Monday, October 3, 2022
Image of Briana White

A dizzying but impressive visual, Briana White’s dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and professional nursing credibility is reflected by the many acronymic nursing certification letters that follow her name.

“Traditionally, nurses were expected to stay in their appointed lane and achieve excellence within those boundaries. Today’s nurses are encouraged to challenge those boundaries, create new pathways and leverage their unique skills to transform the field,” White says.

Influenced by her grandmother’s colorful stories as an industrial nurse, White's early experience at Camp Allen in New Hampshire - serving children and adults with disabilities – set in motion a gravitational pull toward innovation and advocacy. As a symbol of their mutual dedication, White wears her grandmother’s dragonfly-shaped nursing pin to professional events.

White has worked in a wide range of healthcare models that encompass nursing roles from the hospital setting to home care delivery. She was a maternal child health nurse educator and has taught as an adjunct nursing instructor for Colby College and University of New Hampshire. After serving several years with Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), Briana is currently the manager of clinical quality and care management for the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, servicing 147 communities in two states.

A participant in the prestigious Johnson & Johnson Fellowship from 2019 to 2022 (sponsored by the Center of Creative Leadership, Johnson & Johnson and Nurse Approved), White was thrilled to be involved in a program that nurtures a spirit of innovation intended to change the landscape of healthcare through the triad of education, mentorship and leadership. White used her current home care management experience to sculpt her DNP scholarly project around methods for improving patient outcomes in the home setting. Her fellowship project implemented these principles to create a first-in-nation model of care for home health.

“My project goal was to improve home care patient outcomes and reduce the rate of re-hospitalization," White says. "Our clinical nurse leaders (CNLs) identified health outcome patterns for at-risk patients and we initiated telehealth consulting to better manage medical issues after leaving the hospital. Under this model the data projected a savings of $187,000 in just an eight-week time period but health insurance does not cover either telehealth or the skillset of the CNL. My goal is to gain broader recognition of the practical value of using CNLs and telehealth to manage patient care and advocate for these to become reimbursable costs.”

Although the field of home care is rapidly expanding, most nursing students have little understanding of this professional opportunity and agencies face stiff salary competition from clinical employers. Acknowledging the staffing challenges felt across the country, the Visiting Nurse Associations of Southern New England have developed a one-year residency program to boost awareness of the home care model among new nurses.

White is currently serving on the Innovation Advisory Committee - New Care Delivery Models with the American Nursing Association in a nationally represented group of nurses who are interested in exploring and developing new models of healthcare. She is proud to lead the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hackathon and encourage nurses to brainstorm a broad range of health topics and devise real-life solutions. As a nurse supervisor with the CHaD Clinic, White created a learning environment to train colleagues who wished to achieve additional professional certifications and she was part of a volunteer team with the New Hamphshire Make-a-Wish Foundation to deliver once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children experiencing life-threatening illnesses.

A graduate of the UNH DNP program, White previously earned a bachelor's and master’s degree from the university. Although the online DNP program was her first 100% distance education experience, she quickly devised a successful strategy by studying the syllabus in advance to map out a study schedule. Given her working status, White found UNH Online an excellent learning option and the DNP program tuition competitively priced. Paired with the same faculty advisor for her undergraduate honors thesis, master’s thesis and doctoral project, she forged a long-term relationship with Dr. Pamela DiNapoli in a mutually positive exchange that nurtured her own cornerstone mentorship philosophy.

Being an agent of change poses inherent challenges but White has learned to create flexible boundaries between work and home to protect her well-being while supporting her professional goals.

"When your dreams align with your values, you can move mountains," she says. "If the pressure mounts, I try to let things be for a while so that I can 'find the grace' by reflecting on my purpose to achieve a sense of renewal.”

The bright beacon of service is a calling card for Darius Love with his dual passions of neuroscience nursing and nurturing leadership in others.