Hall of fame inducts EvCC nurse

Helen Behan, whose long career at Everett Community College included developing a program to train licensed practical nurses to advance their careers with registered nurse degrees, has been inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame.

Behan, who lives in Edmonds, first became a nurse in 1951 and joined the EvCC staff in 1973. She has helped educate nurses for more than 35 years.

Behan retired in 1993 but continues to teach part time, helping English-language learners with their nursing assistant certification.

The program began in 2000. The next year, it was expanded, Behan said. Recently, she has been teaching the program one quarter a year.

Induction into the nurses hall of fame “is the highest honor that we bestow on an individual,” said Judy Huntington, executive director of the Washington State Nurses Association.

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 worked at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, The Boeing Co., and the Veterans Administration before joining the faculty at Seattle Central Community College in 1971.

Stuart Barger, EvCC’s dean of health sciences and public safety, said that Behan spent a year in Ketchikan, Alaska, preparing nursing students for degrees as registered nurses.

“It was an 18-hour-a-day experience,” Behan said. “It was really fun. The people in the class really wanted to become registered nurses.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

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