As a Whitworth student, Carol (Isaac) Huebner, ’72, demonstrated an aptitude for hard work, discipline and commitment. Huebner’s four-year program at the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education included a two-year clinical practicum at Spokane-area hospitals. “I worked from dawn to dusk throughout the week,” she said, “and then spent weekends working in the infirmary [on campus] under Health Center Director Georgene Winniford.” These were formative years for Huebner – years that prepared her for a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Army.
While at Whitworth, Huebner was a member of the Army Student Nurse Program, and upon graduation she was assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Subsequent transfers took her to Tripler Army Medical Center, in Hawaii.
Over the course of her career, Huebner earned two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. while serving in critical-care nursing, nursing education, administration, research and health policy. “My greatest joy was in caring for soldiers in a system of high integrity and discipline and in helping nurses provide the highest-quality care,” she said. After 22 moves around the country, she returned to her first assignment in Washington, D.C., as nurse manager of the largest surgical intensive-care unit in the free-world military. In 1992, she was named the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s Army Nurse of the Year. Near the culmination of her impressive career, Huebner was deputy commander of nursing at Ft. Hood, Texas, the largest post in the Army. Her final assignment was as chief nurse executive for the worldwide U.S. Army Medical Command.
In October 2001, Huebner retired from the U.S. Army as a full colonel. She moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she was a professor and chair of the department of health restoration & care systems management at the University of Texas Health Science Center. “I teach as I remember being taught at Whitworth – with respect, relevance and hard work,” she said.
She retired in 2013 and remains a professor emerita and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, certified in executive nursing practice. She and her husband, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Mike Huebner, live in Moscow, Idaho. Carol authored a chapter on healthcare insurance in a financial-management text for nursing-practice doctoral students; it was named an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year in 2014. She also serves on the national board for Concordia Plan Services, an employee health and benefit plan for 32,000 workers in the Lutheran Church.
Huebner has never forgotten the difference a Whitworth education made in her life. “Living in a Christian community was a comfort during my years in a challenging nursing program,” she said. “The education I received was high in quality and made me want to do well.”