Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Nickie Burney, MSN, CNP, FNP-BC, a PhD candidate and third-year research fellow at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, has been named the recipient of the NEF/Johnson & Johnson 2023 Health Equity Scholarship.
Burney’s nursing career was inspired by her mother who returned to school and became an LPN when Burney was in middle school. After graduating from the University of North Carolina and moving to Boston, Burney worked as an administrative assistant for five years in Cardiac Electrophysiology at Mass General Hospital. She left that job to go to nursing school. She began her career as a new nurse on 6 South at BWFH in 2009. She continued her education, completing NP school and joining the BWFH FACT Hospitalist Service in 2011. These days, Burney still works per diem on the FACT Hospitalist Service and she’s part of the Brigham and Women’s Division of Endocrinology’s Diabetes Management Service.
Clearly committed to life-long learning, Burney is now working on her PhD. “I am training to become a nurse scientist,” she says. “I hope to divide my professional time in three ways — research, clinical practice and academia.”
That combination just makes sense for Burney. “I have always been drawn to research and healthcare as tools for improving population health,” she says. “However, clinicians get to care for and learn from actual people and I cannot think of anything better than that! As an NP, I can combine multiple disciplinary perspectives and use a collective wisdom from the health sciences to serve the needs of patients. NPs practice from a unique, patient-centered lens that is enormously fulfilling.”
When she learned she was the recipient of this year’s NEF/Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Scholarship, Burney says she felt honored. “It is the first formal recognition of my research as belonging in the health equity space. It’s almost impossible to summarize how much this honor has bolstered my efforts and validated me as a developing investigator. Equally important, this scholarship is a testament to the fact that I have long been well supported, well mentored and educated by clinicians and clinician-scientists at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Simmons University and Boston College. I have never been more grateful,” she says.
In 2023, the NEF/Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Scholarship was given to five exceptional doctoral nursing students, each receiving $10,000 scholarships.
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