Determined to thrive in the medical field, Patricia Barber worked hard to make her dreams a reality. Her journey began in 1974 at the University of Minnesota, where she served as a staff nurse until she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1975. She proceeded to become certified as a registered nurse in Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota, and in 1978, she became certified as a nurse practitioner through the University of Illinois. Ms. Barber also became the transplant coordinator for the institution that year. She stayed until 1990, when she transferred to join Denver Presbyterian, which became Denver Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in 1993. Her tenure with the hospital lasted until 1999 in a variety of positions, such as nurse practitioner in the emergency room, nurse practitioner of cardiovascular in-patient service, nurse practitioner of nephrology, and nurse practitioner of in-patient service.
Upon leaving the health care facility, Dr. Barber decided to turn her career in a new direction and focus on using her experiences to mentor the youth entering the field. She started as an associate professor of nursing at the Health Education Center at the Community College of Denver in 1999 and stayed until her retirement in 2012. During that time, she also served the college as the acting chair of the nursing board of directors and as the director of online education. From 2003 to 2008, Ms. Barber rejoined the practical medical world as a cardiovascular nurse practitioner for Cardiovascular Associates. Although she is now retired, she continues to share her expertise as a consultant in Chicago.
Some of the highlights of Dr. Barber’s career specializing in online distance learning and training in high fidelity human/patient simulation. She was also proud to be the editor of the Resource Manual for Transplant Coordinators in 1982.
To ensure she remained on top of developments in her industry and community, Ms. Barber maintained affiliation with the National Kidney Foundation, the American Diabetes Association and the North America Transplant Coordinators Organization. She always found that networking and being a part of organizations was beneficial to her growth; she got many good ideas from her peers.
As a testament to her success, Ms. Barber received the Faculty Gold Award from Colorado Community College Systems in 2005. She was also honored with inclusion in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare and Who’s Who of American Women, as well as one volume each of Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America and Who’s Who in American Nursing. If she could offer some advice to the younger generations, it would be to hang in no matter how bleak things may seem.
When Ms. Barber has free time, she enjoys fundraising, volunteering, and pet therapy, which she feels strongly about and mostly does in nursing homes.