Alumni Profile

Shelley G. Moriston, PsyD, RN

Shelley's Story

2012 Carrie B. Lenburg Award Recipient

Shelley G. Moriston, of Longmont, Colo., is a three-time graduate of Excelsior College’s School of Nursing, having earned an associate degree in 1996, a bachelor’s degree in 2007, and a master’s degree in 2010. In 2012, he was promoted to dean of nursing education programs at the Denver School of Nursing. In this role, he has redesigned and developed curricula, as well as led the college through multiple accreditation processes with outstanding achievements. He has also been published nationally and internationally in peer-reviewed journals and nursing textbooks and is currently writing a textbook on psychiatric nursing for practical/vocational nurses. He also holds a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in psychology from California Coast University and is currently completing his second doctoral degree in nursing education at Capella University. 

Dr. Moriston has dedicated his life’s work in nursing to the care of and advocacy for vulnerable populations. These include children and adults with developmental disabilities, adolescents and adults with acquired or traumatic brain injuries, and people of all ages with mental illness. From 2007 through 2010, he served as hospital director of nursing at the Colorado Mental Health Institute where he worked with the nursing staff to refine and improve patient care. Prior to that (1997–2007), he served as the corporate director of nursing, executive state director and Pac-West regional health services director for ResCare Inc., the largest provider of support services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, he has collaborated with health care leaders in several states through his work with the National Association on Mental Illness. 

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Moriston is a candidate for a gubernatorial appointment to the Colorado Veterans Affairs Board where he hopes to advocate for the mental health needs of returning soldiers as they transition to civilian life. 

He offered, “I share my personal philosophy of nursing with my students every term — above all else, know that nursing is not solely a science, but so too an art worthy of mastery, inspiration, and admiration … Be mindful of the talents of others around you. Rather than envy their abilities, emulate them and grow through your knowing of them. This is the true spirit of a nurse.”