Pat Greenstreet, BSN, JD, RN has been a leader in nursing throughout her career. After graduating cum laude with a baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Washington in 1975, Pat worked at Children’s Hospital, quickly working her way up to a head nurse position. She felt her desire to make a difference for patients was somewhat limited in that role, and decided to enter law school to work towards systemic changes in health care. Pat graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1984 and ever since, her career has been one of advocacy and empowerment for patients. In 1985, Pat was promoted to the position of partner at the law firm of Chemnick and Moen.
As a lawyer and a nurse, Pat is uniquely able to fight for the rights of the patients she represents. Many of her clients are newborns who have been injured during birth.
Pat’s work allows those children and their families to achieve their best potential, despite the harm they have suffered.
Pat has been a tireless advocate for the needs of the underserved and of women throughout her career. She served on the Seattle Women’s Commission’s Coalition on Comparable Worth, fighting for equal pay for equal work for women. Pat made a lasting impact as an environmental health advocate through the development of written and audiovisual consumer education materials about reusable versus disposable diapering materials.
In addition to her work as an attorney, Pat has also volunteered her services to provide legal aide to those in need. She worked with the Seattle City Attorney’s office on the Battered Women’s Project serving as an advocate to victims of domestic violence. Pat also worked as a volunteer attorney representing indigent disabled persons in Social Security cases through Catholic Community Services.
Pat founded the popular Nurses Law School as a joint project between King County Nurses Association and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. The event is held statewide every two years since 1992 in both Seattle and Spokane and attracts hundreds of nurses each time it is held. For many years, Pat was the chair of the Nurses’ Law School, an on-going educational event that informs nurses about legal issues affecting their practice.
With a license to practice both nursing and law, Pat is active in several professional organizations including Sigma Theta Tau, the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, American Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Since 1984, Pat has been an active member of both King County Nurses Association and the Washington State Nurses Association. She served on the Governmental Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors as well as President of the King County Nurses Association. In addition, Pat represented WSNA on the Task for on Health Care Reform in 1992-93 and the Medical Malpractice Review Committee in 1993-94. She was also a member of the Legislative Committee and a trustee of the Washington State Nurses Foundation at WSNA.
Pat is generous in sharing her expertise with others. She is in demand at many nursing schools, and currently is Clinical Assistant Professor at Seattle University and at the University of Washington Bothell campus. She also presents at both legal and nursing seminars.
Pat has been recognized for her achievements by both the nursing and the legal professions. Seattle Magazine listed Pat as one of the top lawyers of 2005. The Washington Trial Lawyers Association presented her with the Special President’s Recognition Award in 1994. That same year, she was awarded the KCNA President’s Award and in 1988 was recognized by KCNA as Nurse of the Year. Pat was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, the International Nursing Honor Society upon graduation from her nursing program.
Pat has been a pioneer in blending the professions of nursing and law. She points to the training she received and her understanding of the nursing process as the foundation of her law practice. Her many presentations to nursing students, continued community involvement, and dedication to bringing justice to the underserved have influenced and will continue to influence generations of nurses to come.