Angela Barron McBride
University Dean Emerita
Distinguished Professor Emerita
Angela Barron McBride was greatly influenced by the Women’s Movement of the 1960s because it shed new light on what constituted women's health. "Gynecology as plumbing" became supplanted by new ideas about "GYN-ecology as the interaction between women and their environments."
She was greatly influenced by Simone De Beauvoir’s classic The Second Sex in which she argued that women were the perpetual "other" with men's behavior assumed to be normative. McBride grew up in a world that regularly described the father as the head of the family and the mother as the heart, and De Beauvoir's critique got her to wondering how children could be expected to integrate the head and heart in their own lives if the adults were not modeling such behavior. That led her to write the first well-regarded book on motherhood in light of the Women's Movement, The Growth and Development of Mothers (named one of the best books of 1973 by both The New York Times and the American Journal of Nursing).
Her critique of either/or thinking also caused her to have new thoughts about women always having responsibility for maintenance activities with men the ones expected to be the change agents. Those thoughts steered her to champion nursing research when she was the first associate dean for research at IUSON and later on the National Advisory Council for both the National Institute of Mental Health and NIH'’s Office of Women’s Health Research.
When she became dean (1991–2003), she sought to put IUSON on the map nationally by building areas of nursing excellence in web-based and interactive learning, behavioral oncology, quality of life in chronic illness, and healthy families/healthy communities.
She also took steps to bridge the divide between nursing practice and nursing education, which eventually led to her becoming the first nurse appointed to the Indiana University Health Board (2004–2016).
McBride started out trying to figure out how nurses could exert leadership in medicine-dominated and male-dominated settings, and wound up writing The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders (her award-winning 2011 book), and getting many others to take nurse leaders seriously, including nurses themselves.