Mercy College Honors Alumna at Spring Commencement

(Des Moines, Iowa) - Mercy College of Health Sciences (Mercy College) announced that an alumna of one of the earliest emergency medical services (EMS) courses will be honored with the Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Excellence at the spring commencement on April 24, 2015.

Licensed practical nurse Barbara C. Bybee of Pleasantville, Iowa completed the first course for Emergency Medical Technician 1 in 1975 offered by the Mercy Regional Emergency Training Center, the forerunner to the Mercy College EMS Program. Bybee was a volunteer with the Pleasantville ambulance service for 32 years, and was involved in the creation of the Pleasantville EMS program and the development of the 911 emergency system for Marion County as a team captain, skills trainer and chief of service.

The award will be presented at the spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. in Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center. Following the presentation, Ms. ByBee will attend a public reception, along with the spring graduates, and their families on the campus of Mercy College in the Sullivan Center, starting at 4:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public to attend.

In her professional role, Bybee is a Trauma Nurse Practitioner with Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines’ Trauma Physicians Services. She has served as a practicum instructor for Mercy College’s School of Nursing working one-on-one with nursing students interested in emergency department nursing roles.

Ms. Bybee holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand View College, Des Moines; and a Licensed Practical Nursing degree from a former program now at Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny.

In addition to holding a registered nurse and advanced registered nurse practitioner certifications, she also holds numerous emergency medical services certifications, including: Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (BCLS, ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) and Trauma Nurse Core and Advanced Trauma Critical Nurse certifications (TNCC, ATCN), along with Advanced Trauma and Pediatric Life Support certifications (ATLS, APLS).

She is a professional member of numerous nursing organizations at the state and national level in addition to her induction into Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society. She is a frequent speaker at trauma conferences at the local and statewide level.

She was named Pleasantville Citizen of the Year in 2001.

The Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Excellence is named for Mother McAuley who established the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM) in Dublin, Ireland in 1831. The Sisters of Mercy founded Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines in 1893 and the Mercy Nurses Training School in 1899.

The award recognizes alumni from any academic program and is presented to those who have provided superior service within their profession, who serve the communities where they live, and who have provided service to educational programs sponsored by Mercy College of Health Sciences. Ms. Bybee will be the 43rd recipient of the award.

Mercy College is the only Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). To learn more about the Catherine McAuley Distinguished Alumni Award, visit the College website at

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Barb Bybee


For additional information, contact

Jim Tagye
Office of External Affairs
Office: (515) 643-6678