OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisor for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission and objectives with help from it’s dedicated leadership, staff and community partners across Oregon.


The Oregon Center for Nursing facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals.

Strategic Objectives

Conduct, analyze and disseminate research


Encourage collaboration and build partnerships with diverse stakeholders to advance nursing

Promote nursing and healthcare in all settings in which nurses practice

Board of Directors

Jack Dempsey, Dempsey Public Affairs

Cynthia Evans, MS

Pam Fifer, EdD, RN, CNE, George Fox University
Board President

Narcy Foraker, MNE, RN, CHSE, University of Portland

Erica Knepper, BSN, RN, Adventist Health
Board Vice-President

Troy Larkin, PhD, RN, Providence Health & Services

Julie Plagenhoef, MPH, RN, Nurse Family Partnership

Patricia Rojas, RN, MBA, Kaiser Permanente
Board Secretary

Kyle Stevens, MS, Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board
Board Treasurer

Tracy Thompson, DNP, RN, Oregon State Board of Nursing (ex-officio)

Oregon Center for Nursing’s board of directors is an amazingly dedicated group of individuals passionate about nursing and healthcare! Comprised of up to 15 members, our board meets regularly to discuss the changes in the nursing workforce and healthcare delivery. Are you interested in serving on the OCN Board of Directors? Contact Executive Director, Jana Bitton, to learn more.

OCN Staff Members

Jana Bitton, MPA
Executive Director

Rick Allgeyer, PhD
Research Director

Dawne Schoenthal
Program Director

Kelley Ilic
Operations Manager