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Luke Hubbard spent six years as a sales manager for a paint manufacturing company until he decided he needed a change.

“I liked the people part of sales, but not the selling part of it,” says Luke. So nursing was a natural fit. He completed his associate's degree in nursing before moving to St. Louis, where he was accepted into the one-year accelerated BSN program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

Luke received the Institutional Scholarship and Parkview Scholarship through the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation. These scholarships helped Luke cover the cost of his education. This support allowed him to focus on excelling in the program’s fast-paced, intense course work. Luke also took an active role in student affairs, first as vice president, then as president of the Student Council.

After graduating in December 2009, Luke joined the nursing team in the cardiac intensive care unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

“I chose cardiology because the heart intrigues me,” says Luke. “The heart is basically just a pump with valves and tubes that runs automatically on its own electric current. It’s so simple and so complex at the same time.”

Luke credits Barnes-Jewish College for giving him a great foundation of nursing skills and knowledge. “Goldfarb provided me with the clinical experience and classroom education to hit the ground running when I started working at Barnes-Jewish,” he said.

“For me, making someone happy by simply taking care of them to the best of my ability is light years ahead of making someone happy by selling them something,” he says. “In the ICU, I see people feeling their worst and it’s always refreshing to be able to transfer someone off our intensive care floor. I always jokingly tell my patients that I hope I never see them again when I transfer them out.”


Juli had a successful career in business management. What she didn’t have was personal fulfillment. Then, one of her children had to spend three months in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

"The only way my husband and I got through that terrifying experience was because of the nurses," says Juli. "The care they gave our baby was amazing. But they took care of us, too. They answered all of our questions and eased our worries."

"One day at the hospital, it was like a light bulb went on for me. I knew that as a nurse I could help people and also achieve the fulfillment I had been lacking.”


Francine came to nursing from the business world with accounting and MBA degrees. She worked in banking and finance for 10 years until she took time off to raise a family. “When the time came to go back to work, I wanted something that had more flexibility than the business world,” says Francine.

So she went back to school and got an associate degree in nursing, moved back to St. Louis and began working at Barnes-Jewish Hospital as a floor nurse. She wanted to become an OR nurse, so she transferred to the same-day surgery area at Barnes-Jewish.

“I really enjoy the technical aspects of the OR,” she says. “I really love being able to work with other people very directly – not just alongside them but also as a part of the OR team. It’s very appealing to me.”

Working at a Magnet designated hospital such as Barnes-Jewish, it became evident to her that having a BSN would be extremely valuable so she enrolled in the RN to BSN Online program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

The program takes a year to complete, and classes are seven weeks in length. There is a one-day orientation session held at Goldfarb School of Nursing, but otherwise all the classes and materials are available online. There are discussion boards where fellow classmates can share insights from their own nursing experiences.

Francine says the flexibility of being able to complete assignments at any time works well for her lifestyle and family needs.

“It’s a really great program, I’ve been happy with it,” she says. “Things I’ve learned in this program are definitely applicable. The professors say at some point you apply them to what you do in your field. Plus you get to hear what other nurses are doing in their field.”


Mimi spent nearly five years as an elementary school teacher and then took some time off to raise three children. When the time came to rejoin the workforce, she decided to explore nursing.

She didn't have any medical background and didn't know if she would enjoy nursing, so she took it slow at first. “I started out as a tech at St. John’s (Mercy Medical Center) and found that I loved it,” she says. "It was kind of like an extension of being a mom." So she completed her pre-requisite courses and then enrolled in the accelerated BSN program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

After completing her BSN, Mimi went on to become an operating room nurse at Saint Louis University Hospital. “I thought I’d retire there and be happy for the rest of my professional life,” she says. Then met a nurse anesthetist and became intrigued about the nurse anesthesia specialty. “I’ve been told by many people that nurse anesthesia is the best kept secret in nursing,” she says.

She knew the path to becoming a nurse anesthetist was not easy, but after some soul searching decided to go for it. She transferred to the neurosurgery intensive care unit (ICU) to gain the needed ICU experience, then was successfully admitted into the competitive, 28-month nurse anesthesia program at Barnes-Jewish College.

Mimi enjoys working in teams within a fast-paced environment. "It's truly a team endeavor in taking care of a patient. It keeps me stimulated and on my toes," she says.


Inspired by her mother who was a certified nurse assistant, Christal’s journey toward nursing began at the age of 14, when she became a candy striper (a hospital volunteer that assists nurses) at a St. Louis community hospital.

Today, she is a staff nurse on the general medicine floor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and a student in the MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

Christal sees a little bit of everything on the general medicine floor – like patients with diabetes, hypertension, and cirrhosis, among many other conditions. She is energized by getting to know her patients and having the ability to help them have those “light bulb” moments as they understand their own health.

“Although there’s a lot of challenges that come along with being a nurse, the most rewarding thing is seeing people who may have been critically ill, and then the next thing you know they’re walking out the door and they’re doing well again,” she says. “On a daily basis, I see a miracle.”

Christal is one of eight African American health care professionals who have received the 2011 Excellence in Health Care award from the St. Louis American Foundation. The award honors exceptional African American health care providers serving our community.


After having seen nurses care for her terminally ill father in the cardiac intensive care unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Joyce decided to become a nurse.

"The nurses that I saw there were very knowledgeable, very caring and had a lot of compassion," she said. "They took care of every aspect of the patient – from physical care to the family care. As a result of witnessing that, I had an a-ha moment and decided this is it – this is what I wanted to be."

It wasn't long after that she enrolled in nursing school to become a registered nurse. Immediately after graduating, she accepted a job in the medical intensive care unit at Barnes-Jewish. Eventually with intensive care training and development she was able to return to the cardiac intensive care unit and worked side by side with some of the same nurses who had cared for her father.

Now with 17 years of nursing experience under her belt, Joyce is back in nursing school – this time to complete her bachelor's degree through the RN to BSN Online program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. "Even after graduating from nursing, I never felt complete as a nurse because I didn't have my bachelor's," she says. As a charge nurse in the operating room at Barnes-Jewish, she feels that a BSN will enhance the care that she provides to her patients and help to prepare her for career advancement.

But she doesn't plan to stop there. After completing her BSN, Joyce plans to continue her education to obtain the Nurse Executive master's degree at Barnes-Jewish College. Her goal is to gain the additional skills and knowledge required to prepare her for further advancement in administration– so she can make an impact on the delivery of nursing care on a greater level.

"It takes a little something special to become a nurse,” Joyce said. “It is a job that as a result of you just showing up to work, you make a difference in so many lives. That’s what keeps me coming back the next day."


Value Analysis Manager, Barnes-Jewish Hospital


Phil Stalling went back to school to become a nurse at the age of 43 after a long career in the printing industry. He had been working as a resource nurse for several years until he was offered the position of outpatient surgery manager in the Center for Advanced Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

He saw the value of advanced education while working at Barnes-Jewish. Shortly after completing the RN to BSN program at Barnes-Jewish College, he continued on to pursue the MSN Nurse Executive program.

“I think the nurse executive program is valuable because it adds balance to the workplace,” says Stalling. “There’s a deficit in the upper management level of nurses. The program gives a solid basis in the practicalities of executives, like finance and human relations.”

Now in his new position as value analysis manager for Barnes-Jewish, Stalling acts as a liaison between clinicians and finance officers. He uses evidence-based practice to inform purchasing and financial decisions in the operating room. “What I’ve learned in the program is beneficial to my new role,” he says. “Now I have the tools to look at literature critically to discern the quality of various studies and products.”


Rick Lang is part of the inaugural cohort for the new DNP/PhD program at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College. He is currently deputy flight commander, nurse manager and senior nurse for the 375th Medical Group at Scott Air Force Base (AFB) in Belleville, Illinois.

At Scott AFB, Lang oversees 74 graduate medical education family medicine clinics. He provides nursing support and leadership to 35 physicians, eight clinical teams and nine specialty clinics that care for 24,000 patients annually. In addition to orchestrating disease management and specialty referrals with network providers, Lang also oversees preventive and post-deployment health assessment programs for 8,000 active duty members.


“I have always had a desire to help people and see people get well. I suffered from severe asthma as a child, with most of my childhood spent in a children’s hospital. I remember sleeping with oxygen next to my bed. There were nurses that stood out along the way, which ultimately formed my desire to assist others as they assisted me.

“As a co-op student in high school, I worked as a nurse’s aide. I eventually became an emergency medical technician (NREMT) and was certified a paramedic, at which point I enlisted in the United States Air Force. As a corpsman, I was able to continue my education, completing my ASN and BSN at the former Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.”


“As an air force nurse corps officer for 24 years, my nursing degree has afforded me many opportunities. I’ve done everything from pediatrics, neonatal critical care and air/ground transport, health promotion, education and training, among many others. “As a military nurse, I’ve seen the joys and sorrows of patients and their families. I’ve cared for the family of a 24-week premature infant after delivery and conjoined twins that shared a six-chambered heart. I’ve known the heartfelt appreciation of a wounded warrior returning from war. Each of these experiences creates a joy in knowing that in some small way, I’ve brought credit to my chosen profession, and the knowledge that I take care of our nation’s most valuable resource – our soldiers and their families.”


“Now at the end of my military career, I’ve been looking at how I can continue advancing the nursing profession. I believe the DNP/PhD program offered at Barnes-Jewish College affords me the opportunity to become a practice scientist. As a practice scientist, I will have the ability to create new knowledge that will benefit patients, families and the nursing profession in general. Upon graduating, I’d like to become rooted in nursing education and research.”


Cardiac ICU Staff Nurse, St. Louis Children’s Hospital


Jessica (Jessie) Basye traces her love for nursing back to her grandmother, who used to tell her interesting stories about her life as a nurse.

Basye began her career in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital; now she is a staff nurse in the cardiac intensive care unit. While working at Children’s, she completed the RN to BSN program at Barnes-Jewish College.

Education has always been her passion, so she continued on to pursue the MSN Nurse Educator program. In addition to school and work, she currently works as a clinical instructor for another local university. “I love precepting – I love to share all the knowledge that I have to help students feel comfortable and safe,” she says. “I was always one of those students who felt very hesitant to ask questions. I strive to be one of those teachers whom students can ask anything and feel comfortable being around.”

In the future, Bayse plans to teach both didactic and clinical courses within pediatric nursing, and at the same time work part-time as a staff nurse to keep her clinical skills up to date. “As an educator, I feel it’s important to keep my clinical skills so that I can teach those skills to my students,” she says.


Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Washington University School of Medicine


A native of China, Suping Bao traded in her major in international business to become a nurse, and has come a long way since then.

After completing her BSN from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, Bao joined Barnes-Jewish Hospital as a staff nurse on the general medicine floor. Today, she is an adult nurse practitioner on the medical oncology floor, where she provides care and support for cancer patients.

Shortly after completing her BSN, Bao decided to continue on to the MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner program. During that time, she received a research fellowship* that enabled her to collect data from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their respective caregivers about their perspectives about hospice and various end-of-life-issues.

It was while working on her master’s that she realized the potential of nursing research. “Through the education I received in the MSN program and with my fellowship, I realized research can expand my capacity to help people,” she says. “At that point my view came to a full circle.”

So when she heard of the integrated DNP/PhD program, she applied for it without hesitation. “I explain my reason for pursuing the DNP/PhD program by using the Yin and Yang philosophy. Yang is seemingly opposite to yin – but there is yin in yang, and yang in yin. Both complement each other and interact within a greater whole," she says.

“I see the DNP as an emphasis on the application of research findings and the PhD as a focus on knowledge creation and discovery. Similar to Yin and Yang, without knowledge application in clinical care, research will lose its purpose. Without knowledge creation and discovery, clinical care will be less likely to improve rapidly. When these two merge, it results in perfectly balanced nursing care," says Bao.

As an adult nurse practitioner, Bao feels the DNP/PhD program will enable her to apply research findings in the clinical setting, as well as to conduct research based on questions that arise from daily encounters on the oncology unit.

“Caring for a patient with cancer is literally a personalized, holistic care experience,” says Bao. “Health care professionals have to consider the patient's physical, emotional, social aspects simultaneously when making care plans. My plan is to work with cancer patients individually as nurse practitioner and do research with a larger population at the same time. This is Yin and Yang at work. I enjoy this kind of balanced care.”

Bao credits Barnes-Jewish College for her career progression and personal growth as a nurse. “From BSN, MSN to DNP/PhD, each step leads to the next smoothly and naturally. My capacity and my vision expands after each program," she says.

*Ruth and Sam Hacker Graduate Nursing Research Fellowship in Aging, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University, through an award from the National Institute on Aging.


Former President and Director of Nursing, ASTVA Home Health Agency


Margarita Ukman’s passion for home health care began when she was a child living in Moscow, Russia. “Whenever I’d get sick, my mom would call and a doctor would come to our house,” she says. “My mom told me ‘he’s supposed to come here because you’re sick.’ I knew then that someday, I wanted to be the one coming to people’s homes to take care of them.”

And so that’s what she did. As an adult, Ukman received training both as a nurse and as a home health physician before she and her family immigrated to the United States in 1990. “I wanted to be able to treat people using evidence-based practice and the latest research inventions,” she says. “For example, in Russia, I was told to use non-adherent dressing to treat shingles, while in the U.S. nurses were already using antiviral medications for it.”

In St. Louis, she received her associate's degree, and then her bachelor’s degree in nursing, at the former Jewish Hospital School of Nursing and Allied Health.

In 2001, while working as a staff nurse for a local St. Louis hospital, she also began working part-time at Mid-America Home Health as a home health nurse. Later that year, she was hired by Medery/Tender Care Home Health Agency as a nurse coordinator for Medicare skilled care patients. It was there she felt that skilled home health care was the future for chronically sick people, and studied as much as she could about it. A few years later, she was appointed director of nursing for Mid-America Home Health’s Medicare skilled care division.

In 2005, Ukman decided to open her own company. ASTVA Home Health Agency provided skilled nursing, case management, medication management, wound care, comprehensive rehabilitation and lab services for home-bound patients in St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson County, Missouri. ASTVA also arranged physician home visits and referrals to specialists for patients as needed.

“I developed my own case management model and then when I started hiring nurses, I taught them my model,” she says. “Our patients were very complex and diverse. We had patients who spoke Russian, Chinese, German and Spanish – you name it. I would hire interpreters for some cases, but every single one of my nurses spoke more than two languages.”

Ukman wanted to integrate the nurse practitioner model into ASTVA’s service, so she returned to Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College to pursue the MSN Adult Nurse Practitioner program. “I gained a lot of knowledge in disease management and implementation of evidence-based practice,” she says. “Now, I feel much more comfortable in my presentation skills for both clinical and business situations.”

In 2010, she and her husband moved to Long Island, New York, for family reasons, so she sold ASTVA to a company that shared her vision for home health care.

Ukman's passion for home health endures, and she is excited about the increased role that nurse practitioners will play in the era of health care reform. “You could implement a home health agency anywhere in the United States,” she says. “There are tremendous opportunities here, so I would love to see if I could implement a similar service like ASTVA.”


In June 2010, Ukman presented a lecture on maximizing the impact of home care at Saint Louis University's 21st Annual Summer Geriatric Institute. She lectured on the regulations, challenges and rewards of providing complex, multi-team approaches in home care. In September 2010, she also participated in the telephone conference dedicated to the Affordable Care Act and New Patient’s Bill of Rights led by the First Lady Michelle Obama.

US News & World Report: Best Colleges, Nursing (BSN) Programs, 2022

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