College of Nursing student selected for Rural Health Fellows program
JOHNSON CITY (Nov. 20, 2020) – Courtney Vance Burgin, a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) student at East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing, is one of only 16 people in the country selected for the National Rural Health Association’s 2021 Rural Health Fellows program.
After a competitive review process, 16 fellows were selected to participate in this yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.
“As the only representative from the state of Tennessee, I am very excited to be working with people from rural areas across America,” said Burgin. “I am most excited to be part of a national movement in which rural Americans are the key focus. Additionally, as a native to the rural Appalachian Mountains, I am passionate about promoting rural health.”
Originally from Crossnore, North Carolina, Burgin currently resides in Del Rio, Tennessee, and serves as a family nurse practitioner at Newport Pediatrics in Newport, Tennessee. She chose to continue her nursing education at ETSU because of its reputation and accessibility.
“East Tennessee State University is among the top nursing schools for providing graduate education in our region,” she said. “With the opportunity to attend virtually, ETSU has made graduate education accessible for those who live in rural areas, as well as those who work daily.
“As a doctor of nursing practice candidate at ETSU, my goal is to become a leader in health care who strives to advocate for my patients,” Burgin continued. “I applied for this fellowship so that I can further refine the skills needed to advocate for Americans who live within rural communities. I am currently employed as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a rural pediatric practice. Therefore, I see daily the needs of children and their families in my home county.”
Her doctoral project at ETSU is focused on improving care for childbearing rural women and their infants.
“I am delighted that Courtney Burgin has been selected for the fellowship,” said Dr. Janice Lazear, associate professor. “She is a highly motivated, self-directed individual. Most importantly, she is passionate about and committed to improving care for rural families. As her DNP chair, I have had the opportunity to see how well she collaborates with stakeholders in her community. She is singularly focused on improving care of children, infants, and childbearing women. I look forward to seeing her professional growth as she participates in the fellowship.”
The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. The association’s 2021 class of Rural Health Fellows will first meet at NRHA’s first virtual Rural Health Policy InstituteFeb. 9-11, 2021.
“We are very pleased to announce this new class of fellows as this program enters its 50th year. Once again, this class represents various levels of rural health expertise,” NRHA CEO Alan Morgan says. “With the successes achieved by the previous classes, we look forward to continuing the tradition of building rural health care leaders through this valuable program.”