Barbara Nicholas SL, President
Educated at Webster College in St. Louis, Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and Adelphi University in Garden City N.Y., I taught science at Visitation-Holy Ghost Schools in St. Louis for two years. Having become a registered nurse with a master’s in psychiatric nursing, I worked as a nurse and director of nursing at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary in Nerinx, Ky., and served on the Community Life Development staff in Health and Wellness in the 1970s.
From 1980 until retirement in 2018, I enjoyed a third career as an oncology nurse with the Baptist Healthcare System in Louisville, Ky., where I served as nurse manager for the oncology unit, developed 25 annual oncology symposia for multidisciplinary health care professionals and helped open Louisville’s first Cancer Resource Center. I co-facilitated support groups for women with breast cancer and help with other aspects of cancer program development.
In 1994, I was elected to the Executive Committee and served two terms as vice president. In 2015, I was again elected to the Executive Committee and Community Forum. I served three terms on the Motherhouse Coordinating Boar and was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Motherhouse Infirmary. I’ve served on a number of community committees, including the Pakistan Mission Committee, Responsible Planning for the Future and Election and Search committees.
In all these areas, I have so appreciated the gift of formal education in teaching and in health care, and in myriad informal ways of learning and applying the values we share in Loretto life. An example is in a treasured memory from my time as nurse manager at the Baptist Hospital when a matter was under discussion about proceeding in a certain direction. A nurse colleague stated: “We cannot make that choice; it is not the Loretto way.” And so we made a choice that was congenial with Loretto values, and those of the Baptist Healthcare system as well.