Nursing Faculty Member Voted Local Nursing Legend
Title: Professor of Nursing
Otterbein nursing faculty member Barbara A. Nash was recently designated a Local Nursing Legend by The Medical Heritage Center (MHC) at The Ohio State University. Local Nursing Legends are considered pioneers in their field, having made significant contributions to the nursing profession and the health care of people in central Ohio. These nurses were nominated by members of the central Ohio nursing community as those who provided exemplary service and whose actions and lives can be seen as legendary. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Nursing at Otterbein University since 2010.
Nash established Life Wise, an independent nursing practice in central Ohio, in 1982 with Pamela S. Dickerson. Life Wise has been recognized as the first independent nursing practice in Ohio. This practice was a healthcare consulting firm providing services on a contractual basis. Nash was a Partner and President of Life Wise until 2010. She was responsible for obtaining, implementing and evaluating contracts.
Nash was a Partner and Corporate Officer of PRN Continuing Education from 1991 to 2010. This business provided continuing education seminars for registered nurses and consultation to facilities regarding continuing education programming, services, approval and accreditation.
In her role as faculty member at Otterbein, Nash encourages nursing students to prepare for changes in health care. “Health care in the United States is rapidly changing and the demand for bachelor’s prepared nurses to deliver care at the bedside is greater than ever,” she stated. “Otterbein has a robust undergraduate nursing program that attracts many qualified applicants, has dedicated faculty, and a rigorous curriculum.” Otterbein also has a well-established family nurse practitioner (FNP) program that prepares graduates to function in many arenas, especially filling gaps in healthcare to under-served populations. Nash has taken an active role in recruiting her fellow faculty to serve with her on the Ohio Action Coalition, working to implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to prevent barriers for RNs and FNPs from practicing to the fullest extent of their capabilities.
Nash observes, “Every nurse is a leader. By virtue of having that RN license, you take on the responsibility of being a leader and advocate for those in your care. Nurses have an ethical responsibility to find their voice and speak for those in their care who cannot advocate for themselves.”
In addition to Otterbein, Nash has taught nursing in central Ohio at Capital University, Franklin University, and The Ohio State University. She is also involved in several organizations including the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (1998-present), Ohio College Health Association (1988-2010) and serving on their Board of Trustees from 1995-1997, American College Health Association (1988-2010), American Nurses Association (1993-Present), Ohio Nurses Association (1993-present), Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association (1993-present), and Sigma Theta Tau International (1987-present).
Nash earned a diploma from The Christ Hospital School of Nursing in 1964; a BSN from Ohio University in 1982; and a MSN from The Ohio State University in 1987. She is also board certified in College Health Nursing.
As a Local Living Legend, Nash sees a greater calling for today’s nursing professionals than that of the past. “Nurses are experts at health promotion, disease prevention, and health literacy and have the ability to ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality cost-effective health care. We are the number one most trusted profession in the United States, but we need to do a better job of educating health care consumers as to the breadth and depth of our knowledge and abilities.”