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Strong Woman: Jan Beckett

Strong Woman: Jan Beckett

  • photo by Anthony Jinson
Former nurse gives back through the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees.

What is your background?
I’m a graduate of the MU School of Nursing. I’ve worked as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, a med surgery and surgical ICU nurse at MU Health, an ICU nurse in California, and an ICU nurse at Boone Hospital. After I left Boone, I was the office manager for my husband’s orthopedic practice. I officially retired from nursing in 2006 and currently serve on the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love working with my fellow trustees to help shape the future of healthcare in our community. It is an awesome responsibility and opportunity that most don’t ever have, and I take it very seriously.

What is something surprising about you?
I flunked microbiology in college and had to repeat it before I could continue on to my other nursing courses. This put me back a semester in school, and it was during my last semester of college that I met Wilson Beckett, a second year medical student, who would become my husband for the last 47 years.

What is one moment in your life that defined you?
When I became a mother, it was life changing. I often say that raising my two children was the most important job of my life. On a professional note, early in my nursing career, it may have been when I had a doctor sit me down after a particularly difficult night and tell me that sometimes, despite all our best efforts and care, some patients die, but we must continue to do our very best for every patient every day.

What do you do for fun?
I love to travel. Whether it is to see my daughter and family in Chicago, a riverboat cruise in Europe, or a family vacation in Florida, I love going to other places, learning about their history, experiencing their cuisine, and meeting their people.

What is some advice you’d give a younger you?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. I look back and think that I sometimes worried needlessly about little things that eventually worked themselves out without any interference from me.

Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
Coffee and wine, not necessarily in that order!

What is your passion?
My passion is helping others. Since my retirement, volunteering has become a way for me to help others.

What project are you currently working on?
The biggest project for the trustees is helping to determine the future of Boone Hospital. The hospital will be 100 years old in 2021, and what we decide will affect the citizens of Boone County for many years to come.

What is your biggest inspiration?
Over the years, I think my biggest inspirations have been my patients. When I was working with them, I was reminded on a daily basis that people have the capacity to overcome most obstacles in life with the support of those around them, that we all need help sometimes, and that when we work as a team, almost anything is possible.

What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is blue, but I don’t consider myself to be a blue person. I like to think that my personality is more yellow, sunshiny, and pleasant!

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