Susan Thornton

Susan brings a wealth of leadership and clinical experience to inspire all levels of healthcare professionals to achieve their professional goals.  During her career, she has served in a variety of RN and NP clinical roles in acute and critical care nursing. As a Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Susan provides leadership guidance for healthcare organizations, academic institutions, government organizations, professional organizations, and businesses.

As a change-agent, servant leader in her profession, Susan teaches advanced skills such as 12-lead ECG, Preceptor-As-Leader Certificate program, and Healthcare Team Leader Certificate program. Susan holds a Master’s in Nursing as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Washington State University–Vancouver and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and the Association of Nursing Professional Development. Susan is a veteran of the United States Army Nurse Corps.

Susan is passionate about serving her family and others in her community. As mother of three active teenagers, two girls and one boy, she can often be found driving them to their activities and volunteering for every parent job along the way.

Susan is a Girl Scout leader. Over the past 11 years, she has guided three different troops of girls through service projects for veterans, the Humane Society, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and many other organizations. One year, she helped her troop achieve their cookie sales goal to sell over 15,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  That’s a lot of Thin Mints and Samoa’s!  She loves inspiring girls to overcome obstacles and achieve the highest awards in Girl Scouts by completing the Gold Award leadership project. Her dog, Kali, even enjoyed helping with service projects by sporting Girl Scout attire.

One of her favorite vacation spots is the family cabin, located at the base of Mt. St. Helen. An annual event, Susan and her family hike Windy Ridge and view the changes at Mt. St. Helen.  Hiking, swimming, running, playing cards, reading a good book, and completing renovation projects are many of the highlights Susan enjoys with her family.  On a rare occasion, she can be found sleeping in the hammock with a good book on her chest.

Susan decided to become a nurse in high school while volunteering at a hospital as a candy-striper.  Excited about helping others return to health, she discovered that the Army offered tuition scholarships to go to college and become a nurse.  The guidance she received during her time in nursing school and in the Army inspired her to pursue being a nursing leader and start her own business.

12 Lead ECG Interpretation – You are experienced with interpreting the ECG rhythm the patient is displaying on the monitor, but how do you interpret the full 12-lead ECG? This rapidly moving course will explore 12-lead ECG interpretation beyond basic cardiac ECG rhythms.  We will explore the advanced ECG concepts of bundle branch blocks, chamber enlargement, axis deviation, and ST-segment elevation, ST-segment depression and T-wave inversions and their relationship to STEMI and NSTEMI MI’s.  You will gain greater understanding of this valuable tool and use practical systematic steps for analyzing a 12-lead ECG.  This interactive course includes lecture, group participation, and skill acquisition exercises. Competency of basic cardiac ECG rhythm knowledge and identification is a mandatory prerequisite to this course.

Health Care Team Leader Certificate – Being a front-line leader as a charge nurse, team leader, or team supervisor often challenges our skills of working with others. The Health Care Team Leader Certificate program focuses on unlocking your awareness of how your personality traits play a role in your interactions with others. Learn how to adapt your style of communication and delegation to effectively motivate others to accomplish common work goals. Earning a certificate as a Health Care Team Leader will prepare you for all types of front-line team leadership positions.

Preceptor-As-Leader Certificate – You directly influence the behaviors and practices of your students, new orientees and new graduates in your role as a preceptor. You are a leader and educator. Being a preceptor sets an expectation that you are prepared to train the next generation of healthcare workers. Gain the tools and techniques you need to know about your motivations, adult learning characteristics, the barriers and biology associated with learning, how to develop critical thinking, and deliver feedback to your preceptee. Techniques which may work for one preceptee may not work for another. Learn how to adjust your coaching skills and strategies to make each preceptee successful. The Preceptor-As-Leader Certificate program is designed to provide you with the evidence-based knowledge and skills to fulfill your role as preceptor in any organization.