JoAnn Mulready-Shick, a clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, received the Excellence in Nursing Education Award from the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts at a ceremony in Waltham earlier this month.
Mulready-Shick has nearly 30 years of experience in nursing education and is one of the leaders in her field. She arrived at UMass Boston from Roxbury Community College in 2006, and served as director of the undergraduate nursing program from 2006 to 2012.
Her teaching and research focuses on faculty development and student success, with the aim of training a diverse new generation of nurses who can forge stronger cultural connections with their patients.
“The work that we do here at UMass Boston, I think similar to Roxbury Community College, is that we’re really focused on equity and trying to improve the racial and ethnic diversity of the nursing workforce in the Boston area,” Mulready-Shick said.
“Only UMass Boston can do that at the baccalaureate level because we’re the only urban public university that promotes students of ethnic, linguistic, and diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Mulready-Shick has long been an advocate for academic practice partnerships, which place aspiring nurses into real-world situations to learn. UMass Boston’s nursing program has strong partnerships with Massachusetts General Hospital and regional VA hospitals.
“It’s a different way of experiencing clinical education in that they actually work 1- on-1 or 1-on-2 with a staff nurse. And so they get much more quality learning time with the staff, pretty much embedded with the nursing staff for full shifts,” she said.
The Excellence in Nursing Education Award is the latest in a long list of accolades for Mulready-Shick. In 2012, she was named a fellow of the national Academy of Nursing Education. She is president of the Massachusetts-Rhode Island League for Nursing, and recently received a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Despite these individual achievements, Mulready-Shick says nursing education is a team effort.
“The award matters to me in terms of thinking about all the students and all the faculty and all the mentors I’ve had along the way. All of those experiences I have had from the beginning working with students from different backgrounds, and particularly in institutions that have this public mission, is still rewarding every day,” she said.
“I really do think it’s an honor to have worked with the colleagues I have, because we’re all committed to the same purpose. Nobody does any of this alone.”