B.S.N. (cum laude) University of Tennessee, College of Nursing; Memphis, TN
M.S.N. (Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing) Vanderbilt University School of Nursing; Nashville, TN
J.D. Nashville School of Law; Nashville, TN
Postdoctoral Studies in Health Policy, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
PhD (hon.) State University of New York
Virginia Trotter Betts is a psychiatric nurse and an attorney and has served as past president of both the American and Tennessee Nurses Associations and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). Ginna is a professor at UTHSC (2000-present) and focuses her teaching on health policy, mental health, and professional issues in health care, nursing, and the other health disciplines.
From 2003-2011, Ginna served as the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities--the first nurse ever named to a Cabinet post in Tennessee. Professor Betts served as the Senior Advisor on Nursing and Policy in the US Department of Health and Human Services. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academy of Public Administration and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow.
Honors and awards in nursing and healthcare include: ANA's Distinguished Member Award; the Surgeon General's Medallion; and the SPAN USA Allies for Action. International representations in healthcare include: U S member of the ICN, US Delegate to the WHO, US Delegate to Fourth World Conference on Women in China.
She is a graduate of UTHSC, Vanderbilt University, the Nashville School of Law, completed postdoctoral studies as a RWJ Health Policy Fellow, and holds an honorary Doctorate from the State University of New York. She is the president of HealthFutures, Inc., a health consulting firm, and is active in a variety of nursing, women's, and political organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of Alive Hospice and on the Professional Advisory Boards of All About Women, the Just Care Family Network, TN Women's Health Report Card, and the Nursing Leadership in Global Health.