Veterans Day: Stars, Stripes and Freedom

November 11, 2021 | Clinician Stories

As our nation gathers this November 11 to honor the brave women and men who have served our country, Aya stands united in respect and gratitude for our travel nurses who’ve served in our armed forces.

With a heart of gold and a passion for service, Sha’Quan Malik Shelton worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling to four hotspots across the country. “I became a travel nurse because I felt I could make a difference and help more people in the civilian world,” he explained. He specializes in emergency room care, medical/surgical and telemetry health, orthopedics and house supervision.

Sha’Quan is currently on assignment in San Francisco working as an emergency room nurse.

California is home to our nation’s largest Veteran population. More than 1.8 million former service members reside in the Golden State. It’s estimated that only twelve percent of our U.S. Veterans are Black. Furthermore, with only around twelve percent of all registered nurses being men, Black male nurses are an even smaller margin. Sha’Quan believes that representation matters, and he personifies all that is great about the growing group of Black men in the nursing profession.

Sha’Quan hails from the state of Georgia. He received the Historically Black College scholarship in high school and attained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hampton University. He joined the U.S. Navy as an officer and was stationed in Pensacola (Florida), Okinawa (Japan) and Lemoore (California) before joining Aya Healthcare. While on active duty, Sha’Quan received two achievement medals from the Navy.

As a travel nurse, you are often away from your loved ones. It can be lonely, especially as the holiday season approaches. While in college, Sha’Quan pledged the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and always connects with the local chapter wherever his travels take him. When Sha’Quan is not in his scrubs, gloves and masked up, he enjoys volunteering with one of the many local Kappa Alpha Psi chapters in San Francisco. “I know no matter what chapter house I visit in any part of the country, I am always welcome. As a Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity member, I enjoy investing my time with fellow fraternity brothers. I educate them in ways to be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable.’ I like that I can be a brother to them and help show them options they might not have considered. From nursing to the military, they can be anything.”

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