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Remembering Barbara Braden, PhD, SJN’66, BSN’73

Jul 6, 2023
1 min Read
Barb Braden

Renowned Creighton alumna Barbara Braden, PhD, SJN’66, BSN’73, died June 24, leaving a legacy of extraordinary accomplishment, significant contributions to healthcare and distinguished service as a faculty member, researcher and administrator at Creighton. To honor her memory, an endowed nursing scholarship has been established in her name. Make a gift to the Braden Endowed Scholarship.
Braden began her Creighton career as assistant professor in medical surgical nursing in the College of Nursing in 1975 and was a trailblazer in many respects: She was named interim academic vice president in 2002, and, as such, was the first woman to hold such a high position at Creighton, and was also named dean of the Graduate School (1995-2006) and the College of Professional Studies (2002-2011), becoming the first woman to be named dean of a school other than nursing at Creighton. Braden retired from Creighton in 2011, after 37 years as a faculty member and administrator.

Through consistent, excellent and sustained scholarship, Braden established an international reputation as a researcher of the first rank, which placed her among those who can say that their contributions to the field have improved the quality of life of literally millions of people.

I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of it (the Braden Scale) in nursing care.
— Catherine Todero, PhD, BSN’72, RN

Long before anyone had coined the words “clinical translational research,” Braden developed a tool to assess the risk for skin breakdown in elderly and bedridden patients, to reduce the pain, suffering and expense associated with patient care. The assessment tool she introduced in 1987 – now known worldwide as the Braden Scale – incorporated diverse risk factors under broad concepts that combined ease of use with accuracy in prediction in all levels of healthcare facilities. Its success was immediate and indisputable, and it was readily implemented in hospitals, home care agencies and nursing homes nationally and internationally.

In a recent Omaha World-Herald article, Catherine Todero, PhD, BSN’72, RN, dean of the College of Nursing and vice provost for Health Sciences Campuses, said nearly every nurse knows about the Braden Scale.
“I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of it in nursing care,” she said. “It’s just an exceptionally useful tool and has saved lots of money (within) healthcare organizations and improved patient outcomes.”

In addition to numerous national and international honors throughout her career, Braden was the recipient of several awards from Creighton: the College of Nursing Alumni Merit Award in 1989, the Distinguished Administrator Service Award in 2008 and the Alumni Achievement Citation – Creighton’s highest alumni honor – in 2013.