Visitors to museums and art galleries in Washington, D.C., leave feeling inspired by what they see.

Visitors to museums and art galleries in Washington, D.C., leave feeling inspired by what they see.

When Worthington resident Judith Kimchi-Woods traveled to the nation's capital in 2012, however, she wasn't motivated by what she saw but by what she didn't see.

The Chamberlain College of Nursing president said she knows the importance of nurses but didn't see any on display. There were plenty of doctors, and even animals and fruit, but the Florence Nightingale types that inspired her and so many others were nowhere to be found.

"It really struck me, 'Wow, there are so many pieces of art, but nothing to really celebrate nursing,' " Kimchi-Woods said. "I thought, 'We must have become invisible, where we're kind of taken for granted. Everyone wants us to be at their bedside and they take it for granted.' "

So Kimchi-Woods found herself on a quest to bring art of nurses to the masses, dedicating the next three years to a nurse-centric display, "Shine On: Nurses in Art," set to debut at the Columbus Museum of Art on Friday, March 20.

When she pitched the idea to CMA organizers, she was met with a lukewarm response. But after a presentation of what she wanted to achieve, they were hooked on the idea, she said.

"They shared with me they really didn't think it was a go because they'd really never done such a thing," Kimchi-Woods said. "But at the end of the presentation, they said, 'Wow, that's a good idea.' "

She embarked on a three-year process of raising funds to cover insurance and transportation for the pieces and eventually raised enough to bring it to fruition.

The exhibit celebrates all kinds of art depicting nurses and features such artists as Rembrandt van Rijn, Mary Cassatt, George Bellows and several others. It will run in one gallery through June 21.

Three special events will highlight the exhibit's time in Columbus. For National Nurses Week (May 6-12), any nurse with a staff ID will get free entry to the exhibit.

On May 7, Salvatore Mangione, an associate professor at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, will lead a discussion on the connection between art and science, and "Almost Human," a presentation May 17, will demonstrate "innovative simulators" used in the nursing field.

Kimchi-Woods said she is as excited to see the exhibit as anyone and has yet to see it herself beyond a mockup.

"It's just such a sense of excitement that finally it's happening," she said. "There were so many obstacles along the way to get the word out. I'm just excited that it's come to fruition."

Columbus Museum of Art admission is $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students ages 6 and older. Admission is free for members and children ages 5 and younger. Admission is free for everyone on Sundays.