Barbara Van Droof Med Res

Barbara Van Droof, MN, ARNP

In her long nursing career, Barbara Van Droof has worked as an educator and an advocate, with a special interest in elderly patients, long-term care and end of life with dignity. She has acted as an advisor and curriculum devel­oper on behav­ioral health issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, working with angry behav­iors in clients and families and caring for the person with AIDS. She has served WSNA and numerous other nursing organi­za­tions at the local and national level to advance the inter­ests of patients and the profes­sion of nursing.

Van Droof earned her nursing diploma from the Presby­terian St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago in 1960. She went on to the Univer­sity of Washington to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1965 and her Master of Nursing in 1972. She completed post-Master’s work to become an ARNP in Adult Nursing in 1994.

Van Droof has been a member of WSNA since 1962. Her interest and exper­tise in adult care is evident in the many positions she has held with the associ­a­tion. In 1979 she was elected chair of the WSNA Geron­tology Interest Group, and she went on to serve with the group in various capac­i­ties into the 1980s. She served on the WSNA Bylaws Committee from 1986 to 1990 and on the Legisla­tive Committee from 1988 to 1990. In 1992, Van Droof traveled to Olympia and Washington, D.C. to speak in committee meetings about issues related to older adults, elder abuse and end of life.

Begin­ning in 1970, Van Droof served on the faculty at Shore­line Commu­nity College for more than 37 years, most of that time as a full-time professor. She contin­u­ally worked to enhance the curriculum and engage students in meaningful experi­ences. She integrated pallia­tive care concepts into the curriculum and involved students in co-leading volun­teer groups in adult day health and outpa­tient mental health settings. Van Droof tutored many students and was especially successful with non-native speaking students, including RNs from outside the U.S., to success­fully complete psychi­atric nursing for NECLEX.

With a Workforce and Economic Devel­op­ment grant award from Shore­line Commu­nity College, Van Droof completed a two-year project in 2005 on dietary techni­cians, health care infor­ma­tion techni­cians, medical labora­tory techni­cians and associate degree nurses that led to forward-thinking curriculum devel­op­ment to meet the needs of the current and future workplace.

In addition to her work at Shore­line Commu­nity College, Van Droof taught Master’s level advanced assess­ment and clinical skills in the nurse practi­tioner program at Seattle Pacific Univer­sity for four summers, between 2002 and 2006.

Her research, training and curriculum devel­op­ment included working with Western Washington Univer­sity to develop, present and evaluate confer­ences as manda­tory statewide contin­uing educa­tion courses for DSHS adult service workers and super­vi­sors on Working with vulner­able adults: chron­i­cally mentally ill, abused older adults, persons who misused alcohol and devel­op­men­tally disabled adults.” The pioneering curriculum was used to increase the standard of care and improve self-confi­dence in DHSH social service workers.

Van Droof was a longtime member of the National League for Nurses, a national organi­za­tion for faculty nurses and leaders in nurse educa­tion, and served the state organi­za­tion, Washington League for Nursing as presi­dent from 1998 to 2004. As part of that work, Van Droof in 2001 sponsored a nursing summit to develop a strategic plan for nursing educa­tion in Washington state. Work from that summit and meetings of nurse leaders led to creation of the Washington Center for Nursing in 2003.

Both before and during her time as a nursing professor, Van Droof worked as a staff and charge nurse in numerous facil­i­ties in inten­sive care units, in-patient specialty units and public health. After she received her ARNP certi­fi­ca­tion, she worked in long-term care for 10 years at Cascade Vista and Evergreen Vista conva­les­cent centers.

In 2007, Van Droof joined the board of the Peoples’ Memorial Associ­a­tion, a non-profit organi­za­tion special­izing in digni­fied death planning, educa­tion and care that reflect the client and families’ values and resources. In her five years on the board, Van Droof facil­i­tated a reorga­ni­za­tion of PMA, helped sponsor a national conven­tion in Seattle in 2010 and lectured on benefits of PMA member­ship to facil­i­tate educa­tion on pre-planning funeral and memorial options such as green burials. She served on the national board of the Funeral Consumers Alliance from 2011 to 2014.

Van Droof was given the Shore­line Commu­nity College Women’s Center Woman of the Year award in 1989 and was selected as the King County Nurses Associ­a­tion Nurse of the Year in 2002.