Skip to main content
Print this page
Email this page link to a friend
Tweet this

Barbara J. Severson, ARNP, MSN

Languages: English
Accepting New Patients
Professional Statement
As an advanced nurse practitioner at the MS Center, my work philosophy is to: Do my best. Be a part of the team. Listen. Equip patients, their families and significant others with MS survival skills. Share the journey.
Field of Study
Seattle Pacific University
Nursing School
Professional Associations
International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners United of Washington
Personal Interests
Art. Entertaining. Reading. Time with family, friends, and of course my dog.
Board Certifications
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Neurology
Blog Posts
By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Friday, April 28, 2017

A recent study looked at what helped people with MS adopt healthy habits, and what hindered them from making changes. Five themes emerged.

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Earlier this year, a study looked at why people with MS hide their disease and how this concealment can actually be harmful. Many people with other chronic conditions are in a similar situation.

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Tis the holiday season and everyone is expected to be in good cheer. Guess what enhances good cheer? For many people, it’s alcohol. But if you have multiple sclerosis, consuming alcohol also can become a safety consideration.

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Monday, November 23, 2015
When confronted with managing MS at work, many people find themselves in a dilemma about selecting a survival plan that best meets their needs professionally and personally.

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A patient of mine said that if he did not tell his children about his MS, he would have missed 10 years of their support.

The article, Informing the Children When a Parent Is Diagnosed as Having Multiple Sclerosis, mentions chronic neurological disease in one person affects the entire family and has a significant impact on the lives of children. Typically, when a person is diagnosed with MS, information from the health care provider is disseminated to the "ill" person, who then informs the rest of the family. However, children in the family are seldom the primary recipients of information delivered by health care professionals. Unfortunately, it has been reported that children without "thorough" information about their parents' MS have lower emotional well being than those who are better educated.

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Monday, March 23, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care for men and women – is it a surprise that their MS health care support needs may differ?  As with many things in life, one should not assume that everyone has the same needs regardless of gender.  The prevalence of MS affects women about 3 times more often than men. And much of what we know, from social support research in MS, has been done with a predominantly female population.  The reality is that men and women do have different needs. 

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Falls happen.  Fall incidence can increase with disability.  Falls in multiple sclerosis (MS) are common and often occur due to motor weakness, imbalance, gait impairment, and not using the adaptive equipment (cane, walker, orthotic) designed to help one ambulate more effectively and safely.

Falls can result in injury. This injury might only be an embarrassment to one’s pride; however, at other times, falls can contribute to more serious problems such as a fractured hip, a head injury, and in the worst case scenario, death.  It is therefore important that we take a proactive approach to fall prevention.

The International Multiple Sclerosis Falls Prevention Research Network has examined the roles of various fall prevention rehabilitation programs to learn which might be the most effective in reducing fall risk and falls (click here to read the research).  A critical e...

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I was recently asked if I could provide advice on how patients could get the most out of their Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center visits.  In reality, I think most of us have been patients at least once in our lives. The list of tips I provide is comprehensive. However, critical information may be missing.  If you notice omissions, please respond with your own advice in the comments since we can all learn from each other.
One of the most important MS life survival lessons is that we are all part of the same team. As a member of that team, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to live your life to the fullest. This starts with the MS Center visit. Where you go with the information, is all part of our journey together:

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Monday, August 4, 2014

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center is hosting the 5th annual MS Center Art Show on August 9 & 10 from 10 am to 6 pm at the Seattle Center Armory.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please join us for this yearly celebration of art that is created by people living with MS and all others affected by this disease.
Art frees the spirit even when MS tries to limit it. The MS Center at Swedish hopes to acknowledge the lives and talents of everyone affected by MS.  The Art Show will feature over 80 pieces of art including painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more. 
The purpose of the annual Swedish MS Center Art Show is to:

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, Swedish hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration dinner and awards ceremony at the Seattle Tennis Club.  The event was to acknowledge and give thanks to all the volunteers who generously donate their time, and energy, to making Swedish a people friendly place.  The event was attended by more than 220 Swedish volunteers.
Our very own Swedish MS Center registered nurse Kim Lozano, and Certified Pet Therapy Volunteer Kathy Knox, and her Certified Therapy Dog Ocho (yellow Labrador retriever) were honored as Swedish’s “Featured Volunteer Program: The Leo Project.”  Kim created The Leo Project, better known as the Leo Pet Therapy Program to enhance the services we offer our MS Center patients and their families.  The name “Leo” was selected to pay tribute to Kim’s beloved dog ...

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Friday, April 4, 2014

The benefits of exercise and being physically fit is what many people strive for.  However, a recent study added a new dimension to what exercise can do to enhance health.  In other words, exercise did more than keep a body fit.  It also made study participants think better.  You may ask, why is this new information important?  

Cognitive impairment is one of multiple sclerosis (MS) ’s most disabling features and it can affect between 22% to 60% of people living with the disease.  Cognitive deficits may include problems with: slower information processing speed; memory impairment; difficulty with new learning and executive functioning.  Historically, medical and rehabilitation approaches to the problem have been inconsistent in improving cognition.
The new frontier of exercise for improved cognition provides hope. This study’s ob...

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Friday, November 8, 2013

On October 21, 2013 the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute hosted a meet and greet with Buddy Hayes, national speaker for Canine Companions for Independence.  Buddy, as she prefers to be called, is a military veteran and the owner of Stanford, a handsome Labrador Retriever service dog given to her by Canine Companions for Independence.

Canine Companions for Independence is the largest national nonprofit organization provider of assistance dogs in the United States.  Canine Companions proudly provides assistance dogs to people in need completely free of charge.  They use hundreds of volunteers around the country and an expert team of professionals to deliver a service that allows people to continue living active and independent...

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Monday, February 11, 2013

It is well documented that exercise is beneficial for the body and mind because it promotes strength, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, mood, and a general sense of health and well-being. All these “perks” improve function in our daily lives. Add music to the aerobics routine and the soul is uplifted. After all, music can calm or energize the spirit and often allows us to move more freely.

The MS Center at Swedish offers free aerobics classes to the MS community for the joy of movement and music. In contrast to the typical dance-like moves that might come to mind when you think of aerobics, the exercises in Aerobics for MS are designed to increase strength and mobility for functional movements part of everyday life. Most of all, they’re meant to be fun! Classes take place in a supportive and relaxed environment, and all abilities are invited.

For more information about MS aerobics classes...

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Monday, April 9, 2012

You hear the diagnosis multiple sclerosis (MS) and your world stops. You don’t know what to think, who to tell, or what to do about your future.

In this video, four people living with MS tell their stories:

But even if you aren’t diagnosed with MS, here are some things you should know:

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Although Inga is quite able bodied, she is having sexual problems. Sexual dysfunction, which may occur early or late in the course of MS, does not always correlate to the degree of physical disability. Often it is under-recognized and goes untreated. It is present in up to 90 percent of men and in nearly as many women. In women, the most common problems are low libido and altered genital sensation. For men, the major problem is erectile dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction can be a direct result of demyelination in the central nervous system. Secondary changes are related to poor bladder control or muscle weakness, and psychological, social or cultural issues that interfere with sexual feelings or responses. Examples of the latter include alterations in body image and low self esteem.

Regardless of the cause, sexual dysfunction can adversely affect quality of life and contribute to additional problems. 

By: Barbara J Severson, ARNP, MSN
Friday, March 25, 2011

The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute is hosting its Second Annual Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show at the Bellevue Arts Museum on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 & 19, 2011 from 11:00am to 5:00pm. There will be an ‘Artist Only Meet ‘n’ Greet, Sunday June 19th from 3pm – 5pm

Entry Criteria:


The Patient Rating score is based on responses given during the CAHPS Patient Experience Survey.Responses are measured on a 10 - point scale, with 10 being the best score. These scores are then translated to a 5 - point scale in order to display results in a 5 - star rating.Comments are also gathered from the same survey and displayed in their entirety with the exception of any language that may be considered slander, libel or contain private health information, which will be removed prior to publishing the comments.

4.9 out of 5 (79 Ratings, 12 Comments)


I really like & trust Bobby Severson & Dr. [...].

It's a good experience considering the circumstances.

I have had mini stroke - more pain off charts I need help I'm so scared stroke center said call "Bobbie" Bobbie said call "Stroke Center".

very good

Bobbie saved me from taking my care to another clinic. She is truly amazing and one of a kind.

[...] Bobby showed me my MRI. She was happy with it because the techs that did the MRI said they didn't see any change from last time. This is all fine But there was a [...] on one of the X-rays. I asked Bobby what it was?She said it was a cyst. [...] Bobby said she didn't know what is was but she wasn't worried because the X-ray techs didn't say anything about it! Fine.....but I'm sorry, that's not good enough for me. I want to know what that was on the MRI. It wasn't normal so what was it then? [...]

Bobbie has been my favorite provider I have seen in the entire Swedish Medical Group. I really felt like she cared about me.

she's a hoot and I love seeing her.

Bobbie has an excellent quality of making me feel like the most important person in the world, and gave me undivided attention, and clearly listened to what I said. She's wonderful.

Bobbie Severson is wonderful at what she does - She explains, informs, advises, and encourages - She's an asset to the MS Center.

excellent service by Swedish

My first visit with ARNP. ARNP Barbara Severson was superb, professional & smart.
Multiple Sclerosis Center
1600 East Jefferson Street A Level
Seattle, WA 98122