U-M School of Nursing announces 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award winner

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The University of Michigan School of Nursing and the UMSN Distinguished Alumni Award Selection Committee are excited to announce Linda Everett, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, as the winner of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her extensive contributions to nursing leadership, education and evidence-based practice. Everett earned her Ph.D. from the U-M School of Nursing in 1998.

Everett was nominated for this year’s award by 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Jane Barnsteiner, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

"Dr. Everett has been an extraordinary leader within health care systems and professional organizations," said Barnsteiner. "Her passionate advocacy for bringing together faculty leaders and skilled clinicians in creative ways, and her ability to anticipate and shape national nursing trends, embody the School of Nursing's spirit of 'We Dare.'"

An active researcher, lecturer and speaker, Everett is widely recognized for her work in nursing leadership, academic-practice partnerships and patient care, with a focus on evidence-based practice and financial acumen. She has received a number of prestigious honors for her work in these areas, including the National League for Nursing President’s Award, the American Organization of Nurse Leaders’ Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, which is bestowed upon Indiana residents who have rendered distinguished service to the state or governor.

"My heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Everett," said U-M School of Nursing Dean Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. "Her accomplished career shows the many ways nurses can effect change for their patients, their profession and health care more broadly."

Before earning her doctorate in nursing administration and nursing systems from U-M, Everett received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Kent State University and a Master’s of Science in Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, where she currently serves as a visiting professor at the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

Linda Everett headshotOnce an education major at Ohio State University, Everett was preparing to become a history teacher before finding her calling in the nursing profession.  

“I had summer job at a local hospital as a nursing assistant on the night shift in the float pool, where I observed the caring and passion that the nurses had for their patients,” she remembered. “By the end of the summer, I made a crucial decision to change my major to nursing. I have never regretted that decision, and I am proud to be a nurse.”

While serving as director of nursing at the Detroit Medical Center, Everett committed to continuing her formal education at U-M, where she credits Drs. Katherine Jones, Shake Ketefian and Richard Redman as important mentors who helped guide her doctoral studies.

“The reputation and credibility of the faculty and the professional achievements of the alumni at the University of Michigan School of Nursing were major attractions,” she explained. “I was fortunate to have these scholars on my team.”

In a celebrated career that spans more than 50 years, Everett has been a mentor to many nurses herself, drawing on her experiences as an educator, executive and clinician to help new generations of nurse leaders advance the profession.

“Nursing is a profession with boundless opportunities, and with those opportunities there are rewards and challenges,” she said. “Rewards are exhilarating; challenges can be heartbreaking. I experienced good days and bad days, but in all my days as a caregiver and leader, I was guided by a moral compass of commitment and purpose to provide the best care for patients and families in any situation I was in.”