Barbara Summers, BSN ’78, MSN ’81, PhD ‘95, received the 2010 CHHS Distinguished Alumna of the Year at the university’s Celebration of Distinction. Accompanied by her husband George Summers, BS’77, whom she met at Mason, Dr. Summers made a presentation to alumni and faculty entitled “Synchronicity: Auspicious Coincidence, The Journey of one GMU Alumna” prior to the celebration in Dewberry Hall. Her audience listened to an inspired talk during which Dr. Summers shared her personal journey in nursing and described opportunities and events that helped to shape the focus of her career.
Her practice hallmark has been a persistent and unwavering focus on building nursing excellence. She has led the creation of new frameworks and models to develop nurse leaders and build organizational cultures that promote health care safety and professional nursing empowerment.
From 1993 – 1997, Dr. Summers worked at National Institutes of Health, where she was manager of critical care services and a nurse specialist in ambulatory cancer care and research. In addition, Dr. Summers worked for 13 years as a clinical nurse specialist in the cancer center and as director of medical and psychiatric nursing for INOVA. Dr. Summers is the recipient of numerous honors and awards and in November 2009 was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing.