Meet the MNPC!

SNHS caught up with the founders of the student-led Master of Nursing Peer Community (MNPC).  The students, Mei Louie, Emily Howerter, Christine Roddy, Maria (Nina) Kirk, and Kristen Barrante, were willing to answer a few questions for us and we learned a lot about the MNPC and the community they're creating through this inspiring work.  

The idea for a mentorship program was initiated by Mei Louie. She connected with current MN students Emily Howerter, Nina Kirk, and Christine Roddy to develop the UWB Master of Nursing Peer Community (MNPC). While the MNPC was initially conceived as a mentorship platform, it was identified that a more open ended community connection is also desired within and between the cohorts. The MNPC is a student-run resource open to UWB MN students and alumni to informally and formally network, build relationships, and support each other. We aim to utilize MNPC as a platform to provide opportunities for student socialization, engagement and collaboration.

We realized the need for peer-to-peer coaching and mentoring in the MN program as we observed that peer mentors are more relatable to the mentee and can foster successful integration into graduate school. Additionally, we observed that peer mentors can increase the mentee's level of confidence, self-esteem, comfort and competence to promote academic success.

The mission of the MNPC is to build a dynamic student community to foster connection, development, guidance and vision for our diverse student body.

The goals of the MNPC include: 

  • Fostering a safe and open-space for student connection across cohorts
  • Providing a network of peer mentors for program and career support, guidance, and exploration
  • Building connections between MN students and graduates
  • Normalizing stressors experienced in graduate school
  • Collecting and amplifying diverse student voices

The MNPC provides the following services:

  • Peer mentoring
  • Alumni Hour! events - The MNPC coordinates these events for UWB MN alumni to share advice and provide guidance to current MN students
  • Kudos board: MN students can post kudos about each other for all students to see
  • Advice Column: an online advice column that showcases advice from MN students about graduate education and the MN program 
  • Group online chat rooms and discussion boards as a hub for chatting, staying connected and sharing resources
  • We aim to host in-person social events in the future (post-pandemic)
  • Providing several ways for MN students to connect during the pandemic and online learning
  • Foster a space for UWB MN alumni to stay connected with the program after graduation

Some of the most rewarding aspects of working for the MNPC include:

  • Facilitating a safe and trusting learning environment for MN students which provides opportunities for meaningful conversations and reflection. This in turn fosters knowledge sharing, student growth and scholarly inquiry.
  • Providing opportunities for mentorship to aid in a successful transition to graduate school.
  • Building a greater sense of community and connecting with other MN students provides enhanced support and guidance to help students grow personally, academically, and professionally. 
  • Creating the MNPC with student peers to create a platform for greater peer-to-peer connections through mentorship, social events, and speaker forums has been so rewarding on a number of levels. 
  • Helping to establish the MNPC, I have been able to be intentional in fostering student-centered learning and professional development support, and this experience has given me the opportunity to apply many of the ideas I have been learning in the MN program.
  • I have also had the opportunity to be a mentor to a peer and it is really affirming to provide guidance and encouragement on their learning journey. It feels really good to give back to a learning community that has supported my growth and development as a nurse educator.

What brought you to UWB and the MN program?

Mei’s response: There are many things that brought me to UWB’s MN program. UWB’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion aligns with my values. The faculty and administrative staff at UWB’s MN program fosters a safe learning environment as well as facilitates collaboration between faculty and students to reach a high level of inquiry to support innovation and knowledge growth in nursing practice and education.

Nina's response: I chose UWB's MN program for the university's reputation as a leader in the field of nursing. I was excited for the opportunity to learn alongside fellow nurses from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and with guidance from expert faculty.

Christine’s response: As a graduate of UW Seattle, I valued the quality of education that I received in the BSN program. I chose UWB because I wanted to obtain that superior level of education in pursuing my masters degree.

Emily's response: I had been teaching nursing for a few years prior to entering the program, but I lacked confidence, theoretical knowledge, and much of formal skills of a nurse educator. I decided to commit to nursing education and I wanted to develop into my role as an educator to build a teaching practice based on best practices – much as I had at the bedside in critical care nursing.

Kristen's response: I chose to pursue a Master of Nursing degree at UWB because I was compelled by the intentional way in which the program advances nursing leaders through promoting social justice and addressing inequities in healthcare with exceptional academic quality.

Kristen BarranteKristen Barrante: Moving forward, I would like to work in collaboration with nurses in low- and middle-income countries to address health disparities in childhood cancer care. 






Emily HowerterEmily Howerter:  After graduation, I plan to continue to learn and grow in my role as a nurse educator in the current setting I am teaching – Shoreline Community College Nursing Program. I am a life-long learner, and I anticipate the next chapter of my nursing career to be marked by continued growth and development in support of nursing education.


Maria KirkNina Kirk: After graduation I am interested in teaching pre-licensure nursing students or at an RN to BSN program, and to contribute to recruitment and retention support for underrepresented students.




Mei LouieMei Louie:  After completing the MN program I aim to teach pre-licensure nursing students or at an RN to BSN program





Christine Roddy: I am currently in the general track and look forward to figuring out which passion to follow as I learn more throughout the program.