Charlie (Christine) Hawknuff, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CEN, TCRN, NE-BC, NPD-BC is the honored recipient of the NEF/Johnson and Johnson 2023 Health Equity Scholarship. Charlie earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011 from Saint Louis University. In 2016, she received her Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Charlie is currently completing her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the DNP/MBA dual track and is completing a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education.
Charlie was drawn to the field of nursing after completing her first bachelor degree in theatre. Although she enjoyed theatre and was passionate about the arts, she felt a pull toward serving others in a more direct way. Through nursing, Charlie has found every day to be a rewarding experience and can feel the impact she makes on human lives, their health, and their well-being.
She discovered her passion for work in the equity and inclusivity sphere serving in two leadership positions in large emergency departments that serve diverse communities. As a Clinical Practice Specialist in an inner-city ED, Charlie became intimately aware of the impact of bias and systemic racism on health outcomes. Later, as the manager of an ED serving a large region of central Illinois, she had the opportunity to serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion steering committee to help guide care across her health system. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, contributing to the expansion of equitable care for all is especially meaningful to her. Through her involvement in the Emergency Nurses Association in her local chapter and as a section editor for the Journal of Emergency Nursing, Charlie has found ways to support diverse nursing voices in a variety of venues from supporting political action to ensuring blog posts of varied of topics reach a wider audience. Her devotion to lifelong learning and professional development is demonstrated by her journal publications, her work on a variety of quality improvement projects, serving as a reviewer for emergency nursing books, and obtaining multiple nursing specialty certifications, including Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN), Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC), and Nursing Professional Development Certification (NPD-BC).
In her current role as Director of Clinical Education at Carle Health, Charlie has the privilege of providing education and professional development opportunities to a variety of clinical disciplines serving patients across the lifespan and through the continuum of care. Charlie has chosen to pursue her DNP at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville because of their outstanding track record and her positive experiences as a student there obtaining pre-requisites as well as her MSN. Her long-term goals are to advance as a nursing leader and to teach nursing at the collegiate level. Earning a DNP will grant her the opportunity to expand her reach beyond her organization by empowering her to positively influence healthcare at the executive level. Her doctoral studies will also permit her the credentials, knowledge, and skills to take on the role of educator at the university level, allowing her to combine her passion for nursing and love of teaching to foster a new generation of nurses.
Receiving this NEF/J&J scholarship means a great deal to Charlie and her family because it provides the support to not only pursue her own professional development goals but to work toward making health equity a reality and instilling in the next generation of nurses the importance and value of doing so.
NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.
NEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from nursing, education, technology, and business communities. Members donate their time and talent to the advancement of the nursing profession. NEF operates with exceptionally low overhead. NEF employs only one individual who serves in several capacities. NEF is a non-profit organization with 501(c) status; thus, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.