Retiring in 1998 after nine years on the staff of Harlem Hospital Center in New York, Betty Watts Carrington, EdD, FACNM, has had a rewarding career as a nurse and midwife research associate. Working in the field for close to 30 years, she also found success in academia as the director of the graduate program in nurse-midwifery at Columbia University School of Nursing in New York and as associate professor of nurse-midwifery at State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York, between 1979 and 1991. Earlier in her career, Dr. Carrington excelled as a director of the nurse-midwifery service for the Maternity Infant Care Project and Brookdale Hospital affiliation in Brooklyn between 1972 and 1979.
Pursuing a career in health care was a very personal matter for Dr. Carrington. At a time when options for women, especially African American women, were very limited, she could either choose teaching or nursing, deciding on the latter. By 1981, she began consulting in minority recruitment and retention to increase the number of women of color in nurse-midwifery, which she was very passionate about. Dr. Carrington has also maintained her involvement in the community with Alpha Kappa Alpha and the National Association of University Women Long Island branch, as well as the Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network, Inc., a chapter of the national Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) dedicated to providing care for children and families impacted with sickle cell disease thalassemia, the trait and other chronic conditions.
Dr. Carrington has contributed to numerous articles published in scholarly journals during her career. She is a past president and a current member of the national program standards committee of the National Association of University Women. Likewise, she was formerly active as a national vice president, a lifetime member, a fellow and a chairman of the Accreditation Division for the American College of Nurse Midwives. Dr. Carrington is also a longtime member of several honor societies.
In 1997, Dr. Carrington was honored with a Bishop’s Cross from Saint David’s Episcopal Church. She was later presented with a 2001 Hattie Hemschemeyer Award from the American College of Nurse Midwives and a Community Service Award in 2008 from the Kiwanis of Cambria Heights, New York, among other awards and recognitions. Dr. Carrington has notably been featured in several editions of Who’s Who, including Who’s Who Among Human Services Professionals, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Nursing.
Born in West Virginia, Dr. Carrington initially graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati in 1954. Subsequently, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with the highest distinction, at the University of Michigan in 1958. She concluded her academic efforts at Columbia University, obtaining both a master’s degree in 1971 and an EdD in 1986, respectively. A certified nurse-midwife, Dr. Carrington continues to advocate for quality health care for mothers and babies, as well as those living with sickle cell disease.