Steven Pline enjoys being engaged with a community to work toward a common goal.
That energy is part of the reason he volunteers with the AAPPN Board of Directors as well as the Education Committee.
Steven is a current AAPPN At-Large Board Member and was our inaugural Student Board Member. He has a DNP and an MBA from the UW and is working in private practice in Seattle.
We’d love to get to know you personally a little more. What are some of your delights in your leisure time?
“Away from work, I enjoy cooking, exploring new areas on foot or by bicycle, and long evenings of conversation with dark chocolate and Oregon or Washington wines.” Steven said. “My partner’s Airedale Terrier, Winston, has trained me to provide plenty of scratches and food taxes to his highness and at least one walk through Pike Street Market each day. However, the dog continues to express disapproval with my technique when brushing his teeth, which only his ‘real human’ can do to his satisfaction.”
Tell us a little about your journey to becoming a PMHNP.
“So many different experiences in my life have led to this point.” Steven said he “grew up in the Church” with a strong culture of service to others. He was first exposed to the medical world through childhood friends whose parents were physicians, but he knew the medical model was not for him.
While his beliefs have evolved over the years, he still reflects on his calling to become a PMHNP as being rooted in his upbringing.
Steven worked for a large company in business and IT for 30 years. He got an MBA from the University of Washington. The highlight of that career was “putting printers into networks before that was a thing, when people didn’t think they belonged there.” It was clear to him, through listening sessions with IT managers and other stakeholders, that this was a likely solution to some problems, and it could be done.
He knew he was interested in mental health, so he enrolled in a Masters in Counseling program in Idaho in 2009. That program illuminated that he was interested in the use of medications as well as therapy, so he stopped his studies halfway through the program. Due to the inaccessibility of a PMHNP program near Boise, he put his dream on hold while continuing his corporate career.
What do you like about being a PMHNP so far?
Steven appreciates his training at UW and being able to “use evidence-based practice to treat people.” He is very happy to be in nursing, where he is empowered to consider a person beyond their mental health disorder and provide treatment with the whole person in mind.
What does AAPPN mean to you and your career development?
Steven describes AAPPN as a “grounding” force in his journey. He notes having benefited from “social connection, professional connection, and advocacy.” He appreciates the opportunity to learn from other providers and hear about clinical issues as a regular member of the CAYA group, plus “I love the conferences.” So much so that Steven joined the AAPPN Education Committee.
You’ve been involved on committees and on the Board. What motivated you to get involved and what keeps you engaged?
“It’s wonderful to be engaged in a community to work toward a common goal.” This gets particularly exciting when groundbreaking legislation like the recent “same pay for the same service” bill is in play. He noted being glad to be part of an organization that directly fights for recognition and representation for the work of ARNPs, and “it blows me away that we are having to work as hard as we are” to try to get this legislation passed.
Steven enjoys being able to keep a pulse on the ever-evolving landscape of psychiatric care and the practice of nursing in Washington State, which he gets a more direct window into as a member of the AAPPN Board. He was elected to the inaugural Student Board Member position, and currently volunteers as an At-Large Board Member. He is in his second year of volunteering on the Education Committee, where he helps shape the Annual Conferences and brainstorm other educational opportunities like the Master Classes. He continues to be enthusiastic about staying involved with AAPPN because he knows that “the Board and the AAPPN executive team respects our busy work schedules and encourage balance.”