Josephine Ensign at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, 2022, Photo credit: Paige Critcher

Josephine Ensign is a professor of nursing at the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing in Seattle, Washington where she teaches health policy, public health, and health humanities. She is an adjunct professor, UW School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Her scholarship focuses on health and social inequities for people marginalized by poverty and homelessness. Her essays have appeared in The SunFront Porch Journal, Pulse, Silk Road, The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Electric Literature, The Examined Life Journal, Oberlin Alumni Magazine, and the Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine.

Ensign’s medical memoir, Catching Homelessness: A Nurse’s Story of Falling Through the Safety Net, was named the American Journal of Nursing 2017 Book of the Year for creative works. Her second book, Soul Stories: Voices from the Margins was published in July 2018 by the University of California Medical Humanities Press.  Ensign’s third book, Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City, was published in August 2021 by Johns Hopkins University Press. It was named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Ensign received her BA (Biology and Religion) from Oberlin College, her masters in primary care nursing from the Medical College of Virginia, and her doctorate in public health from the Johns Hopkins University  She has worked as a family nurse practitioner for the past thirty-nine years, providing primary health care to homeless adolescents, families, and adults.

Here is a link to her current CV:

Personal Note:

  • The views expressed on my blog are my own, and do not represent those of my current employer, the University of Washington.
  • All materials on this website are copyrighted and can only be used with proper attribution.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Josephine!
    I took your homeless youth class several years ago while I was in nursing school. I am starting the Community Health Nursing program at UW this fall. I stumbled upon your blog through someone who posted it on Facebook. I can’t wait to read more. I have always admired and respected what you do.

    Julie Myers


  2. Hello!

    My name is Sam and I work with Jacksonville University’s School of Nursing. Because of the quality information you are providing to the online world about nursing, we would like to award your blog one of the “20 Best Blogs for Nurses.” To mark this achievement, I am including code information with this email. When the code is added to your blog, a badge will be produced which announces that Jacksonville University considers your blog one of the 20 Best Blogs for Nurses. You can see what the badge looks like here: http://schoolofnursingonline.wordpress.com/ on the right hand side toward the bottom.

    I wish to congratulate you on your success, and am happy to offer you help in successfully publishing this badge to your site. In the right hand column, you will be able to add this code and on every page your visitors come to, they will see that you have been recognized as a top blog in the niche of nursing.

    CODE for Your Award Badge:
    RN to BSN

    Please email or call me if you have any questions. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading future posts on your blog.

    Thanks so much!


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