In Memoriam: Barbara Fulton Shambaugh

June 20, 1937 – February 28, 2022

“Barbara Fulton Shambaugh died on February 28th, [2022] after a decades long battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia” (Obituary, 2022) She is buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Watertown and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Barbara was married to Philip Wells Shambaugh for many years before he died. Wells, as he preferred to be called, was a psychiatrist with a Harvard University affiliation, which came with the wonderful benefit of dining at the venerable Harvard Faculty Club in Boston. I had the honor of dining there as Barbara’s guest for memorable dinners.

Barbara and I shared other memorable dinners at various restaurants in Boston and Brookline, where she and Wells lived for many years. Two of my UMass Boston colleagues, Joan Garity (who sent Barbara’s obituary to me) and Cynthia Aber, reminded me of the times they joined Barbara and me for some of these dinners (C. Aber, personal communication, March 4, 2022; J. Garity, personal communication, March 4, 2022 .

Barbara was a superb nursologist who was “a pioneer in the field of kidney transplantation and home dialysis. She traveled through Europe teaching other nurses best practices in the emerging field.” (Obituary, 2022). I recall Barbara’s fascinating stories of her work in the very early days of kidney transplantation and her travels throughout Europe to share her knowledge and skills about kidney transplantation, including a time when she was asked to be the “greeter” when a king from a middle-eastern country arrived at a European airport with no one else to great him! Joan Garity (personal communication, March 4, 2022) commented, “I first knew [Barbara] when she worked as a nurse at MGH [Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston] and of course when she pioneered online learning for nurses at Phoenix University”.

Barbara earned her academic degrees at Boston College (BS), Boston University (MS), Anna Maria College (MBA), and at UMass Amherst, where she studied for her EdD in Education. Her 1992 dissertation is entitled “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Neuman Systems Model as a Theoretical Framework for Baccalaureate Nursing Programs.” Her study focused on the extent to which the Neuman Systems Model (NSM) was integrated into the curriculua of 10 baccalaureate nursing programs, as well as the degree of integrated learning as reported by 94 students. Study findings indicated that integration of the NSM in the curriculum was related to integrated student learning (Fulton, 1992).

Barbara was on the faculty of Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts when she became an early adopter of the Neuman Systems Model (NSM) for nursing education and the Resources folder on the NSM website. I had the pleasure of being with Barbara as she drove us from Boston to Paxton on the two days of celebrations in 2007 when Betty Neunan received an honorary doctorate from Anna Maria College (H.Drummond, personal communication, March 22, 2022). Our conversations in Barbara’s car was almost as stimulating as being with Betty and other NSM Trustees colleagues as we gathered to acknowledge Betty’s fantastic contributions to nursology.

Barbara’s endeavors with the NSM lead to her selection as a NSM Trustee. Her contributions as a Trustee include serving as first author for a chapter addressing use of the NSM as a guide for administration of healthcare services the 2002 and2011 editions of the Neuman Systems Model book (Shambaugh et al., 2002, 2011). Barbara eventually resigned from the NSM Trustees and was appropriately designated as an emerita trustee. Toward the end of her academic career, Barbara taught and mentored doctoral students at the University of Phoenix at the time when online education was just beginning.

“Barbara loved her Corgi dogs [especially the amazing Bettina, who loved to unpack Barbara’s suitcase after she had packed for her next trip], British monarchy, classic movies and was a voracious reader” (Obituary, 2022).


Fulton, B. J (1992). Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Neuman Systems Model as a theoretical framework for baccalaureate nursing programs. (Publication No. 303981138) [Doctoral dissertation University of Massachusetts Amherst]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Obituary (2022) Retrieved from

Shambaugh, B. F., Neuman, B., & Fawcett, J. (2002). Guidelines for Neuman systems model-based administration of health care services. In B. Neuman & J. Fawcett (Eds.), The Neuman systems model (4th ed., pp. 265-270). Prentice Hall.

Shambaugh, B. F., Neuman, B., & Fawcett, J. (2011). Neuman systems model-based administration of health care services. In B. Neuman & J. Fawcett, The Neuman systems model (5th ed., 153-159). Pearson.

One thought on “In Memoriam: Barbara Fulton Shambaugh

Leave a Reply