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 Sun, Front 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:
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