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Jane Belt, A Legend of AAPACN and Long-Term Care

On June 30, 2021, Jane Belt, MS, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, curriculum development specialist for AAPACN, will be retiring. While we are sad to see Jane leave AAPACN and she will surely be missed, she won’t be forgotten. She has made a major impact on all of us.

Jane has lived much of her life dedicated to nursing and has worked the last 40+ years in long-term care. In fact, Jane has been a nurse for 52 years.

Her supervisor, Amy Stewart, MSN, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, says of Jane, “Jane has been one of my LTC nurse heroes for over a decade. I will miss her infectious laugh and fun spirit. She has been an integral part of the AAPACN family for nearly five years.” And with well wishes, notes, “Cheers to you, Jane, and thank you for your service to the nursing profession for all those years. It is truly an accomplishment.”

Her colleague, Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, wishes Jane the very best in a heartfelt message, “Across the 52 years you served as a nurse, I can only imagine how many smiles you gave residents, how many lives you have touched, and how many people you have comforted. It has been my honor to work with you, laugh with you, and even cry with you. Love you dear friend! I wish you the best of retirement!”

Jane is well-known for her caring and outspoken nature, her great sense of humor, her passion for providing the best care for residents and the best education for nurses, and her love for her grandkids. She enjoys playing golf and dancing, and Fireball® whiskey is her drink of choice.

An exceptional speaker over the years, Jane has taught RAC-CT as an AANAC Master Teacher, presented at several AANAC and AAPACN Conferences, and hosted many AANAC and AAPACN webinars and podcasts. LeadingAge National, American Health Care Association, Wisconsin Health Care Association/Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living, Ohio Health Care Association, LeadingAge Ohio, Nebraska Healthcare, Kentucky Health Care Association, LeadingAge Kentucky, Indiana Health Care Association, LeadingAge Indiana, Wyoming Department of Health / Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, The Healthcare Information Network  and other organizations have also sought Jane out as a presenter for webinars and convention presentations.

Jane has also been featured in national publications, such as AAPACN’s Leader for the NAC newsletter, Provider Magazine, I Advance Senior Care, and McKnight’s, and has also been a consulting editor for AAPC’s MDS Alert newsletter.

Among her many accomplishments, Jane played a vital role of the creation of the Resident Assessment Coordinator – Certified Advanced (RAC-CTA) curriculum. Her work on this certification program will be a lasting contribution that will serve nurse assessment coordinators far into the future and help pave the way to them achieving a higher level in their profession.  

When asked about what memories touched her heart and what were some of the rewards of being a nurse for 52 years, Jane said, “My heart has been touched when the residents look at me and say, ‘Thank you.’ I can’t think of a better heart-wrenching moment than what I did for them made them more comfortable, gave them some peace of mind, gave them someone to just talk to because they needed someone to talk to. And that would be true not only just for the patient, but also the family. So many would pull me aside and say, ‘Thank you. You helped me as much as you might have helped Dad.’ Not that I needed that thank you, but it was just that I knew my message was getting to them, and they felt it helped. I mean, isn’t that why we go into nursing? To help people?”

Jane’s tips to nurses trying to get through the hard times of today and the future are:

  • Always try to keep a sense of humor. Laugh at yourself or chuckle if something funny happens. Don’t be afraid to laugh, even during the hard times.
  • Find what good and positive things are going on in your facility, no matter how big or small. What do you feel good about? What’s making the residents happy?
  • Let your team vent if they need it. Not in public or where someone is going to hear them but talk to them and get at what is their biggest problem and what are they really struggling with.
  • Have a solution-oriented frame of mind. Say “We are going to get out of this. We are going to figure out a way to do it.” Then, investigate what went wrong, what isn’t right, and how the problem can be resolved.

For more advice from Jane, listen to our latest podcast highlighting her career:

Listen to Jane’s story below and hear how she came to love long-term care:

Note: If you would like to send Jane a farewell message, thank her for her many years of service to long-term care and AAPACN, or have a special memory with Jane that you’d like to share, you can write a note on Jane Belt’s Kudoboard, or submit a comment to this blog.

Jane Belt’s Biography:

Jane is a curriculum development specialist for AAPACN. Having been involved in long-term care for more than 40 years, she has served as a gerontological clinical specialist, director of nursing, and nurse consultant. She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing and is Master Teacher for AANAC. Prior to joining AAPACN, she was a principal at Plante Moran specializing in senior care operational consulting, certification compliance, reimbursement, corporate compliance, education, and quality assurance/performance improvement.

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