Having two out of three sisters who were already nurses, Josephine Mitchell Ritz, RN, was advised not to go into nursing by her father because of how hard they worked, and her mother wanted her to become an educator. She wanted to please her parents, but also choose a fitting health care career for herself. She then sought advice from the personnel at the local hospital and they suggested if she becomes a nurse first, they would fund a degree to become a teacher. Ms. Ritz then followed through and not only became a nurse, but a teacher as well.
Ms. Ritz began her professional career as the director of the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing in Pennsylvania before moving up the ranks to the roles of curriculum coordinator and coordinator of the fundamentals of nursing. Following this, she joined the Health East Trust in Allentown as the coordinator for the nursing resource development program. In addition to this tenure, Ms. Ritz served on the advisory board of the Kutztown University nursing program and the board of associates of Lehigh Valley Hospital. Her last position was as a philanthropic specialist in the hospital’s Office of Philanthropy in 2018.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Ritz pursued a formal education at the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing, earning a diploma in nursing in 1947. She then matriculated at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1961. She went on to attain a Master of Education from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1974. Ms. Ritz is most proud of her students that she taught, who grew up to become successful. She is also proud of her efforts toward the students that she has helped with fundraising for scholarship funds. Many of them are now successful doctors and nurses.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Ritz maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field such as the National Association Fund Raising Executives, the National League for Nursing, the Professional Nursing Council and the Allentown Hospital School Nursing Alumni Association. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Nursing Ethics Award by the Allentown Hospital School of Nursing as well as the coveted Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Notably, she was also selected for inclusion in the fourth and fifth editions of Who’s Who in American Nursing. Today, Ms. Ritz has been invited to serve on various committees and was the center of attention at her school’s homecoming.