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Meet our Spokane, Colville and Chewelah Providence nurses who make a difference every day.

A Higher Calling

Providence nurses unite science and art with a deep commitment to compassion

Story by Kate Vanskike • Photos by Gary Matoso

On the day Maria Martin gave birth to a son, her life changed forever—though not only for the reason you might expect. The day she became a mother, she also decided to become a nurse.

“I was fortunate to be at Providence Holy Family, where I had a wonderful experience bringing my little boy into the world,” she says. “I don’t remember all the details of my labor and delivery, but I do remember how I felt and how I was treated. My nurse, Deanna, treated me with compassion, respect and kindness.” Martin adds, “Because of that experience, I chose to become a nurse myself.”

She now visits the Family Maternity Center at Holy Family regularly—as a labor and delivery nurse, helping other people bring new life into the world.

More than 2,400 men and women proudly serve as nurses in Providence Health Care ministries. Most are within the hospital setting, where they’re dedicated to specific types of care such as obstetrics, surgery, cardiac, intensive care and emergency. Others serve within skilled nursing facilities or provide in-home care. While their daily demands differ, they share the belief that nursing is a calling.

Meet seven nurses who answered that call.


Lynn, RN, MN

Lynn, RN, MN - Providence Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, WA.Providence Holy Family Hospital 

Why Nursing?

Aside from a few months in the sixth grade when I wanted to be an interstate trucker, my whole life has focused on nursing. I’ve always been fascinated by the contrast between the strength and frailty of the human body. Its intricate and complex design provides continual opportunities to learn more about how health and disease affect the whole person: body, mind and spirit.

The Providence Difference

I choose to work at Providence because the organization’s Mission and values align with my own. I believe our work is God-centered and Providence allows us to bring our beliefs into our work environment to strengthen what we do as care providers.

Rewards and Challenges

The way we deliver health care is constantly changing to improve patient care, which is sometimes a challenge. I’ve had the privilege of sharing in some of life’s most valuable moments, which could be a time of healing or of passing on. I feel that my presence, my skills and my caring have brought some peace to families, and knowing that I had a positive impact provides me with the emotional energy to meet the demands of this profession.

Nursing in a Nutshell

Nursing is one of the most meaningful paid positions in our world. The act of knowledgeable caring for strangers goes beyond the normal boundaries of society. Nursing touches lives on an intimate level, as we learn and care about each person to optimize their health.

Gail, RN - Providence Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Home Health in Spokane, WA.

Gail, RN

Providence VNA Home Health Spokane (VNA) Home Health 

Why Nursing?

I have always been fascinated with God’s creation and the complexity of the human being. When I had my first baby she was frequently in the hospital, which inspired me to go to nursing school.

The Providence Difference

Its Mission is unique: providing compassionate care to the poor and vulnerable as demonstrated by Jesus. I appreciate that I can also reach out to patients spiritually and even pray with them if they desire.

Rewards and Challenges

It’s rewarding to see patients improve and flourish, and equally rewarding to comfort a patient who is at the end of life. In home health, I get to know the patient and family, and really see what their needs are and connect them with community resources. I truly get to answer the call of every patient to “know me, care for me, ease my way.”

Nursing in a Nutshell

Nursing is fulfilling and rewarding, and offers so many possibilities to fit a person’s abilities and personality.

Kathie, RN

Kathy, RN - Providence St. Joseph's Hospital in Chewelah, WA.Providence St. Joseph Hospital, Chewelah

Why Nursing?

I have always wanted to be a nurse. I was a candy striper at Mount Carmel Hospital during high school and later became a volunteer at St. Joseph Long Term Care, where I eventually became a nurse.

The Providence Difference

Being a Providence nurse is more than just caring for patients’ medical needs—it is giving quality to their lives.

Rewards and Challenges
The residents in long-term care have unique needs, and finding out what will improve their lives is very rewarding and challenging at the same time. Working together with the many providers to deliver the best care and helping the families through very difficult times has given me great joy.

Nursing in a Nutshell

Being a nurse is both a rewarding and heartbreaking career. It’s hard work, physically and emotionally, and requires continuous education to keep up on skills, technology and changes in medications and treatments. However, if you like a challenge, excitement and the rewards that come from helping others, please join us. We always need more nurses.

Cathy, RN - Providence St. Joseph Care Center in Spokane, WA.

Cathy, RN

Providence St. Joseph Care Center 

Why Nursing?

When I was a child, I wore my “nurse’s uniform” and took care of my “sick” dolls in a hospital ward I made with cribs and cradles. When I was 8, my brother had surgery and while he was in the hospital I loved helping the nurses. When he came home, I continued to treat him just like the nurses did.

The Providence Difference

I worked at a for-profit nursing home where it was all about making money. I knew it wasn’t the place for me, and when I gave my resignation, my manager suggested I might fit in better at St. Joseph—and he was right. At Providence, doing the right thing for the patient is always at the forefront of all we do.

Rewards and Challenges

The challenges can be many: facing difficult situations with patients and families; giving heartbreaking news; feeling pulled in lots of directions at once; just being “present” with someone when there is nothing else that can be done. No matter how big the challenges, the rewards far exceed them. Every day I come to work, I make a difference for someone.

Nursing in a Nutshell

Nursing is not just a job—it is about who and what we are at our very core. There is no feeling in the world like hearing a patient thank you and tell you that you made a difference in his or her life. Every day I make a difference … because I am a nurse.

Rick, RN

Rick, RN - Intensive Care Unit, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital in Spokane, WA.Intensive Care Unit. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital

Why Nursing?

I spent a period researching where to go in my life and chose intensive care nursing, feeling it would be a good balance between helping people and working with technology. It was the right fit, and I’ve never looked back.

The Providence Difference

As I finished nursing school, I looked at hospitals all over the Pacific Northwest and kept returning to the wonderful people at Sacred Heart. It has now been 20 years with Providence and many people I work with were here before me—that says something. I’ve walked the halls in many nursing roles and have consistently seen very hardworking people, still taking the time to care for patients and help one another in spite of endless pressures and the escalating complexity of our practice.

Rewards and Challenges

The role of nurse has become more complex over the years, and the time to truly engage with patients is increasingly scarce. However, I have had the honor of helping to save the lives of countless patients and I have engaged with families in their greatest time of need.

Nursing in a Nutshell

I am able to live out my personal mantra: “If I have to work, let me be doing something that matters.”

Carrie, RN - Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville, WA.

Carrie, RN

Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, Colville

Why Nursing?

Nursing chose me—it was a calling. I was always fascinated by the human body and wanted to be challenged by a job that required critical thinking skills and provided the opportunity to work with people.

The Providence Difference

The story of the Sisters of Providence and how they cared for the poor and vulnerable makes us special. Providence has an amazing legacy and we have an opportunity to continue it.

Rewards and Challenges

Some of the greatest rewards come from caring for a challenging patient. Knowing you were able to help them spiritually, physically and emotionally is a gift.

Nursing in a Nutshell

Nursing is a difficult job that is rewarding only to those who really love caring for the human spirit and facing daily challenges. If I had to do it all again, I would choose this profession a million times over.

Chris, CRNA

Chris, CRNA - Anesthesia at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital in Spokane, WA.Anesthesia, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital

Why Nursing?

I chose nursing so I could serve people who are in need. I felt empathy for people who were hurting, and wanted to help in a healing process. I later chose anesthesia as a specialty to advance my training and career while staying in the acute care arena.

The Providence Difference

Providence stands out for the values set forth in the Mission statement, its excellent care for all levels of need, and by staying on the cutting edge of technology and procedures.

Rewards and Challenges

The challenges in anesthesia are to remain current on the latest techniques and medical discoveries in order to offer the safest care. The reward is in having skills that enable me to help change lives.

Nursing in a Nutshell

Nursing offers unique opportunities to do meaningful work. Because I'm a nurse, I am able to be part of a surgical team that performs repairs of cleft lips and palates for poor children in Guatemala. It has changed my life.


Peg Currie, RN MA - Chief Nursing Officer, Providence Health & Services hospitals in Spokane and Stevens counties.

The Call of Compassion

Florence Nightingale would be proud. Nursing has gone from basic care in the poor-houses and battlefields to specialization in many areas of advanced medicine. It builds on both art and science to prevent illness, alleviate suffering and optimize the health of all people. Within Providence Health Care ministries, nurses combine those duties with the essence of our Mission, which is compassion.

Nursing is a high calling. The science of it requires critical thinking, carrying out treatment within a prescribed formula and assessing the entire person in addition to a diagnosis or set of symptoms. That in itself is often complicated and time-consuming. Then, a nurse must master the “art” of this field, which is about fostering healing on every level—by listening, coaching, teaching, exploring and being present in the moment. It is truly sacred work.

To answer the call of every person to “Know me, care for me, ease my way” is the motto that guides our nurses every day as they seek to provide safe, effective, compassionate and quality care. They have received many awards and countless notes of gratitude for the expert care they provide, and yet we believe we have no “finish line.” Our practice will always evolve and stretch alongside the complexity of health care as we continue our mission of healing.

Peg Currie, RN, MA
Chief Nursing Officer