Professor Barnes began her nursing career working in long-term care administration after earning her BSN from Indiana State University. She transitioned into critical care nursing and has a passion for cardiac and cardiothoracic surgery care. After earning a MSN in nursing education from Indiana State University, she began work as a clinical educator within the acute and critical care environment. She now serves as faculty for both didactic and clinical care courses. She is currently working toward a PhD in curriculum, instruction and media technology, with a focus on simulation within the nursing curriculum.

When not pursuing professional growth, she enjoys spending time with her three small children. While she will look back on her nursing career and its positive impact, she believes her greatest legacy will be her children.