Open Forum: Betty Jane Ward

Posted: January 4, 2013

On behalf of the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, I would like to acknowledge the family and friends of Betty Jane Ward.

Betty Jane passed away in 2012 and yet her legacy continues. These wonderful people have established the Betty Jane Ward Practical Nursing Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation that will benefit eligible students enrolled in the Practical Nursing program at Lord Fairfax Community College by monetarily assisting them as they pursue their studies.

Betty Jane was a much-loved and respected person, registered nurse, and nursing educator. She demonstrated vision, integrity, selfless dedication, and passion for the profession of nursing and nursing education.

Ms. Ward's nursing career spanned 44 years and included the areas of acute care, post-anesthesia care, critical care, long-term care, and nursing education. In 1990, Betty began teaching practical nursing at the Dowell J. Howard Vocational Center in Frederick County. When that program ended, she collaborated with Lord Fairfax Community College to establish the first health professions program at the college. The Practical Nursing program began in 1995 and the Associate Degree in Nursing program began in 2000.

Under Ms. Ward's leadership, both programs developed a tremendous success rate for their nursing graduates, as well as an esteemed reputation in the local health-care community. The nursing programs provided many qualified nurses to a wide variety of health-care settings.

Betty had an exceptional intellect and the ability to effortlessly teach and translate complex content clearly and simply to her students. She held students to a high standard, with the goal for them to achieve excellence in the profession of nursing.

As a person, Betty was kind, caring, compassionate, and humble in all aspects of her life. After retirement in August of 2010, she spent more time with her devoted dog, Sassie; volunteered at the Compassionate Pharmacy in Winchester; crocheted many scarves, hats, and gloves for the troops far from home; tutored nursing students; contributed to many agencies such as the Hampshire County Pet Adoption Program; and spent time with family and friends.

She was loved and will be missed by many. This practical nursing scholarship fund will help to continue her legacy. If you feel inclined, your tax-deductible donation will go a long way in helping our future nurses.

Felicia Hart is director of marketing and development of the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley