PHOTO: Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel is the recipient of the 2021 Isabel McIssac Scholarship, which is awarded to master’s degree students in honor of Isabel McIssac, the first chairman of the original memorial fund for Isabel Hampton Robb. Nisha received a Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. She then worked for 2 years at the University of California, San Francisco’s Cancer Center as a clinical research coordinator in the Genitourinary Medical Oncology department where she managed therapeutic clinical trials for patients with bladder, prostate, and kidney cancer. She then attended Emory University to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing at Emory University in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. 

At Emory University’s School of Nursing, Nisha works on a clinical research team with the Winship Cancer Institute to study medication adherence and its clinical outcomes on patients with chronic myeloid leukemia who take a daily-dosed oral chemotherapy medication. By following patients over a 12-month period, and using validated instruments to objectively measure adherence, financial toxicity, social support, adverse effect profiles, and quality of life, Nisha has contributed a plethora of research-based evidence for effective oncology patient management.

She currently serves as an infusion nurse at the Atlanta Arthritis Center in Roswell, Georgia. There, she cares for patients with chronic gout, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, ankylospondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis, among other rheumatology conditions.  Nisha also volunteers at Atlanta’s Community of Advanced Practice Nurses clinic where she provides largely pediatric and women’s health care to low-income and uninsured patients.

Nisha aims to build a career working at the intersection of her clinical and public health interests, in a way that allows her to better understand and question the social, scientific, and systems-based implications of health disparities, especially in resource-limited environments. Currently, she volunteers with the Atlanta Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Program at Grady Memorial Hospital. The program aims to provide high-need, high-cost patients with additional social support to address existing social determinants of health. Nisha has worked tirelessly to partner with patients who fall into this category to develop personalized care plans, minimize socioeconomic barriers to health management, promote engagement in primary care and preventative services, enhance self-efficacy, and decrease the economic burden on healthcare systems.

Nisha chose to pursue an advanced practice nursing career to serve as a clinician, educator, and patient advocate who influences sustainable health behavior changes and addresses clinical ramifications for patients on holistic fronts. She holds a commitment to serving diverse communities and impacting change through patient-centered care over disease-oriented care. Nisha decided to move to Atlanta for her nursing education because she wanted to train in an area that would offer her opportunities to care for diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings. Her primary professional goals are to be an effective yet empathetic nurse practitioner, engaged medical leader, and impactful community member who welcomes patients across the lifespan with health concerns that are challenging to diagnose, treat, and manage.

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