Edmonds nursing instructor inducted into Washington Nurses Hall of Fame

(MulkiteoBeacon.com) Everett Community College nursing instructor Helen Behan has been inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame.

Behan, of Edmonds, who became a nurse in 1951 and has educated nurses for more than 35 years, was one of six nurses selected for the Hall of Fame.

The group was honored at a ceremony March 27.

“Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor that we bestow on an individual,” said Judy Huntington, executive director of WSNA. “These six new inductees are truly remarkable. They have not only improved numerous lives throughout their careers, but they are each leaving a legacy that will advance health and nursing in Washington for years to come,”

Behan, graduated from the Virginia Mason Diploma School of Nursing in 1951 and went on to complete her bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Washington in 1953.

She later earned her master’s in nursing at the University of Washington and completed a post-master’s program in rehabilitation nursing.

Behan began her career as a public health nurse then moved on to delivering direct patient care at Harborview, Boeing and with the Veterans Administration.

Helen worked at the Veterans Administration until an auto accident prevented her from lifting patients.

No longer able to provide bedside care, she joined the faculty at Seattle Central Community College in 1971.

She came to EvCC in 1973, where she developed the Career Mobility Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN) program.

“My favorite Helen story is about the time she spent in Alaska when we were asked if we could offer our LPN to RN program for staff nurse who were place bound,” said Stuart Barger, EvCC Dean of Health Sciences and Public Safety.  “Helen stayed in Ketchikan for a year to bring our educational program to these LPN students. All her students went on to graduate and become licensed as Registered Nurses in their community. To me this speaks volumes about her commitment to the students and the profession; and a bit to her adventurous side,”

During her career, Helen also spent two years in Oregon serving as the Director of Nursing at Umpqua Community College.

Despite officially retiring in 1993, Behan continues to teach part time at EvCC.

She remains committed to fostering student success, helping English as second language students with their Nursing Assistant Certification, Barger said.

Behan also currently serves as a pastoral care volunteer at Providence Regional Medical Center’s Colby Campus where she provides spiritual care and comfort to patients.

Founded in 1908, WSNA is the professional organization representing more than 16,000 registered nurses in Washington State.

WSNA effectively advocates for the improvement of health standards and availability of quality health care for all people; promotes high standards for the nursing profession; and advances the professional and economic development of nurses.