Ann Hubbert was born in Burns, Oregon and grew up in Tucson, Arizona.
From as far back as she can remember, Hubbert always wanted to be a nurse. She remembers being a little girl playing with dolls. Her mother would help set up the dolls in a classroom formation. But when she’d come back later, Hubbert had wrapped the dolls up and placed them in supine positions. “They’re all sick,” she informed her mother as she nursed them back to health.
Hubbert credits her mother as an inspirational figure. After her father died at the age of 39 of a rare lung disease, Hubbert’s mother went back to school and got her master’s and her doctorate degrees. “My mom set the example,” says Hubbert. “She said, ‘you get your education and I’ll get mine.’ When she retired, she went into the Peace Corps and later was a volunteer at the White house for eight years, under Clinton and Bush. So there’s an aspiration for what I’m going to do when I retire,” Hubbert says with a smile.
Hubbert, who was a majorette in high school and won medals for the backstroke on the swim team, went on to get her own degrees: a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing at the University of Arizona and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Nebraska.
She started her career as an ER nurse. Other clinical experience included stints as staff nurse and unit managers at several hospitals. For 16 years, she was a nursing administrator at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson which was honored for nursing excellence as one of only 41 Magnet Hospitals in the nation by the American Academy of Nursing. A key to the hospital achieving the award was Hubbert’s work as a leader in Native American services. This would become a lifelong dedication. As the administrator of the “Spirituality in Healing” program she was recognized as national Nurse of the Year in 1986.
The work is one of Hubbert’s proudest achievements.
The program was created by Hubbert and the Comanche medicine man, Mr. Monetathchi Jr. It was distinctively taught by Traditional Medicine People to healthcare providers to address the cultural and spiritual care needs of Native American clients. It became an international program attended by over 7,000 people from 17 countries.
“I am proud of becoming an expert in advocating for new healthcare programs for Native American and homeless populations,” Hubbert says. As a result of her work, she was sponsored as a Comanche and has been honored for her work as a non-Indian nurse in pow-wows and Native American groups in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. She calls it “a life-changing honor.”
Hubbert moved into teaching and was a professor and nurse educator at The University of Michigan, the University of Arizona, Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska, and at the University of Nevada in Reno before coming on board at Boise State University as an associate professor and school chair of undergraduate programs for the School of Nursing in 2011.
She has been at her current post since 2013. She oversees the largest nursing undergraduate face-to-face and distance programs in the state. And under her leadership, two new graduate programs for nurse practitioners and doctors of nursing practice have been implemented.