Just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called upon us to discover our shared humanity, Shirley Stephenson will call upon us to re-discover the humanity of nursing, specifically as a means to care for, sustain, and express oneself as a nurse. We will consider how engagement with the arts can foster humility, highlight our interconnectedness, and restore both energy and purpose. Attunement to our own creativity can also help us reimagine healthcare systems—and our roles within them—that perpetuate exclusion and inequity. Ms. Stephenson will speak through the lens of a poet and nurse practitioner with clinical experience in primary care, HIV, and substance use. Attendees are encouraged to read this article by Stephenson in advance of our session.
Shirley Stephenson is a Clinical Practice Nurse Educator at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing and family nurse practitioner at UI Health. She is also the Poet in Residence at UIC’s new Institute of Addiction and Mental Health. Her experience and interests include HIV prevention (PrEP), family planning, adolescent health, medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder, LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare, and preventive services, including screenings, immunizations, and nutrition counseling.