AURORA -- Barbara Hughes
job. She's director and founder of the Aurora Nurse Midwives Center at Aurora Medical Center.
"We started in Aurora four years ago.We've had 4,000 deliveries in that time," she
said Wednesday."Nursing is my life, my passion." Hughes, 44, is the state's top nurse, the recent recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award from the Colorado Nurses Foundation. Hughes
decided when she
was 14 she'd become a nurse. She
was in a boating accident in Oklahoma while she
was learning to water ski.She
had a swim-in with a boat propeller.
"I was in the hospital three weeks," she
said."I almost died."
The kindness and compassion of her
nurses triggered a career change.Hughes was going to be a musician.She
was good enough to be offered a scholarship, but turned it down.Music's loss was medicine's gain. She worked as a scrub technician in a delivery room when she was 17 and went to the University of Colorado out of high school. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing in 1980, a master's in nursing and midwifery in '85 and a master's in business administration in '96 -- all from CU. She
went for the business degree to help other nurses with their businesses. She
became a certified nurse/midwife for the same reasons, to help women. She
doesn't answer to doctors anymore, either.
"Actually, they work for me," she
said."We have three ob/gyn docs I've hired to advise.They handle our high-risk patients." She
first delivery in 1980, right out of nursing school.
"The physician didn't show up on time," she
speaks to a lot of women's groups.
"Catching babies is the fun easy part," she
said."The high tech stuff presents challenges."
had a slight setback this week on her
public speaking tour.
"My computer blew up," she
said."The mother board died."
When Gary Massaro listens, people talk.Gary's column appears Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.Contact him at (303) 892-5271 or massarog@RockyMountainNews.com.