Saint Martin’s program director to travel to Taiwan with focus on nurse practitioners
May 23, 2013
LACEY, Wash. – Louise Kaplan, Ph.D., ARNP, FAANP, director of the Saint Martin’s University
RN-to-BSN nursing program, will travel to Taiwan
next week to share her views on the roles and challenges of nurses and nurse practitioners, as
well as the nursing profession, with faculty and students at the National Tainan Institute of
Kaplan is also invited to share information about the Saint Martin’s RN-to-BSN program – the
only such on-campus program between Tacoma and Vancouver – that she has directed since it
opened to students in the fall 2012 semester.
“I want to highlight the important contributions nurses make to the health care profession,
” Kaplan says. “Nurses are the heart and soul of health care, and nursing education provides
the next generation of nurses with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide
safe, quality care.”
“Being a nurse is an honor and a privilege as we share the most intimate moments of people’s
lives, including birth and death.”
Part of Kaplan’s five-day visit will include her attendance as a guest speaker June 1 at
the NTIN’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Kaplan says she is honored by the invitation from NTIN, a sister school to Saint Martin’s,
which has hosted summer visits made by students of the institute.
“NTIN ranks number one among all 16 junior colleges in Taiwan. In addition, 95 percent of
its graduates pass the registered nurse examination, which some schools in the United States
Still, says Kaplan, “There is a huge issue with retention of nurses in Taiwan. Nurses there
are overworked and underpaid.”
On May 31, Kaplan will make a presentation to students and faculty of the institute about
the challenges hospitals in Taiwan and the U.S. face in retaining nurses, as well as potential
solutions to the problem. In addition, she will meet with staff from a local hospital to
talk about the role of the nurse practitioner in the United States.
“In Taiwan, there are nurses who are nurse practitioners but it is a very different role
from what we have here,” she explains. “The nurse practitioner’s role in the U.S. varies
from state to state. In Washington, nurse practitioners have completely independent practices,
where they can provide comprehensive care in clinics, private offices and hospitals. Many
nurse practitioners are primary care providers. They can practice and prescribe medication
without any physician involvement in their practice. In Taiwan, they cannot prescribe medication
and they still are required to have a doctor’s involvement.”
Kaplan will additionally share recommendations made in the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report,
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The report called for the education of
nurses to respond to the needs of an evolving health care system and the changing needs of
patients, and to meet the increased demand for health care as access improves. Washington’s
Nursing Action Coalition, formed in response to the IOM report, is working to meet the report’s
recommendation to increase the proportion of registered nurses (RN) with bachelor of science
degrees to 80 percent by 2020.
Before joining Saint Martin’s, Kaplan served as a senior policy fellow at the American Nurses
Association (ANA) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Prior to her role at the ANA, she was a tenured
associate professor at Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver, and also taught at the
University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran University and George Washington University.
Kaplan maintains an active clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner and has served in
leadership positions for numerous local, state and national associations, committees, health task
forces and advisory councils.
A published scholar, Kaplan is a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, a
member of the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame and a winner of the Outstanding
Policy Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She has received
two Excellence in Teaching Awards from the WSU College of Nursing.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year,
coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300
acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the
only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University
prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and
seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business,
education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more
than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from
many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300
more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at
Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint
Martin’s University website at
For additional information:
Louise Kaplan, Ph.D.
Director, nursing program
Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager