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enr chment As with many successful people, Diane Huber’s long list of accomplishments starts out with a change of plans. Today she’s known as Professor Diane Huber, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, but back in the early ‘80s, she wanted to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Huber applied to a program at the University of Iowa however; all the openings had already been filled.


isappointed, Huber opened another letter that surprised her by welcoming her to the Nursing Master’s program at the U of I; the letter also pointed her to a federal program that could provide financial support. “This will never happen again,” she recalls thinking and jumped on the opportunity. “I got hooked on the idea of advanced education and learning more about the problems in the environment of nurses,” Huber says. “Back when I was a staff nurse, if you needed linens for a patient’s room, you had to walk all the way down to the central supply station and then all the way back.” It was extremely inefficient, she says, and one of the triggers that prompted her to earn advanced degrees. Since then, Huber has devoted her career to helping nursing students unlock the “aha” moment when they realize their education provides information they can take away and actually use. “That to me is really rewarding,” Huber says. “It is so invigorating to help students understand the principles behind what they learn in class, help them be better able to question, and teach them to figure out how to deliver health care in the most cost-effective way.” Huber notes that nursing education has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. “Now the rate of change is so rapid and the

care itself is so complex, we’re teaching chaos theory and complexity theory,” she says. “We have to prepare nurses differently; we have to prepare them to think. They are the front line of patient safety.” Huber’s expertise is recognized in her receiving the Certified Advanced Practice Nurse Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2010 (ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.) In receiving the award Huber was noted for interweaving nursing education with a solid evidence base, as well as for her book Leadership and Nursing Care Management. “It’s a big deal for ANCC to officially recognize that the administration of nursing systems is considered an advanced practice,” Huber says. That same year Huber became a member of Mercy College’s Board of Directors, having been nominated by board member Deborah Willyard, RN, MSN (a former student). “It excites me,” Huber says, “My hope is by bringing in a different perspective that I can help enrich the board’s repertoire of decision-making abilities.” In fact, everything Huber does is about enrichment. Whether it’s teaching, appraising nursing systems for the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program, or reading, she looks for information that feeds into her passion for nursing. She shares this with students, both at the University of Iowa and Mercy College. “You’ll never regret it,” she says to them. “It’s not a one-size fits all profession. Go after the opportunities that fit you and your abilities the best.” | |

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Vital People 2011  
Vital People 2011  

Mercy College of Health Sciences Magazine