YOLANDA BURRESS September 14, 1950 - May 17, 2021 Yolanda Burress, known as Lonna, was born September 14th, 1950 in San Andres, CA to parents Barbara Bonham and Maurice Burress. She graduated from Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, CA and went on to follow her passion, the study Chemistry, at the University of Nevada, Reno. After a near fatal car accident in her early 20's, Lonna had a pivotal shift in her career path after witnessing firsthand the compassion, diligence, and drive of the nursing staff whom helped her recover. Lonna graduated with her Bachelor's and Master's degree from the Orvis School of Nursing at University of Nevada, Reno. During this time, she also trained at the University of Colorado Medical School. After receiving her RN qualifications, Lonna practiced as a pediatric nurse practitioner in under-served communities throughout the Northern Nevada area. At 34, Lonna became the Executive Director of the Board of Nursing of the State of Nevada where she served as Director from 1984 to 1996. As a passionate advocate, her proudest accomplishment was being able to serve as a spokeswoman for Nevada nurses. In this position she helped to establish an alternative to the discipline program for chemically dependent nurses and helped promote and protect the scope of practice of nurses in the state. After her position at the State Board of Nursing, Lonna went on to work in Credentialing at Sierra Health services, where she helped ensure that the standards and policies for the acceptance, discipline, and termination of participating practitioners met the requirements set forth by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. Throughout her life, Lonna carried the values of fairness and justice and remained an advocate for the underserved. Lonna passed surrounded by her close friends and family on May 17, 2021 at Renown Hospital. Lonna is survived by her daughter Katherine Burress-Schneider and was preceded in death by her family; husband Bill Schneider, Gwendolyn Warren, and Ester Bonham. Donations in her honor can be made to the Orvis School of Nursing Scholarship at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jun. 6, 2021.