Barbara A. Smith, CNP
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
As a little girl, I would dress up in my mom's big blue nursing cape and her starched white cap and set up all my stuffed animals under the weeping willow tree in our backyard. I had a very impressive hospital in the backyard and would stay outside for hours bandaging the bears and tending to all my ailing "patients." My early interest in the healing arts never waned. After I obtained my nursing degree in 1987, I went straight to work in labor and delivery. I have been working in women's health since. I went back to school for a master's degree, and I became a family nurse practitioner in 1997. I have the best of all worlds practicing in an obstetrics and gynecology setting with Kaiser Permanente. I get to care for women and share their experiences of health and illness throughout the lifespan. I have watched young girls I have cared for grow up and become young moms. When my three children left for college, I decided that I was not going to be an "empty nester." When my youngest was preparing to leave for her first year in college, I applied to, and was accepted, into a doctoral program at the Medical College of Georgia. I have now earned my doctorate of nursing practice.
About my practice
As a "lifelong learner" myself, I truly enjoy the teaching aspect of my role as a nurse practitioner. When I can help a member make the connection between lifestyle choices and a healthy outcome, it is a great feeling. For the past several years I have had the opportunity to teach women's health in the family nurse practitioner master's program at Kennesaw State University. I think the students enjoy this because when I teach, I try to be practical and give them a genuine sense of what they are likely going to see when they get into the clinic. I bring this same approach to our members. I want them to leave their visit fully knowing what to expect, what our plan is and how their lives will be impacted. I feel as though I partner every day, with my patients and my colleagues, to promote wellness and prevent disease.
How I thrive
I love to be busy, therefore, working, teaching and being a doctoral candidate is something I enjoy. When I need to unwind, I play with my three goofy dogs or snuggle up with a cozy blanket, a new novel and my three ancient kitties.