For Sheryl Mitchell the summer of 2019 was a season to celebrate and reflect. Sheryl recently received the UofSC Clinical Teaching award and was inducted into the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Both honors are extremely competitive and have a rigorous application process. But for Sheryl, these awards are tools to help her continue the work she has been doing for years.
In 2008, while receiving her DNP from UofSC Nursing, a professor encouraged her to become involved in professional development organizations. Sheryl recalls Professor Stephanie Burgess telling her,
“if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
Over the course of her career, Sheryl has sat and led at many tables establishing herself as an advocate for nursing and healthcare. She is immediate past president of the South Carolina Nurses Association (SCNA). She previously served as the Commission Chair on Public Policy and Legislation for SCNA and the She previously served on SCNA’s Steering Committee for the Peer Assistance Program in Nursing and served on their Board of Directors as the Commission Chair on Public Policy and Legislation. In addition, she is the current treasurer for the Coalition for Access to Health Care. Furthermore, she is a member of the American Association for Nurse Practitioners, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.
Both the UofSC Clinical Teaching award and induction into the FAANP began with peer nominations from mentors and colleagues who recognized the impact and commitment Sheryl has made in nursing. With these great honors, Sheryl believes a time of reflection is important to evaluate her accomplishments and set new goals. A steadfast goal of hers will be to continue to build a platform for nursing, “once I am inducted as a Fellow, I will continue to contribute to nursing and healthcare…. continue to work with the nursing profession and to begin work with other Fellows on nursing and healthcare issues,” she shared. Sheryl hopes her involvement and leadership encourages her students and fellow colleagues to take a seat at the table.