Skip to content

College of Nursing

iCON | Intranet for the College of Nursing
iCON | Intranet
An icon representing iCON, the Intranet for the College of Nursing

Linda White: Paying it forward chain begins


MSU Alumna recounts College of Nursing’s empathy this Nurses Week

Linda White, BSN ’75, began her career at Michigan State University with a drive to help others. However, as her journey continued, she came face to face with the reality that sometimes you are the person who needs help.

White attended the College of Nursing on a statewide scholarship. After reaching the halfway point in the program, the funds from that scholarship dried up. “My family couldn’t afford to help me at the time,” said White. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay for school myself, even after picking up multiple jobs.”

White accepted that she would have to drop out of the nursing program. All that was left for her to do was report her plan of dropping out to the dean, Dr. Isabelle Payne. Little did White know that Payne wasn’t going to let her halt her studies just yet.

“Dean Payne made it happen for me. She signed me up for a College of Nursing scholarship, and I was able to finish my program,” said White.

Thanks to the generous contribution of scholarship donors and the College, she followed her passion far beyond the confines of East Lansing. White went on to earn a master’s degree in advanced medical surgical nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.

White’s path weaved through an interest in becoming a nursing instructor, albeit a path not traveled for long. “I realized that I was already teaching highly qualified nurses every day in my career [nursing professional development].” Thus, the path continued.

The nursing path took White out of the United States. White earned the title of Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at a major U.S.-based health technology firm working on electronic medical records. “I worked with the entire medical team at hospitals and clinics all over the U.S. and Canada,” said White. “From the doctors and nurses all the way to the financial specialists, I got to witness a whole new side of healthcare.”

Honoring the kind gesture made by Dean Payne while she was a student, White takes every opportunity she can to give back to scholarships and students. She is honored to be a supporter of the MSU Spartan Nurses community.

“I want to make sure every student has the opportunity I was offered in school. Everyone should have the opportunity to follow their passion.”