PHOTO: Sharran Y. Nicolle (Nickie) Burney

Sharran Y. Nicolle (Nickie) Burney

Sharran Y. Nicolle (Nickie) Burney, MSN, CNP, FNP-BC is the recipient of the NEF/Johnson & Johnson 2023 Health Equity Scholarship. Nickie is a PhD candidate and third-year research fellow at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA). Her research investigates the role of hospital environments in shaping diabetes outcomes among vulnerable populations. She is currently working on a secondary analysis exploring the prevalence rates and occupational risks of diabetes among essential hospital workers in conjunction with her tenure as a visiting scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Nickie earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied social determinants of health and engaged in basic science sickle cell disease research. Influenced by her mother’s vocational nursing career, the persistence of racial health disparities in chronic disease outcomes, and underrepresentation of persons of color in healthcare, she decided to become a nurse. She completed the Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing Program at Simmons College (Boston, MA). As a family nurse practitioner student, she trained in multiple settings and received specialized training in diabetes management. She received the Excellence in Clinical Practice in Primary Care Award upon graduation and presented her master’s thesis on patient engagement in hospital fall prevention at the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care Conference.

Nickie is a hospitalist nurse practitioner (NP) and holds appointments in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH). She is a past recipient of the BWFH/BWH Excellence in Hospital Medicine Award (2019) by an advanced practice provider and the BWFH Advanced Practice Provider in Excellence Award (2022). Her nursing philosophy is informed by her sociology background, and the emphasis on health equity, anti-racism, health policy, and evidence-based practice in her previous nursing studies. She regularly participates in quality improvement initiatives and previously received the Evidence-Based Practice Award (2020) for work involving hospitalized patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia. She also engages in hospital outcomes research, and served as a co-investigator on a recently published study determining the prevalence and causes of diagnostic errors in hospitalized patients under investigation for COVID-19 (2023).

Nickie is an adjunct associate professor of practice and the immediate past program director (2017-2021) of the on-campus Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Simmons University. As an NP educator, she received an Excellence in Teaching Award (2019), completed the Wharton Nursing Leaders Program (2021), and is a Dotson Scholars mentor for nursing students of color. In addition, she serves as the inaugural simulation educator for the BWH Physician Assistant Fellowship Program and is an assistant course director for the annual Update in Hospital Medicine course at Harvard Medical School.

Receiving a NEF/Johnson & Johnson scholarship is among the greatest honors of Nickie’s career and has significantly bolstered her long-term goals of becoming an independent researcher and full professor. As she pledges to train the next generation of NPs, Nickie’s intended program of health equity research will emphasize chronic disease prevention in vulnerable populations.

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