Pinning a legacy of love

Feb 23, 2024Neesha Hosein
Jan Bishop

Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop
Jan Bishop started her healthcare career as a candy striper. Donning the iconic red-and-white striped uniform, Bishop’s compassion echoed throughout the corridors of Pasadena General Hospital.

She made an impact beyond her volunteer role, creating bonds with hospital staff and volunteers. The hospital awarded Bishop a scholarship for nursing school. She graduated from the licensed vocational nursing program at Pasadena ISD in 1967.

Bishop’s career spanned diverse disciplines from bedside care to administrative roles, from intensive care units to general floor duties. The emergency room is where she found her true love … in more ways than one.

“As a police officer, I often visited local emergency rooms, following up on all sorts of injuries,” said James Bishop, Jan’s husband and USAF veteran. “I noticed the attractive redheaded nurse who seemed to be in the middle of the action. I gave her a call, asked her out, and six months later, we got married.”

San Jac alumni

The couple attended San Jac together. Jan pursued a higher degree in nursing, and James majored in criminal justice. She graduated from the ADN program in 1987, earning her San Jac nursing pin, which became one of her prized possessions.

They moved 21 times in their 52 years together between Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee because of James’s work. All the while, Jan flourished in her career, easily adapting to new opportunities, specializing in emergency medicine. Her devotion to the craft earned her the nickname “Dr. Mom” in the family.

Health issues inspired them both to retire by 2008 and relocate to West Virginia to be near family.

“Being a flight nurse was a dream of Jan’s that was not to be,” James said. “Her Life Flight adventure turned out to be as a patient then a very short battle with pancreatic cancer. I’m a United States Air Force veteran. We laid her to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in September 2021 where I will one day join her.”

Going through her stuff, I came across her nursing pin from San Jac. She was incredibly proud of that pin. It was round and black with a white star and what had initially been a monument, but I noticed it was missing.
James Bishop

Operation: pin restoration

James decided to have this priceless keepsake repaired. He contacted Rhonda Bell, dean of natural and health sciences, who put him in contact with a vendor representative. With his hopes high, James mailed them the pin.

“I was extremely touched by Mr. Bishop’s quest to restore his wife’s nursing pin.” Bell said. “It made me pause and reflect on the impact San Jacinto College has on the lives of others and their families. As a nurse, I know the significance of receiving your nursing pin and was honored to be part of the process helping Mr. Bishop connect with a company to restore the pin.” 

Two weeks later, he received the pin back in the mail, and it looked beautiful once again, repaired at no charge.

This was the first time the company had received such a request from San Jac.

“We are so thankful that San Jacinto College has put their trust in us to manufacture the nursing pins all these years, and we were honored to restore Mr. Bishop’s late wife’s pin,” said Jackie Marshall, general administrator, J. Brandt Recognition.

Dr. Mom’s inspiration lives on

 To James, the little black pin is a testament to San Jac’s great work.

“Jan was the most caring person I ever knew, and that little nursing pin was, to her, the symbol of who she was,” he said.