Montana State University

MSU nursing professor elected president of professional research organization

July 5, 2016 -- By Anne Cantrell, MSU News Service

Charlene Winters, a professor on the College of Nursing’s Missoula campus, has been elected president of the Western Institute of Nursing. Photo courtesy of Charlene Winters.

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BOZEMAN — A Montana State University College of Nursing professor has been elected president of a professional organization that embraces nursing education, practice and research as a way to lead to improved patient care.

Charlene “Charlie” Winters, a professor on the College of Nursing’s Missoula campus, said she is pleased to help advance the Western Institute of Nursing’s mission.

“Serving as president (of WIN) is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in an organization that engages researchers, educators and practitioners,” Winters said. “Ultimately our work comes down to improving outcomes for patients, and improving health for communities and populations.”

The Western Institute of Nursing, or WIN, is based in Portland, Oregon, and is one of four regional nursing research organizations in the U.S. Winters has been involved with WIN since 1997. She has served as a member of the organization’s board of governors since 2011, when she was elected governor of nursing education. Her service at the helm of the organization includes serving as president-elect for one year, president for one two-year term and past-president for one year. She began her two-year term as president in April.

Winters noted that WIN – which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year – provides mentoring and awards competitive research grants. It also hosts an annual conference on the topic of communicating nursing research.

At MSU, Winters’ research focuses on chronic illness self-management, primarily in rural populations. In the last 10 years, she has focused on environmental health issues including individual and community responses to exposure to a toxin. In partnership with clinicians in Libby, Winters has conducted two studies related to asbestos-related disease.

“I am so pleased to have someone from the College of Nursing serving as president of such a prestigious nursing organization as the Western Institute of Nursing,” said Helen Melland, dean of the MSU College of Nursing. “Dr. Winters is an outstanding faculty member, and I know she will lead the organization to greater heights as it strives to ultimately improve the outcomes of patient care.”

The MSU College of Nursing educates students on five campuses – Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula – to be professional nurses capable of working in a variety of settings. It also offers a predominantly distance-delivered graduate program. More information about the college is available online at

For more information about WIN, visit

Contact: Charlene Winters, MSU College of Nursing, (406) 243-4608 or

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