Jan Bussert, BSN, RN, has been a consistent, steady leader for five decades, building and rebuilding the Washington State Nurses Association through many challenges and opportunities. Throughout her career, Bussert has been a tireless and committed champion for WSNA, the American Nurses Association, registered nurses and the nursing profession. She has consistently worked to build the power of nurses across Washington state to speak up for themselves and their patients in their workplaces, in the state legislature and in Washington, D.C.
Bussert received her nursing diploma in 1969 from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Yakima and later her BSN from Gonzaga University. She has more than 40 years of nursing experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings as a staff nurse in psychiatric nursing at Harborview Medical Center, critical care at St. Elizabeth Hospital, cardiac rehabilitation and cardiology prevention and treatment at Yakima Heart Center and outpatient primary care at Vashon Health Clinic on Vashon Island. Bussert also worked for WSNA as a Labor Specialist and Nurse Organizer from 2006 until she retired in 2014.
Bussert has served WSNA and ANA in numerous positions over the years, devoting countless hours to these associations and the members they serve. She served four two-year terms as WSNA Board President (1997-2001 and 2015-2019) and four two-year terms as WSNA First Vice President (1979-1983 and 1993-1997).
In 2000, Bussert was elected to a four-year term on the ANA Board of Directors and was appointed ANA Treasurer to fill a vacancy in 2002. She then successfully ran for the position, serving as Treasurer from 2004 through 2006. She also served as Treasurer of the American Nurses Foundation and held several other national offices in ANA, including as a member of the ANA Finance Committee, Chair of the ANA Appointments Committee and Vice-chair of the Constituent Assembly. She was a member of the Advisory Committee on the ANA Code of Ethics, the Task Force on Workplace Advocacy, the ANA Futures Task Force and the ANA Board Task Force on Affiliation. Bussert has also served as an ANA delegate from WSNA for many years.
Bussert has always been active in legislative and political action on behalf of nursing and has testified on many nursing and health care issues before the state legislature and state agencies. Bussert also has presented at many state and national educational sessions.
WSNA has twice awarded Bussert the coveted ANA Honorary Recognition Pin Award, first in 2001 and again in 2019, for her outstanding leadership and contributions to nurses and nursing in Washington state. WSNA members and student nurses have consistently described her as a tireless advocate, leader, mentor, teacher and true inspiration.
Bussert’s long service has had an enormous impact on WSNA and ANA, shaping what they are today. This impact will be felt by registered nurses and the nursing profession far into the future.