Skip to main content

Dr. Bridgette Brawner Selected to be Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

Dr. Bridgette Brawner

The Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is pleased to announce that Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN, the Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations, has been selected to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (Academy).  The Academy is an honorific society that recognizes nursing's most accomplished leaders in policy, research, practice, administration and academia. Induction into the Academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career in which their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within and outside the profession. Fellows are selected based on their contributions and impact to advance the public’s health.

“Dr. Bridgette Brawner is a nursing leader and a champion of those who are most vulnerable in our communities. She is a stellar example of a collaborative, creative and multifaceted scientist and educator whose compelling work moves us all closer to health equity and social justice in powerful ways,” notes Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor.

“It is a huge honor to be selected for induction into this group of dynamic nurse leaders. The Academy provides an unprecedented platform for nurses to bring about real change,” explains Dr. Brawner, “I am excited to contribute my expertise to advance health equity in disenfranchised communities, and I look forward to working with my colleagues.”  

Dr. Brawner holds degrees from Villanova University (BSN ‘03), the University of Pennsylvania (MSN ‘05, PhD ‘09) and Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University (MDiv ‘17). She began her nursing career in neonatal intensive care at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has since expanded her work to community-based practice. Dr. Brawner’s research advances our understanding of individual (e.g., depression), social (e.g., social capital) and structural (e.g., poverty) drivers of inequity. She uses spatially-driven mixed methods approaches—such as combining ethnography with geographic information systems mapping/analyses—to tackle complex health issues. This multi-level, geographical approach generates knowledge on modifiable targets for her novel evidence-based interventions and policies to promote sexual health and prevent HIV/STIs. Using a transdisciplinary team science approach, her impact extends internationally and to other health concerns (e.g., gun violence, cardiovascular disease). She does this community-engaged work in close collaboration with key community members (e.g., youth, faith-based institutions, policy makers).

A staunch justice advocate, Dr. Brawner believes that research can be leveraged as an advocacy tool to ensure all individuals have an opportunity to achieve their full health potential. Her research-informed service has impact in diversifying the behavioral health workforce and promoting anti-racism in nursing. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the American Nurses Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship Program—one of the nation’s largest behavioral health nursing training programs for MSN, PhD and DNP fellows. She also serves as a Commissioner on the American Nurses Association’s National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing and co-leads the Research Workgroup. Dr. Brawner’s work has been featured through multiple media outlets, and she has received numerous honors and awards, including the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Protégée Award in 2015 and the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses Diversity and Equity Award in 2020.

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed a record number of applications, representing a 30% increase from the previous year, to select the 2022 Fellows. Dr. Brawner was one of 250 individuals selected to be inducted. The 2022 Fellows represent 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 17 countries.

Overall, Academy Fellows, from nearly 40 countries, hold a wide variety of influential roles in health care. Induction into the Fellowship represents more than recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession. Fellows contribute their collective expertise to the Academy, engaging with health leaders nationally and globally to improve health and achieve health equity by impacting policy through nursing leadership, innovation, and science.  

The 2022 inductees will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place on October 27-29, 2022 in Washington, DC at the Marriott Marquis during the Induction Ceremony on the evening of October 29. Once the newest Fellows are inducted, the Academy will be comprised of more than 3,000 leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.