Dr. Barbara Dahlen, PhD, RN, is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from UND. She has also completed the Family Nurse Practitioner certification program at UND. Dr. Dahlen earned her PhD in nursing in 2010 from the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. She successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Giving Voice to Historical Trauma through Storytelling: The Impact of Boarding School Experience on American Indians”.
Dr. Dahlen has presented numerous times on the recruitment and retention of minorities in nursing and is considered a national expert. She has been invited to testify on several occasions before congressional committees on Native American issues. She developed and designed the “Dream Catcher/Medicine Wheel Model which helped to guide the development of the recruitment and retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN) Program at the University of North Dakota. The program is an innovation for the nation and had a 92% and above retention and graduation rate during the years she was with the program (1990-2002). She serves as a consultant to other universities concerning the recruitment and retention of minority nursing students. Her research on retention is based on the assumption that if a nursing student hope is nourished they will succeed. She received first place for ANA’s 2002 Research Practice Award for the nursing research study, “Problems and Resources of American Indian Elder.”
Dr. Dahlen was a recipient of the BUSH Fellowship. She serves as a grant reviewer and panel member for HRSA for the advanced nursing education, cultural diversity and comprehensive geriatric reviews. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, the American Nurses Association, the North Dakota Nurses Association and the National Alaskan Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAIA).
Dr. Dahlen is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians located in Belcourt, ND. She has a wealth of knowledge on Plains Indians culture and traditions. Dr. Dahlen is currently Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, School of Nursing.