Sister Rita Jane Vanson, C.I.J., a Sister of the Congregation of the Infant Jesus, Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, for more than 55 years, died May 3.
Born in Manhattan, she was raised in Jackson Heights, where she attended St. Joan of Arc School, and St. Jean Baptiste H.S., Manhattan.
She earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Long Island College in 1968, and her master of science in cardiovascular nursing from St. Louis University in 1980.
Formerly known as Sister Mary Noreen, her nursing ministry included service in Brooklyn and Queens and in her community’s mission in the Bahamas, 1969-72.
She served in the critical care unit at Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Centre, and became certified as a critical care specialist. While there, she earned the NYS Regional Nurse of Distinction Award in 1992, and was a NYS Catholic Health Care Council honoree.
She then joined the nursing department at Molloy College, Rockville Centre. She taught critical care nursing as an assistant professor and earned the Molloy College Citation Medal.
While there, she also earned a certificate in media computer graphics and became a consultant for the faculty in this area.
She received a service award for her 20 years at the school before retiring due to illness in 2015.
She is survived by four siblings: William Vanson of Nassau; and James Vanson, Eileen McDonough and Mary Ferguson, all of Woodside.