San Jacinto College nursing pin image.

Jeanette Carol Bishop (Gardner) started her health care career as a candy striper, donning the iconic red-and-white striped uniform. Her compassion echoed throughout the corridors of Pasadena General Hospital.

She made such an impact beyond her volunteer role — creating bonds with hospital staff and other volunteers — that the hospital awarded her a scholarship for nursing school. Jan graduated from a licensed vocational nursing program in Pasadena in 1967. 

Jan’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. “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 in the 1980s. Jan pursued a higher degree in nursing, and James majored in criminal justice. She graduated from the associate degree nursing 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 throughout Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee because of James’ 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 led 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.” 

Jeanette and James Bishop image.Operation pin restoration

After his wife’s death, James was sorting through her things when he came across her San Jac nursing pin.

“She was incredibly proud of that pin,” he said. “It was round and black with a white star and what had initially been a monument, but I noticed it was missing.” 

James decided to have this priceless keepsake repaired. He contacted Dr. Rhonda Bell, Central Campus dean of health and natural sciences, who connected him with a vendor representative. With his hopes high, James mailed the company 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, J. Brandt Recognition general administrator.

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.

By Neesha Hosein / Photos courtesy of James Bishop