Anita Hutchins Grodowitz, 53, a psychiatric nurse at Arlington Hospital and a longtime Washington area resident, died Saturday at her home in Annandale. She had a heart ailment.

Mrs. Grodowitz, who was born in Bernice, Okla., began her career as a cadet nurse at the Veterans Administration hospital in Silver City, N.M. during World War II. She graduated from the nursing school at Hillcrest Memorial Hospital in Tulsa and did postgraduate psychiatric work at St. Elizabeths Hospital here.

She and her husband, William, a retired research analyst for the Department of the Air Force, moved to Washington in 1948. They also lived in California, Florida and Germany before returning to this area in 1960.

Mrs. Grodowitz worked for Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital and the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute before joining Arlington Hospital's psychiatric division about three years ago.

She was a member of the Fairfax chapter of the Mental Health Association of Northern Virginia.

Besides her husband, of Annandale, survivors include two daughters, Karen, of Carson City, Nev., and Judy, of New York City; a son, David, of Annandale; her mother, Viola Hutchins of Grove, Okla.; two sisters, Kathryn Bryant of Dallas and Carole Graham of Wichita, Kan.; two brothers, Luther Hutchins of Sulphur, Okla., and James Hutchins of Durant, Okla., and a granddaughter.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Fairfax chapter of the Mental Health Association of Northern Virginia.