Shelley Mitchell EDUCATION • M.S. in Nurse-Midwifery Ohio State University • B.S. in Nursing Case Western Reserve University • B.A. in English Oberlin College ENROLLED • Cohort 6
LOCATION • Austin, Texas
Shelley Mitchell has been teaching nursing at Austin Community College for over 15 years. She’s served on the LGBTQIA Equity Committee and was chosen for the Cultural Proficiency Subcommittee of the Chancellor’s Equity Council. Shelley teaches in the three semester accelerated nursing track, where she brings her passion for equity and sustainability into both the classroom and the clinical setting. She has worked as a change agent within her department throughout her years at ACC, adding more appropriate readings to the “culture” lecture, serving as a resource for other faculty, advocating for students, and more. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in English from Oberlin College, Shelley went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Science in nurse-midwifery from the Ohio State University. She now considers herself a midwife for new nursing students, coming full circle from her college career plans to become an English professor. Shelley’s vision is finding a way to make nursing, and health care in general, sustainable, which is a daunting task. All of the core principles are at stake, especially during and post-pandemic. Teaching nursing must be transformed, and one way to do so is to transform nursing textbooks. The vast majority of nursing textbooks include no mention of climate, and the only textbook that is dedicated to “healthy environments” is problematic in other ways, including its continued veneration of Florence Nightingale, who was, among other things, a racist. There must be an acknowledgment of the very real environmental damage done by hospital systems, from all the wasted, single-use items to the incinerators used to dispose of it. Nursing is, in fact, political, and it is and should be within nursing’s purview to pursue social justice. These principles must be recognized in order to fulfill its duty to practice ethically.
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