Shawna Mitchell Sisler, PhD, APRN, NP
  • Assistant Professor (Clinical), College Of Nursing

Current Courses

Fall 2023

  • MD ID 6920-001
    Advanced Med Sciences
  • NURS 3400-002
    Professional Roles II
    Location: CNB 2400 (CNB 2400)
  • NURS 4530-090
    Mental& Behavioral Hlth
    Location: ONLN (Online)

Summer 2023

Spring 2023

Professional Organizations

  • Wellness Committee, College of Nursing. 01/01/2023 - present. Position : Chair.
  • American Association of Suicidology. 01/2021 - present. Position : Member.
  • Sigma Theta Tau. 05/2013 - present. Position : Chapter Leadership (Research).
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. 05/2012 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win – no matter the outcome. ~Patch Adams

Nursing is a science and an art. There is a balance in our work: we have specialized skills that allow us to treat the “whole” patient, yet we are also keenly aware of our shared humanity in each encounter. I vividly remember the rawness of caring for my first patient as a nursing student. Unfolding the levels of her treatment plan made me realize how all-encompassing the role is—medical, psychological, familial—and what an incredible honor it was to be present in that moment, because I had the privilege of observing this woman’s unique humanity. To witness life, so raw and so authentic, was such a gift.

I teach for very similar reasons. Just as every patient has individual needs in their care, I acutely recognize that no learner is the same. Each student possesses a distinct collection of strengths and experiences, and this is a fantastic thing. A teacher’s job is not to mold all students into cookie-cutter nurses. Our field is so diverse and has such depth of scope that there is ample room for everyone dedicated to nursing science. In my humble opinion, nursing education is meant to serve this mission—we foster and ignite the unique inner nurse in every trainee.

In my classroom, I try to strike a balance between didactics and active learning, but I also heavily emphasize the value of intrapersonal knowledge and interpersonal communication skills via projects and group work. The more interactive, engaging, and relevant I can make the material, the better. My approach centers on the self-determined learning model of instruction but also has strong hints of a progressivist style.


Basic tenets in my classroom include:

  • We are all perfectly imperfect as learners, and that is what makes the world interesting. Be humble in growth. Be gentle to yourself. We all make mistakes. If you do, however, being mature and professional is your best next move.
  • Take chances. New is scary, but every time we challenge ourselves, we evolve and work out that mental muscle. With practice, leaps of faith become second nature.
  • Ask for help! When you need it, the entire College of Nursing is here to help. We all intentionally scaffold curricula and experiences with your development in mind; trust the process. That said, if something feels too big or too confusing, please let me know. The earlier, the better. We can work together to break down any challenge and get the job done.
  • Be (human)kind. Every student brings with them an important perspective and identity. I am committed to creating a safe place that honors equity, diversity, and inclusion for everyone. There is no tolerance for hate, bullying, racism, or bigotry in my classroom. Everyone deserves to feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

Finally, I would like to call out that I am also always learning. Nurses are lifelong students, remember? As such, please know that my door is always open for feedback and discussion about my teaching style, content, or performance. I am old enough to know that I know only a slice of theworld, and I am also young enough to know I can change. Your perspective is invaluable. I am thrilled to be going on this adventure with you.