Mrs. Ruth Beeman, former Dean of Frontier Nursing University made major contributions to midwifery and women’s health in her lifetime. She has served as a nurse, midwife, educator, missionary, consultant, administrator, author and an informative leader. As a nurse-midwifery pioneer, her accomplishments to nurse-midwifery include: development of innovative educational programs, advancement of family planning, licensure of lay midwives in Arizona and in promoting nurse-midwifery. Internationally, she made contributions in maternal-child health to the former Belgian Congo, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, West Africa and Egypt.
In 1983, Ruth Beeman was recruited to Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, now Frontier Nursing University, to take on the task of assisting the School in staying nationally accredited, recruiting faculty, maintaining funding and establishing an affiliation with an institution of higher learning. Beeman answered the call, moved to Hyden, Kentucky and lived in the Bolton House, named after Frances Payne Bolton. Realizing the importance of the school’s rich heritage and contribution to nurse-midwifery in this country, Beeman, with the help of many of her midwifery and nursing contacts, succeeded in strengthening the modular curriculum to meet the challenges of the growth of the profession in the United States. Later, in a further step into the future, Beeman worked with Kitty Ernst, Kate Ireland, Ruth Lubic, and Joyce Fitzpatrick and consultation from the leading nursing and midwifery educators, to translate that curriculum for the development of the plan for a comprehensive distance learning program for nurse-midwives; the Community-Based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (CNEP).
In later years, Mrs. Beeman continued to contribute through her parish nursing work and mentoring Frontier Nursing University doctoral students. Upon her death in 2012, Mrs. Beeman left a bequest to Frontier Nursing University and is recognized as a Steward of the Mary Breckinridge Society for her contribution to the FNU Endowment.