Healthcare and she “loves what she does”! She is halfway through her DNP program and will be graduating in June 2015 from Seattle University.
Her academic journey started at Linfield College in OR. She had to stop her education in OR to move back to Seattle and take care of her grandmother. In 1998, she graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BS in Exercise Science. In the meantime, she met a wonderful man from Michigan. They got married and together they went to NY so Quyen could attend an accelerated BSN program at Pace University where she graduated in 2000. While in NY, she met a dermatologist and worked with the dermatologist for 2 years while going to school.
After graduation in 2000, they moved back to Kirkland, WA and Quyen spent 9 years working in home health, the last 4 years in wound care. Because of her experience working with the dermatologist in NY, Quyen realized she wanted to focus on wound care. She spent 15 months continuing her education by completing an online program studying wound ostomy and continence at Emory University. In 2009, she received her MSN from Seattle Pacific U and her Family NP certification.
For the past 5 years, Quyen’s time is split working 48 hours/week both at the Seattle VA in the out-patient wound & ostomy clinic, and one day with her own wound & ostomy consulting business; working on her doctorate full time; and together with her devoted husband, raising their 2 boys. I had to ask her when she has time to sleep!
Patients come to her when they are at their sickest. Everything has been tried for them. Many are facing surgery and amputations. She said “Our job is to help them keep their legs and 10 toes”. She continued “I’ve always loved Mother Theresa. Her name shows up in all my coursework papers because she is my guiding force.” Quyen loves to “make a difference in people’s lives. It’s humbling and rewarding and I feel incredibly blessed.”
As Quyen explained to me, “Ostomy patients are usually cancer patients who face life changing surgeries to have the ability to eliminate waste in a bag for the rest of their lives.” Because of Quyen’s big heart and love of her patients, 2 years ago she started the Eastside Ostomy Support Group in Kirkland, WA that has grown to over 50 solid members. Many friendships have been formed. Year round, they meet once a month and even if the date falls on a holiday, the members still want to meet. Evergreen Hospital has dedicated a room for the group’s use.
Another passion of hers is playing the violin. This is her 9th season with the Eastside Symphony. On Mother’s Day, Quyen ran a half marathon and her 2 boys participated in their first 5K race. They are a busy family!
Quyen’s dream is to be a Nurse Educator hoping to teach where her kids go to college. The past 5 years she’s been working at the Seattle VA and she plans to continue working there while teaching. When Quyen was notified that she won our $5,000 Education Award, she registered the next day to take 1 class this summer to lighten her course load for next year. She is very grateful to win our $5,000 Education Award as it will help her finish her DNP. It was an honor to speak with Quyen as I was very impressed with her dedication to her work, education, family and community. Congratulations Quyen!!
Quyen was kind enough to send the following comment to DiversityNursing.com, “You will always be a special part of my career and success.”
Thank you Quyen!!!