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A tribute to Dr. Jan Harris.

A long time Oklahoma nurse and nursing educator, Dr. Jan Harris, age 72, died August 13, 2009 while on vacation in Colorado. Dr. Harris became a registered nurse in 1957, a graduate of the Oklahoma University School of Nursing. She worked as a staff nurse for 2 years and later as House Supervisor for the University of Oklahoma Medical Center from 1959 to 1969. She began a teaching career which spanned more than 30 years as a Practical Nursing Coordinator/Instructor for Central Technology Center in Drumright, Oklahoma. Over 1,000 students graduated and became Licensed Practical Nurses under her guidance. This was one of the first programs in the state to receive NLN accreditation. She taught for two years at the University Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma before retirement in 1991.


She worked for the Oklahoma Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education as Deputy Director from 1980-84. She completed two Masters Degrees, one from Central State University in Guidance and Counseling in 1976 and the other in nursing from the University College of Nursing in 1982. Her doctorate was completed from Oklahoma State University in 1978. She participated as a member of the Oklahoma Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education, Educational Standards Committee from 1973-1977 and was a survey visitor from 1973-1978. She was a member of Oklahoma League for Nursing and served on the National League for Nursing Standards from 1978-1980.

She served two years as President of the Health Occupations Division of Oklahoma Vocational Association. She received the Education Professional Development Act Award (EPDA552) in 1978 to pursue advanced studies.

She was appointed by Governor Henry Bellman in 1988 to serve as a Board member for the Oklahoma Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education for a 4 year term. Governor Bellman selected her from a list of names submitted by the Oklahoma Nurses Association.

Dr. Harris, after having raised three daughters while getting her own education, serving as an active nurse and teacher for many years, understood the difficulties students experience in raising a family and going to school. Two of her 3 daughters are also registered nurses. The oldest daughter, Ramona, is a Med-Surg. Nurse Educator in the Houston area and the youngest daughter, Joan, is a nurse in Jackson, WY. Both daughters are active in nursing education matters and requested this tribute to their mother be placed in the state newsletter for nurses. Her middle daughter, Shelly, pursued a career in the area of computers in the Oklahoma City area.

Dr. Harris will be missed by many. Her retirement years included traveling in a motor home to many areas of the United States, Canada and Alaska.

This article was written by: Dr. Larry Ann Holley, Friend and Traveling Companion

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Publication:Oklahoma Nurse
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1U7OK
Date:Dec 1, 2009
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