Nursing careers can take many interesting paths, each with a significant impact on health care. To recognize nursing alumni who have blazed trails, the Barnes-Jewish College Alumni Association awards alumni from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College and their legacy schools the prestigious honor of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
The annual award, presented each fall during the college’s homecoming festivities, was created to commemorate graduates who have made outstanding contributions to nursing and the community during their professional careers. The award also recognizes the graduate’s extraordinary dedication and commitment to nursing service, research or/and education.
In 2019, the annual Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to three recipients: Susan Grinslade, PhD, RN, PHN-CS, BC (1969), a clinical professor at University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York; Ruth Welborn, PhD, RN (1963), dean of the College of Health Professions at Texas State University; and Mary Masters, RN, CNOR (1958), a retired nurse who continues to help others through scholarship support.
Meet the Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
Susan Grinslade, PhD, RN, PHN-CS, BC, Barnes 1969
(Watch Susan's story by clicking here.)
While Susan Grinslade, PhD, RN, PHN-CS, BC, grew up thinking she wanted to be a doctor, she took a side road and enrolled in Barnes Hospital School of Nursing first. She unexpectedly fell in love with the nursing profession and decided to stay with it. After a far-reaching career in patient care, nursing management, teaching, military service and research, she has no regrets.
She says her education at Barnes Hospital School of Nursing prepared her well to be an engaged, assertive nurse, and laid the foundation for continuing education. Over her career, she has been a practicing nurse, a nurse supervisor, a teacher, a certified diabetes educator, a Navy nurse core officer, and she established the first inpatient hospice program in the country.
After receiving her PhD in 2005, Grinslade entered the realm of research and has participated in multiple research projects, been published numerous times, and presented at conferences nationally and internationally dozens of times.
Currently, Grinslade is a clinical professor at the University of Buffalo School of Nursing in Buffalo, New York, in addition to a department chair and assistant dean for undergraduate education. She focuses much of her work there on community health as a member of the African American Health Disparities Task Force.
Ruth Welborn, PhD, RN, Jewish 1963
(Watch Ruth's story by clicking here.)
As Ruth Welborn, PhD, RN, grew up in a small Missouri town, she immersed herself in the Cherry Ames mystery novels, which were about a nurse working in various hospital settings. The books piqued Welborn’s interest in nursing.
After high school Welborn enrolled in the Jewish Hospital College of Nursing and graduated in 1963. Today, she is a strong nursing education leader who has spoken around the world, launched a nursing school, and continues to advance the field.
In addition to working as a staff nurse in coronary care and other areas in Texas, Welborn has held many leadership roles over her career, including the president of the Texas Nurses Association. On her road to success, she earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and ultimately her PhD.
In between her educational pursuits, she was the first full-time female faculty member hired in the School of Health Professions at Southwest Texas State University.
Welborn has also shared her expertise around the world with trips to Cambodia, the Republic of Georgia, and Kazakhstan to help hospitals redesign their health care services.
The culmination of Welborn’s career is her role as dean of the College of Health Professions at Texas State University where she is making a lasting impact on the field of nursing. She is also a professor of health administration there and provides leadership for eight other programs at the college.
Mary Masters, RN, CNOR, Barnes 1958
(Watch Mary's story by clicking here.)
After watching her sister die of ulcerative colitis at age 15, Mary Masters, RN, CNOR, knew she wanted to become a nurse. In September 1955, Masters had the distinction of being in the first class of the Barnes Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated in 1958.
Masters first worked in the operating room at Barnes Hospital where she was on the front lines of the development of CPR and blood pressure medications, among other medical breakthroughs.
The experience Masters gained at Barnes Hospital opened doors throughout her career. After Barnes, Masters worked at a small rural hospital where she filled many roles, from being on call 24 hours a day for surgery, to giving blood transfusions, and even delivering babies when the doctor didn’t make it in time.
After a six-month trip around the world, Masters become an operating room nurse at Scripps Memorial Hospital in California. Her next role was at University Hospital in Ohio where she became head nurse of urology and was instrumental in forming a kidney transplant team.
Later, Masters moved to Arkansas to be near her aging parents and worked at the VA hospital in Little Rock. There she established the hospital’s first outpatient surgery program.
Since her retirement, Masters has focused on helping others. In addition to establishing a scholarship fund through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital for Goldfarb School of Nursing students, she belongs to an organization that sponsors educational loans and grants for young women.