Wilkie Travels the Globe to Recruit and Retain Native American Nursing Students

Bemidji State University’s Dr. Misty Wilkie, associate professor of nursing and director of the Niganawenimaanaanig – an Ojibwe word meaning “we take care of them” – program, gave two presentations in New Zealand throughout June.

First, Wilkie presented at the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand about BSU’s Niganawenimaanaanig program. She spoke on how to increase the recruitment and retention rates of indigenous nurses.

Then, she presented at the Native American Indigenous Studies Association Conference in Hamilton, New Zealand with Dr. Loretta Heuer, professor of nursing at North Dakota State University. The duo showed the film “Essence of Healing: Journey of American Indian Nurses,” a documentary about recruitment of American Indian nursing students, and led a discussion afterwards. The film was created by Heuer and featured an interview with Wilkie.

“I was able to talk about Niganawenimaanaanig to follow up on the documentary since it’s purpose was to recruit more American Indians into nursing,” Wilkie said.


MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.