Linda Bulone, RN, OCN, CCRC
Linda Bulone, RN, OCN, CCRC
Research Nurse Manager
NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens
21 years of service
“I see nurses having an immense voice in the world as a whole; I feel that it will be the nurses who lead in the education of communities.”
As Research Nurse Manager at NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, Linda Bulone has helped treat patients with new medications and cutting-edge treatments that have saved countless lives.
“I look at each of my patients as a wonderful present that gets unwrapped with a whole load of surprises,” she says. “I care about them very much and earnestly want the best for all of them. Aside from being caring, I know that I have to be smart in their care. Patients entrust me to do the right thing for them. This is especially important since my job is working with experimental medications. I tell my patients all of the risks and potential benefits of these drugs and act on any problem they are having in the course of their care.”
Bulone worked as a certified clinical research coordinator while pursuing her nursing degree. Her initial nursing experience involved working with patients with extremely rare conditions, focusing on research that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Pediatrics, among others.
Bulone switched to cancer research at the urging of Dr. Margaret Kemeny, when she joined the NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens Cancer Center as a research nurse, pursuing her certification in oncology nursing. Working with cancer patients has been particularly challenging during the pandemic, Bulone says.
“I think the culmination of my life and the testing of my commitment to nursing came with this pandemic,” she says. “I had one of my cancer patients die from COVID-19 – she was kept alive for many years with metastatic disease, but COVID took her life fast.”
To help more Black and Latino patients during the pandemic, Bulone worked with Dr. Jazila Mantis to develop and undertake studies on COVID-19, securing supplies of Remdesivir and Regeneron for placebo-controlled studies at the hospital.
“I knew that the only way to combat this new virus was with new medications and wanted our public hospital system to get these new medications, because at the time, we knew the Black and Brown patients were hit the hardest. I saw patient after patient of all ages succumb to this disease.”
Bulone says she treasures the moments with her patients, even those who lose their battles. “I recall one of my first patients in the Cancer Center with metastatic gastric cancer – very advanced,” she says. “He was a lovely man who lost the battle. His family wanted me to make a speech at his funeral, even though I do not speak Spanish – they told me that I was his angel. What an honor it was, that I could make such a difference in a patient’s life.”