Barbara Landrum

Associate professor of nursing

If you are planning a career in nursing, be sure to study your sciences. While there is an art to nursing, first there is the science. A typical nurse makes more than 1,000 decisions each day. To make good decisions, nurses must be sure of their facts – and facts come from science.

Barbara Landrum wanted to be a fighter pilot.

In fact, she was appointed to the United States Air Force Academy, but couldn’t be admitted at the time.

After considering a career in international banking, Landrum opted to study nursing, a career that has taken her from a generalist nurse at a rural hospital, to teaching nursing at Henderson State University.

“My early experience as a generalist nurse gave me the opportunity to obtain experiences in medical, surgical, emergency, ICU, obstetrics, and emergency transport,” she said. “I spent my first three years in this type of work and moved up to charge nurse and infection control/disaster coordinator.”

Landrum obtained her certification in epidemiology and moved to a large city where she worked in a cardiovascular recovery unit while obtaining her master’s degree in executive nursing administration. Landrum then took a job as evening house administrator at a 1,000 bed urban hospital.

She accepted her first teaching position in a diploma program in the same hospital and taught there for three years before moving to Phoenix where she worked as the enterostomal clinical nurse specialist for Scottsdale Memorial Hospital.

Landrum returned to teaching at the College of Nursing at Montana State University’s Great Falls and Missoula campus and also began her doctoral studies. She later joined Barrett Hospital & Healthcare in Dillon, Montana, as its chief operations officer and completed her doctorate.

Landrum later became chair of the Systems Nursing/Health Care Management Program at National American University. Two years later, in 2006, she joined Henderson State’s nursing department as chair.

Landrum recently stepped down as chair to focus on teaching Henderson’s high-quality nursing students.

“I enjoy teaching because I love helping students to think and see the world differently,” she said. “There is no such thing as a ‘hard’ subject. It is all in how it is taught.

“I believe in teaching for mastery and believe that every nurse who graduates should have mastery of core concepts and skills. At heart, I am a constructivist and I use the Learning Cycle when planning classes.”

When asked to describe the “most satisfying” aspect of her job, Landrum said, “It’s having students come back a year (or more) after taking my class and saying ‘because of your class, I understand what is going on at work and feel very well prepared.’”

As evidenced by her early desire to be a fighter pilot, Landrum has a sense of adventure when away from the classroom.

“Some people live to work. I work to live,” she said. Landrum recently completed a 5K race, and tries to run two races each year. She also likes to backpack, fly fish, kayak, and camp.

Downhill and cross country skiing is another activity she enjoys.

“But there’s not too much of that in Arkansas,” she said.


Contact Info:

Degree and School:
Ph.D., Rush University in Chicago, 1999


Nursing Administration
Innovation adoption in nursing and healthcare
Career path success of R.N.-to-B.S.N. student

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