Jan Holloway in 1975
Jan Holloway at what was then the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education in 1975.

The Washington State University College of Nursing lost a valued colleague and great friend on Nov. 25 with the passing of Associate Professor Emeritus Jan Holloway.

Jan joined the College of Nursing in 1970 to teach what she described as “the nuts and bolts of nursing.”

The Washington State Nurses Association inducted her into its first Hall of Fame in 1996, saying Jan “helped to prepare nurses through her commitment to teaching the beginning nursing students, the students for whom the best instructors are needed.”

Said her daughter Sandy Holloway, “She was a real believer in supporting clinical instruction, in taking fledgling nurses and nurturing them along in a positive and reinforcing way. I can’t tell you how many of her nursing students have contacted us about the impact she made on their lives.”

Jan was a pioneer in distance education, using a two-way television system to link the university’s nursing programs statewide. She also developed an elective course on caring, enabling her to “teach formally what so many students and RNs have experienced, her gentle yet focused consultations at the bedside,” the WSNA said in 1996.

She was honored for lifetime achievement by the Inland Empire Nurses Association and was named a Woman of Achievement by the YWCA of Spokane.

A breast cancer survivor, Jan also advocated for cancer research funding in Washington D.C. and was a founding member and past president of the Eastern Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

She grew up in Everett, Washington, the daughter of a tugboat captain, and played the violin as a young woman. She took up the instrument again following her retirement from WSU and was a founding member of the New Horizons Orchestra in Spokane.

Jan graduated in 1955 from then-Washington State College, which offered nursing instruction at the time in conjunction with St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane. She joined the what was then called the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education – now the WSU College of Nursing – as a clinical instructor, earning her master’s degree in education along the way and finally retiring in 1999.

graduation portrait 1955
Jan Holloway graduated from the nursing program at Washington State College in 1955.

Jan’s daughters said their mother would have wanted to be known for taking the high road, for her sense of humor and her positive spirit.

In a 2017 interview, Jan said she and other pioneers of the nursing program are “part of the brick and mortar of the WSU College of Nursing” – and the college couldn’t agree more.

Jan is survived by daughters Sandy Holloway and Susan Holloway, who followed her mother into nursing, as well as granddaughter Maia. A celebration of her life is planned in spring or early summer 2020 in Spokane.

Memorial contributions to the Jan Holloway Excellence in Clinical Instruction Award Endowment at the WSU College of Nursing are welcome; to give visit https://foundation.wsu.edu/give/ – select the “Search” feature on the far right and type “Holloway.”

–Addy Hatch

Janet Holloway stands in front of a new display of nursing history at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute.
Jan Holloway helped create a display tracing the history of nursing education in the region at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in 2017.