Betty Harrington, RN, BSN, M.Ed, a Montana native, gradu­ated from St. James School of Nursing in Butte prior to her arrival in Spokane in 1954, after serving her country in the US Army Nurse Corps. She joined the staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center and over the next eight years earned her Bache­lor’s of Science in Nursing and her Master’s in Educa­tion from Gonzaga University.

Washington nursing organi­za­tions found an unselfish and dedicated advocate of nursing in Betty and they quickly tapped into her visionary leader­ship. She served on the WSNA and Inland Empire Nurses Associ­a­tion Board of Direc­tors, as chair of the Board of Nursing, as presi­dent of Hospital In-service Trainers, a member of the American Society for Health­care Educa­tion and Training, and the National League for Nursing in the capacity of Survey Visitor for the Depart­ment of Diploma Services.

Betty’s role as a nurse educator began in 1956 when she joined the staff of Sacred Heart School of Nursing as an instructor and clinical coordi­nator. Three years later she became the Associate Director, and in 1961 the Director of the School of Nursing. During that time Betty served as mom, dad, friend, role model, and leader to the students. In 1972, Sister Peter Claver, the admin­is­trator of Sacred Heart, recog­nized Betty’s commit­ment to quality nursing educa­tion and asked her to estab­lish the Depart­ment of Educa­tional Services at the Medical Center, when the closure of the nursing school was announced.

A forecaster and initiator of change, Betty was instru­mental in the collab­o­ra­tive efforts between the district and state nurses associ­a­tion, and Washington State Univer­sity in the estab­lish­ment of the Inter­col­le­giate Center for Nursing Educa­tion. Through storms of contro­versy and times of transi­tion, Betty carried the banner for baccalau­reate prepa­ra­tion for nurses.

A founder and board member of the Commu­nity Health Educa­tion Consor­tium, Betty was passionate about educating the public about health care services, their avail­ability, and access. In addition, she extended herself by serving on the Pregnancy Care Center and Catholic Chari­ties Board of Direc­tors, and chaired the Holy Names Academy School Board, and the Immac­u­late Heart Retreat Center. She has served on the Provi­dence Services board and has been co-director for Provi­dence Associates, St. Ignatius Province.

Betty Harrington epito­mizes the true heart and caring of nursing and the spirit of service to humankind. It is through her example that we are better able to meet the challenges facing nursing and our society today.