Courtney Shelton, RN, is a travel nurse who has worked in various locations including Rapid City, South Dakota, El Paso, Texas and Tyler, Texas. She has had some amazing experiences in all of locations she has worked in including horseback riding, concerts and a visit to Mount Rushmore. She always knew that she wanted to become a nurse in order to help people. Today she shares her thoughts on being a young minority nurse in today’s healthcare system.

What is your nursing specialty?

Stepdown Unit and Medical Surgical. I am a travel nurse currently in Columbus, Georgia on a medical surgical floor. I am orginally from Columbus, MS.

Where did you go to nursing school and what is your degree?

Jefferson State Community College, Associate Degree in Nursing in August 2010

What made you decide to become a nurse? 

I have always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. I’ve always been the type of person who loves helping others.

Have you seen any issues related to being a minority nurse in your career?

Of course, I have seen a qualified minority nurse denied a nurse manager position and a non-minority nurse rewarded the position.  That nurse was very disappointed because she knew she was well-qualified and had been working at the hospital for more than 15 years. The nurse who got the position was brought in from an outside facility. I have also seen highly qualified minority nurses denied house supervisor positions and charge nurse positions.

Do you feel that minority nurses are important to patient care when working with diverse patient populations? Why or why not?

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Yes.  Minority nurses are important to patient care just as non-minority nurses are.  We all have to work together in order to take care of our patients, no matter their race, color or creed.  Patient satisfaction is everything. 

What advice do you have for other young minority nurses that you can share from your career? 

It’s very important from day one of orientation to learn all that you can.  After orientation, continue to ask questions because the more questions you ask the more you will learn.  Make sure you do everything decent and in order. Never take shortcuts.  Always work harder than the next person to get where you want to be in life. I know the saying “hard work pays off” sounds cliché, but it really does pay off. So, keep God first, stay humble and everything else will fall into place.

Denene Brox
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