LSUA Alumna Barbara Griffin: Chief Nursing Officer at Rapides Regional
April 18, 2023
Caring for People in Central Louisiana
As head of nursing at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, LSUA nursing alumna Barbara Griffin is not only providing critically needed medical care for people in Central Louisiana, but also ensuring jobs and professional advancement for hundreds of LSUA nursing alumni.
Griffin oversees the work of 450 nurses. Many of them are alumni of the LSUA nursing program. Although she hired another 169 LSUA graduates over the past five years, Griffin would hire many more today if she could.
“Pre-Covid, I used to need another 35 nurses to cover the work and meet the demand of the community for healthcare,” Griffin said. “Now, like most hospitals in the United States, we need more. So, when people say there’s a demand for nurses, it’s absolutely real, and the LSUA nursing program is critical in educating nurses from this community for this community. It’s a beautiful thing.”
LSUA is working to address the nursing shortage head-on and will graduate another 55 nurses this fall—a number unsurpassed in more than 30 years. Griffin, also, has some tricks up her sleeve.
“Many of my leaders, and I have 12 who report directly to me, had associate degrees when I came; the education level was entry level,” Griffin said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but education opens the door to get everything in your life to a better point, and I’m extremely proud to have guided my team to advance their degrees to continue to be promoted. Now, every one of them have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and half have either a Master of Science in Nursing or a Master of Business Administration, with the other six enrolled to obtain theirs.”
“My leadership style is to love people. And also, to lead by example and not be afraid to do the hard stuff. Every day I find the good in people and expect excellence.”
Barbara Griffin, chief nursing officer at Rapides Regional Medical Center and LSUA alumna