Dr. Tranbarger has been an influential driving force and trailblazer for the field of nursing. While his leadership and contributions to nursing have been recognized nationally, he is best known for his pioneering work on behalf of male nurses. Dr. Tranbarger attended nursing school in Chicago, hoping to earn enough money to pay for medical school. However, he quickly discovered that his true calling was nursing, and from the start, he challenged the role of men in nursing. After receiving a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from UNC in 1970, he became the associate director of nursing at N.C. Memorial Hospital, making him the first male nursing faculty member in the state. In addition to serving as the first male president of the North Carolina Nurses Association and the North Carolina Board of Nursing, he has held various leadership roles in organizations such as the American Nurses Association, the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing, the North Carolina Federation of Nursing Organizations and the American Academy of Nursing.