2022 Nurse of the Year

Linda Burbank, JD, BSN, RN

We are delighted to honor Linda Burbank, JD, BSN, RN as our 2022 Rainier Olympic Nurses Association Nurse of the Year. Linda was nominated for her clinical nursing skills, her service as a leader and, most of all, her unwavering advocacy for her fellow nurses. 

Being an advocate for others is a constant in Linda’s life, she is a champion for anyone who is being bullied or who is struggling. From standing up for another child on the playground to standing up and advocating for her fellow nurses, she fights for others. “I am a nurse’s nurse. I fight for the nurses”.

Growing up in Pierce County, Linda’s first interest was the law, but after her life took a turn with the birth of her son, she chose to pursue a career in healthcare. Starting as a Certified Medical Assistant in pediatrics in 1994, she went on to earn her Associates degree in Nursing from the Tacoma Community College in 2000 and then her BSN from UWT in 2003. She has worked as a registered nurse at St. Joseph’s Ambulatory Care unit since 2001.

Not long after starting at St. Joseph’s, her colleagues recognized her natural advocacy and encouraged her to become involved with the local unit. She’s spent the last two decades advocating for nurses. Linda has served as a grievance officer, held multiple offices in local unit leadership and served on the safe staffing committee. She recalls that she’s often been the “only nurse voice in the room” and knows how vital it is to have a nurse in the room where decisions are being made. In 2016, she received a WSNA Outstanding Local Grievance Officer award.

While working at the bedside and advocating for nurses, she returned to school to pursue her original passion. Linda earned her Juris Doctor Degree with a Healthcare & Estate Planning Focus from Seattle University School of Law in 2006. In 2007, she started a law practice focusing on guardianships, probate, estate planning and personal auto & injury. For the last 16 years, she’s balanced both careers.

“I just love helping people.” As a nurse, Linda loves helping her patients navigate their way through their recovery as well as the clinical aspect of catching any health concerns as they arise. She also knows the importance of supporting people spiritually. “I never want people to pass alone.”

When asked about advice for new nurses, Linda stressed the importance of self care and the importance of becoming an advocate. “It’s ok to stand up for the right things and advocate for your patients.” She also encourages them to not be afraid to ask for help and support. As a perpetual mentor and advocate, Linda is writing a book to share her wisdom learned from her career as a nurse advocating for her fellow nurses.

Family is very important to Linda. When her granddaughter was born, she made a point of scheduling her work around time with her granddaughter. And as she cares for her aging mom and a new grandson born this Spring, she continues to prioritize time with her family.

As she continues to seek a work/life balance, Linda has moved away from bedside nursing and is supporting and advocating for nurses in her new role as a WSNA Nurse Representative. Linda shared how proud she is that nurses are standing up and finding their voices as advocates for their patients and for each other.