BarbieIt is my joy to share with you an incredible woman of power. Barbie is an amazingly unique mentor, colleague and friend. She is a stellar example of what a difference one woman can make. Known in nursing circles throughout the world, Barbie inspires others with her grace, charm, and commitment to honoring the wisdom of Florence Nightingale. For 45 years, Barbara has been married to her equally amazing partner, Larry Dossey, MD, who has written more than a dozen books on health, medicine, and the power of prayer. They are the kind of people who make others proud to know them.

I met Barbie Dossey in 1995 while attending my first American Holistic Nurses Association conference (AHNA). During the conference, I mentioned to a nurse or two that I had written The Nightingale Conspiracy, my book on nursing and was seeking publication. One woman pointed out Barbie, suggesting that I speak with her. After a break, I sat down next to her and introduced myself. She was so open, so wise, and so caring that she melted my heart. And she is beautiful! The woman didn’t even know me and here she was giving me the name of her literary agent, which most authors keep guarded under lock and key.

Barbie is grace under fire, overflowing with wisdom and light. Through decades, she has inspired thousands with her passion for nursing. She is tiny, but powerful. And that is the image I seek to share in this book. Women have a different strength, one that is essential to our equilibrium. It is a strength that, when missing, makes the world seem sad and off-balance.

Today Barbie is International Co-Director of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH), a holistic nursing pioneer, a Florence Nightingale scholar, a nurse theorist, Co-Director of the International Nurse Coach Association, and Co-Director of the Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program (INCCP). Also, as a recognized elder in the AHNA, she is helping to guide the association toward a bright future. Largely due to her heroic efforts, in 2006, Holistic Nursing was recognized as a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association in 2006 and each year a hundred nurses take the national holistic nursing certification examination. As board-certified holistic nurses (caring for body-mind-spirit, holistically) we are expanding our roles in health care and in healing the Earth, as well.

Knowing Barbie has shown me of the limitless nature of our beings. I have woven her passion into my life quilt and can always call forth her spirit. This tiny woman is a Master Teacher, beautiful inside and out. She is so caring for our world; and such a lovely model of caring. Thank you, Barbie, for shining your light on this world; lighting our way to better health care.

In 2010, Barbara Dossey received the prestigious Leadership Award at the Leadership Health Care Symposium, honoring a pioneer whose leadership and compassion have shaped integrative healthcare and the nursing profession. We who know her are honored. Congratulations Barbie!