Mary Bartholet, MS, RN has been a leader in nursing throughout her career. As a nurse educator, a member of her parish, a volun­teer and a concerned citizen, Mary has contributed to the health and welfare of Washington and the profes­sion of nursing in this state for over 50 years.

Mary gradu­ated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing and the College of Saint Teresa with a bachelor’s of science through a joint degree program. She went on to complete a master’s degree at St. Louis Univer­sity. After working as a staff nurse and head nurse in several hospi­tals, Mary began to explore an interest in teaching, starting as an instructor in pediatrics at North­western Hospital in Minneapolis.

In 1958, Mary made the move to Seattle and began her long and distin­guished career at Seattle Univer­sity. As an Assis­tant and Associate Professor for thirty-four years, Mary has helped shape and mentor the next gener­a­tion of nurses. When Mary first arrived at Seattle Univer­sity, she taught a number of courses including the History of Nursing, Basic Nursing and Medical-Surgical Nursing. For the past 20 years, Mary has special­ized in teaching students during their maternal-child nursing experi­ences. Her work in this area includes a video co-produced with Tonnie Wolf on the assess­ment of the newborn that went on to gain national recog­ni­tion with an honor­able mention. She has also contributed to the nursing liter­a­ture with several published articles.

When Alpha Sigma Chapter at Sigma Theta Tau began at Seattle Univer­sity, Mary was invited to become a charter member of the honorary nursing sorority. She went on to serve as Presi­dent and chair of several commit­tees in the chapter while at Seattle Univer­sity. In 1987, she was awarded the Sigma Theta Tau Leader­ship Award, for leader­ship devel­op­ment. Mary was proud to see the profes­sion­alism and initia­tive of her students when she encour­aged them submit a petition at the national student nurses conven­tion. Their motion to include alcohol studies in all nursing curricula was passed.

Students have consis­tently praised her commit­ment to their learning needs remarked on how Mary went out of her way to ensure they would succeed in their courses and clinical experi­ences. Many have gone on to excel in their nursing careers as leaders and clinical experts.

Mary was recog­nized by the Univer­sity for her outstanding service as a mentor for the Pathways Program. She was also nominated and honored in 1994 for Seattle University’s Herstory award, a recog­ni­tion that began in 1990 to affirm the dignity, worth and power of women on campus. Mary was selected for her many contri­bu­tions to the Univer­sity for her tireless energy, and for her commit­ment to her colleagues and commu­nity. To cap off a remark­able career, Mary was granted the status of Professor Emerita from Seattle Univer­sity for her stead­fast and distin­guished contri­bu­tions to nursing and Seattle University’s mission.

She is now working on collecting infor­ma­tion to write a book about the history of the Seattle University’s School of Nursing which is celebrating its 75th Anniver­sary this spring. She’s inter­viewed gradu­ates of the school about their experi­ences and memories, as well as how their educa­tion has affected their lives after gradu­a­tion. A history lover, Mary has also volun­teered for the long-term project Women’s Voices – Women’s Stories” through the Seattle Archid­iocesan Women’s Commis­sion, conducting oral-history inter­views with a diverse group of Catholic women.

Mary’s contri­bu­tions don’t end in the class­room. Shortly after arriving in Seattle, Mary volun­teered with the Seattle Red Cross and continued to do so over the next twenty-five years. Her work included the coordi­na­tion of volun­teers and resources to build a float for the SeaFair Parade, which won second place in its category at the parade. The Red Cross recog­nized her service in 1982 by nominating her for KIXI radio’s Citizen of the Day award. Eight times during the day, the radio station paused to review Mary’s civic accomplishments.

Mary’s faith has long shaped her core beliefs and her actions as a person, a nurse, and a commu­nity activist. For several years, she has served as a Eucharist Minster, bringing Holy Commu­nion to those who are home-bound, visiting the sick and dying, and has coordi­nated the prepa­ra­tion of sandhwiches for people at the First Avenue Service Center in Seattle. In 1999, Mary began a parish nursing program along with several other nurses that provides educa­tion and training programs, blood pressure and other screening clinics, and home visits to people with health concerns. Her work with parish nursing program continues today.

Mary has also been active in WSNA throughout her career, serving as Secre­tary of the Board of Direc­tors for two terms. She also repre­sented WSNA on the working group Initia­tive on Children’s Health, a part of the Collab­o­ra­tive on Health the Environ­ment Committee. She has been recog­nized by the King County Nurse’s Associ­a­tion with a Nurse of the Year Award.