Sheri Carey, 59, has been on what she calls a “continuous learning quest” since she began her career as a non-traditional student at the age of 34. She graduated summa cum laude from Wright State University with her BSN in 1993 – the same year she was inducted into STTI's Zeta Phi Chapter. The following academic year, she began her master’s program and graduated in 1999, becoming a board certified pediatric clinical nurse specialist. In 2000, she began teaching as an adjunct/part-time clinical instructor. She enjoyed academia and sharing her passion for pediatric nursing so much that she started the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in an effort to earn her doctorate, allowing her to move into academia full-time. She graduated in May 2015 with her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). She currently resides with her husband in Savannah, Ga., USA, and teaches at Georgia Southern University.
Though she holds membership in the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Carey has found STTI offers a global perspective, a unique value, to her professional journey. “STTI is a community of nursing professionals who embrace the concepts of scholarship, leadership, and service as a means to enhance the health of individuals as well as the global community,” she says. “I have enjoyed reading the journals over the years, attending local chapter events, perusing the web site for best practices, innovative ideas, and CNEs, but attending the Biennial Convention in 2013 and Leadership Connection in 2014 were the highlights of my membership. Coming together with nurses from around the world with whom I can share ideas with and gain knowledge was an amazing experience.”
The connections Carey made at the STTI conferences helped with the pursuit of her DNP. “My doctoral work focused on preparing bedside nurses to understand and use evidence based practice to improve the care provided to their patients,” she says. “[At the conferences,] I met nurses from all over the world who were so inspiring. I was able to chat with the authors of some of my DNP program textbooks. I attended a session facilitated by Bernadette Melnyck, whose model I used as a framework for my DNP project.”
The message Carey heard loud and clear at the STTI conferences was to seize any leadership opportunities that might come her way. She heeded the advice, renewing her commitment to be more than a “checkbook member” of the honor society. For the past year, Sheri has served as counselor of STTI’s Mu Kappa Chapter at Georgia Southern University. “I have approached my position as a chapter officer with the goal of increasing participation in chapter events. I have enthusiastically shared ideas and information I garnered from the 2013 Biennial Convention and the 2014 Leadership Connection in an effort to bring our chapter to new heights,” she says. “It has been great to be able to give back to the organization.”