Barbara Nichols is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, an immigration neutral, non-profit organization founded in 1977 and based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America. The Commission is internationally recognized as an authority on education, registration and licensure of nurses worldwide. Through its program of services, it implements international educational standards and regulations. Prior to holding this position, Ms. Nichols served as professor of nursing at the School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Director of Nu rsing for the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center System.
She has held a cabinet position in Wisconsin State Government, and is a former ICN Board Member and a President of the American Nurses Association. Those positions enabled her to develop a broad perspective on nursing education, regulation, and practice. As Secretary of the State of Wisconsin, Department of Regulation and Licensing, she was responsible for seventeen (17) Boards that licensed and regulated fifty-nine (59) occupations and professions. This job entailed accountability for the development and implementation of policy, programs, and services that responded to regulatory issues, initiatives and reform.
She is the author of over 70 publications on nursing and health care delivery and has received numerous awards for contributions to the nursing profession. She is the recipient of five honorary doctoral degrees for her scholarly work. She holds a diploma in nursing from Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, a baccalaureate degree from Case-Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and a masters degree in Behavior Disabilities from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.