Misty Wilkie

Nurse Educator and Researcher

Dr. Misty Wilkie grew up on multiple reservations in North and South Dakota and Minnesota. She earned her Associate Degree in Nursing in 1997 (Hibbing Community College), Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2001 (Bemidji State University), and her Master of Science in Nursing in 2005 (University of North Dakota) and a PhD in 2009 (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities). Dr. Wilkie was the 14th American Indian in the U.S. to earn a PhD in nursing

Photo sourced from Misty Wilkie

She has been in higher education for over 17 years and is a tenured professor at Bemidji State University in Minnesota. Prior to teaching, her nursing experience was in emergency care, medical-surgical, and maternal-child health. Her teaching interests include transcultural nursing, nursing research, health assessment, and leadership. She is also passionate about mentoring minority students interested in a health care career. She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. She founded Niganawenimaanaanig (Ojibwemowin for ‘we take care of them’) in 2017, receiving a $2 million HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity grant to provide social, academic, cultural, and financial support to Indigenous nursing students at Bemidji State University. In 2021, Niganawenimaanaanig received continued funding from HRSA to support Indigenous nursing students for another four years with $2.2 million awarded.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Wilkie is actively involved in the community. She was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 2018. She has served as the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association President and established the Native American Work Group in the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation. Currently, she serves on the American Academy of Nursing Diversity and Inclusivity committee and AACN’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Network.

Further Resources

View Dr. Wilkie’s Nurses You Should Know Video.

Learn about the history Native Americans and the nursing profession here.

Support the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association.


The information for the above profile was provided by Dr. Michelle Khan-John.

Learn More

To learn more about inclusion in nursing and be part of the national discussion to address racism in nursing, check out and share the following resources:

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Examine Bias

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  • Breaking Bias in Healthcare, an online course created by scientist Anu Gupta, to learn how bias is related to our brain’s neurobiology and can be mitigated with mindfulness.
  • Revolutionary Love Learning Hub provides free tools for learners and educators to use love as fuel towards ourselves, our opponents, and to others so that we can embody a world where we see no strangers.

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Ravenne Aponte

Ravenne Aponte

Nurse and PhD student studying the history of nursing. “We must go back to our roots in order to move forward.”