Frances Terry, MN, ARNP of Seattle received her Baccalau­reate of Nursing Science from Seattle Univer­sity and after first raising her five children, she returned for her Master’s of Nursing from the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing. She was the first African American student to graduate from Seattle Univer­si­ty’s nursing program and the second to graduate from any nursing school in the state.

When Frances gradu­ated from nursing school, only a couple of hospi­tals would hire a colored” nurse. Some patients would not allow her to care for them. Over the years, she has paved the way for many nurses of color to follow her example. During Frances’ basic educa­tion, she received inspi­ra­tion and support from the few African-American regis­tered nurses who came to Seattle from other states. One regis­tered nurse from out of state, Ann Foy Baker, influ­enced the other African American nurses to form the Mary Mahoney Profes­sional Nurses Organi­za­tion. Frances’ contri­bu­tions to Mary Mahoney with its schol­ar­ships to over 70 students during the past 50 years will provide a lasting influ­ence on nursing care, as will her tutoring for nursing students and partic­i­pa­tion in Seattle Univer­si­ty’s and the Univer­sity of Washing­ton’s fund raising.

Frances joined the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion right after gradu­a­tion and has been an active member for over 49 years. Since that time, she has Chaired, Co-Chaired or served as a member on various commit­tees for both WSNA and for KCNA. She’s attended conven­tions at the national, state, and county levels as an elected delegate and served on WSNA’s Cabinet of Nursing Practice and Educa­tion and on the Ethics and Human Rights Committee. She repre­sented WSNA at the Inter­na­tional Congress of Nurses in Madrid, Spain. She worked many hours during the attempted raid by other unions in 1989, helped draft a defin­i­tion of nursing, and has supported the PAC and the Foundation.

Frances arrived in Washington State with her parents as a twelve year old child. She gradu­ated from public high school at age 16 and finished her five years of nursing educa­tion at age twenty-one. She believes that she has repre­sented hope and achieve­ment for the youth of our state who wish to become nurses. She has opened doors for all nurses through her profes­sional work in the various health care settings: hospi­tals, commu­nity health, public school, non-profit agency, commu­nity mental health agencies, and advanced educa­tional insti­tu­tions. She received her educa­tion and advanced her career from staff nurse to Advanced Regis­tered Nurse Practi­tioner with prescrip­tive authority over a span of forty-eight years.

Frances Jefferson Terry’s career as a profes­sional nurse encom­passes four decades. During that time she demon­strated her ability to adapt to many different nursing situa­tions and respon­si­bil­i­ties. As Director of Health Services at North­west Center for the Retarded, she modeled excel­lence in patient care, leader­ship, educa­tion, public service, nurse advocacy, and patient advocacy. Working with these special needs people was one of the most challenging and rewarding positions that Frances held. This care required compas­sion, devotion, and profes­sional excel­lence-to keep the environ­ment safe by following estab­lished nursing standards and Occupa­tional Safety and Health Agency guide­lines, to use thera­peutic commu­ni­ca­tion skills, to do health appraisals, to monitor and admin­ister medica­tion so that clients maintained or increased their functional level, to keep accurate records, and to work effec­tively with parents, teachers, staff, Univer­sity faculty and students-all while remaining open to constant and signif­i­cant changes in health care delivery and the cultural and polit­ical environment.

Frances demon­strated excel­lence in leader­ship at the North­west Center for the Retarded by estab­lishing health care policy for the Center, by organizing and leading thera­peutic groups for females, males, and co-ed clients to help them learn self-help skills, improve self-esteem, and to maintain and improve their health. She helped parents organize a support group and convened an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group for treat­ment planning. She obtained a grant that estab­lished an after-school program for the special needs children whose parents did not get home from work until later in the day.

In her work with the mentally ill popula­tion at Harborview Medical Center and a nurse consul­tant and Advanced Regis­tered Nurse Practi­tioner with prescrip­tive authority at Commu­nity House Mental Health Agency, Frances continued to demon­strate excel­lence in her field. In May, 1993, she was recog­nized as one of three outstanding nurses at Harborview Medical Center during National Nurses Week.

Frances places a high value on educa­tion and continues to study and learn. Her trip to China in an exchange nursing program was a special learning oppor­tu­nity for Frances and will have a lasting effect on the treat­ment of physical and mental illnesses in that country.