Barbara Zust ’76

Alumni and Faculty

Full Professor in Nursing

Barbara L. Zust  loves the diversity and creativity she finds in nursing.  Her clinical practice has had a family health focus that includes her work with grieving families in oncology/ hospice;  acutely ill patients and their families in ICU/CCU; struggling and/or violent families in public health;  new families in OB, and mental health issues throughout all experiences.

In 1996, Barbara received grant money to fund her Master’s research with INSIGHT : A Group Cognitive Therapy Program for Women designed by Dr. Verona Gordon.  She used INSIGHT as a tool of empowerment  for rural  women, many of whom had experienced violence at the hands of their partners. Barbara continued her research with women’s empowerment  through discovery of self in the INSIGHT program during her doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. Barbara hopes to share the INSIGHT program with incarcerated women at both long term and short term correctional facilities. However, she is finding that it is hard to get into prisons ---legally.           

Barbara teaches maternity nursing and mental health nursing at Gustavus.  She finds that the rurality of the college gives Gustavus nursing students a unique opportunity to explore both urban and rural aspects of healthcare.  For example, Gustavus maternity nursing students have clinical experiences in large birthing centers in the metro area and at the same time have the opportunity to provide much needed family health nursing service projects for the rural community in which the college is nestled.  Barbara also works with students who are interested in human wellness research.  All of her research students submit their studies for presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research ( NCUR).   In 2006, she was awarded the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International Teacher of the Year. In 2011, she was awarded the Edgar Carlson Teaching Award at Gustavus.

Barbara loves to travel and loves the creative opportunities Gustavus has given her. For the last nine years in collaboration with the North Slope Borough,  Barbara has arranged for a Gustavus public health clinical group to spend 5-6 weeks in villages and hospitals in both Utqiagvik  and Fairbanks, Alaska. Three students from the Ilisagvik College in Utqiagvik have come to Gustavus for Nursing.  All three graduated as Gusties and have returned to Utqiagvik where they are mentoring our students in Public health.  Gustavus has also given her the opportunities to create J-Terms abroad in Sweden, India, Tanzania and a new J-term for 2021: Madgascar. 

Barbara lives in St. Peter with her husband, Roger McKnight from the Scandinavian Studies Department at Gustavus.  They currently have three cats and a rabbit, clearly, prone to taking in animals in spite of the fur issues they cause at home.  Barbara loves to laugh and enjoys good times with her three grown children, two grandsons, and her extended family. Her life goal is to be fluent in Swedish someday.


B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College; M.S. and Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Courses Taught

NUR-391 (IS:Covid's Impact) and NUR-393 (Psychiatric Nursing)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
NUR-386 Perinatal Clinical 16 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, and 2007/FA
NUR-393 Psychiatric Nurs Lab 11 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, and 2016/SP
NUR-387 Maternal Newborn 10 2022/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, and 2015/FA
NDL-350 One Voice in Tanzania 7 2023/JN, 2019/JN, 2017/JN, 2015/JN, 2012/JN, 2010/JN, and 2009/JN
NUR-393 Psychiatric Nursing 7 2022/SP, 2021/SP, 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, 2017/SP, and 2016/SP
NUR-392 Mental Health Lab 7 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, and 2009/SP
NUR-392 Mental Health 7 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, and 2009/SP
NUR-205 Native Wellbeing 5 2019/FA, 2017/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, and 2013/FA
NUR-304 Nursing Concepts 5 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
NUR-268 Career Exploration 5 2006/JN, 2005/JN, 2004/JN, 2003/JN, and 2002/JN
NUR-202 Research & Ethics 4 2022/FA, 2022/SP, and 2016/SP
NUR-300 Research for Wellbeing 4 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, and 2007/FA
NUR-330 Adult and Child 4 2005/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, and 2001/SP
NUR-310 Health Assessment and Nursing 4 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, and 2000/FA
NUR-320 Application of Nursing Concepts 4 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, and 2000/FA
NUR-308 Adult Health I 3 2012/FA, 2006/FA, and 2005/FA
NDL-305 Partner Violence 3 2005/JN, 2003/JN, and 2002/JN
NUR-330 Adult and Child Lab 3 2003/SP, 2002/SP, and 2001/SP
NUR-336 Adult Health II Lab 2 2007/SP and 2006/SP
NUR-336 Adult Health II 2 2007/SP and 2006/SP
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 2 2005/FA and 2003/FA
NUR-383 Public Health Clinical 1 2022/FA
NDL-250 One Voice in India 1 2014/JN
NUR-302 Healthcare Issues 1 2012/FA
NUR-344 ST:Alaska Natives 1 2012/FA
NDL-399 Sweden and National Health Care 1 2007/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.