Pamela Biernacki

Program Director for the FNP Program and Assistant Professor

DNP, FNP – C

Pamela Biernacki is an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, where she also serves as the program director for the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program. She has been a certified family nurse practitioner since 2000 and is active in clinical practice. Biernacki has been educating nurses and nurse practitioners for almost three decades, and she has served in several academic leadership roles. She recently received the Nurse Practitioner Educator Award from her state NP organization.

Biernacki received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland and her Master of Science in Nursing (FNP concentration) from Old Dominion University. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from Duke University.

Biernacki’s scholarly interests focus on interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) in primary care, quality improvement, and the clinical management of persons with T2DM. Further, she is a member of the project team on the $2.6 million HRSA project Primary Care Improved Outcomes With Nurses in Expanded and Evolving Roles (PIONEER), where NPs and RNs are key members of the IPCP team. Biernacki has been an invited speaker for national and regional conferences. She has developed content and spoke for a national company with over 50 health systems and 20,000 clinicians, using a web-based educational podcast regarding team building and IPCP in primary care to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Why Georgetown?

“My education, experience, expertise, and compulsion to make a difference in health and health care are consistent with the mission, vision, and values of Georgetown University and the school. I welcomed the opportunity to serve, to be a catalyst for promoting health and social justice. Additionally, ‘Cura personalis encourages care and individualized attention to the needs of each person, distinct respect for his or her circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for his or her particular gifts and insights’ — this is consistent with my personal philosophy for both patient care and meeting student learning needs.

Why should students choose Nursing@Georgetown?

“The school’s expertise in the delivery of an advanced nursing education through innovative online technologies, as well as the immersive simulated experiences, place Georgetown University’s  FNP program in a position to provide an excellent comprehensive education to future providers of the highest quality of care. Further, the individual attention to student learning needs enriches the experience. From the first day through graduation, cura personalis — the needs of the whole student — [is] the faculty’s utmost concern.”

Why FNP?

“I chose the family nurse practitioner specialty for a variety of reasons. First, the opportunity to care for the whole family, from birth through the dying process, is a privilege. Developing long-term relationships with patients and their families was important to me. However, over time, I have also enjoyed work in an urgent care setting. In the provider role, a person finds themselves as somewhat of a ‘detective’ — putting the pieces of the signs and symptoms, health history, physical exam together to solve the ‘mystery’ of the diagnosis. I still find this part of the role a thrill. In addition, being able to provide preventive care through motivational interviewing and education is very rewarding.”

Courses With Biernacki

Biernacki works with the highly regarded family nurse practitioner faculty at Georgetown to develop and implement synchronous, didactic course content that is engaging and interactive. Students use the content they have learned from core courses in an interactive, team-based manner to further develop their clinical reasoning skills.  Biernacki teaches a variety of FNP specialty courses and attends all objective clinical intensives (OCI).

Education 

University of Maryland, Baltimore
Bachelor of Science, Nursing

Old Dominion University
Master of Science, Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner

Duke University,
Post-Master’s Certificate, Nursing Education

Duke University
Doctor of Nursing Practice

Hope for the Future

“My hope for the future of the nursing profession is being realized at this time in history. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not been prouder to be a nurse. I started my career in nursing at Georgetown University Regional Medical Center (as the hospital was called back then) during the HIV epidemic — before the disease was even given a name. We fought the silent battle of this new and deadly disease. We swallowed our fear as we cared for these patients without any positive regard from the public. We watched as people with a ‘different’ sexual orientation were abandoned by their families — during their last days. We were at times treated as lepers when the general public knew we were treating patients with this new and deadly disease. No, my hope for the future of the nursing profession is now. We, the collective society ‘we,’ have come a long way.”

Awards

  • NP Education Award: Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF): Leadership and Mentoring Fellow
  • Adjunct Professor of the Year: Thomas Nelson Community College

Research, Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, and Publications

Original Papers in Refereed Journals

Powell R, Biernacki P. Shared Medical Appointments in Preoperative Joint Replacement: Assessing Patient and Healthcare Member Satisfaction. Journal of Healthcare Quality. 2019 Sep/Oct;41(5): 329-336. doi:10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000205. PubMedPMID: 31082931.

Biernacki P, Champagne M, Peng S, Maizel D, Turner B. Transformation of Care: Integrating the RN Care Coordinator Into the Patient Centered Medical Home. Population Health Management. 2015 Oct;18(5): 330-336. doi:10.1089/pop.2014.0131.PubMedPMID: 25632926.

Other Publications

Biernacki P. Bill Will Help Virginia’s Health Care System. The Virginia Gazette. 2018 February 11.

Biernacki P. Patient Should Have a Choice About Final Moments. The Richmond Times Dispatch. 2013 December 26.

Biernacki P. Cordial Competition Is Advantageous for Health Care. The Virginia Gazette. 2003 November 5.

Research Funding

Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration
Identifying Number: 18-012
Title of Project: Primary Care Improved Outcomes With Nurses in Evolving and Expanding Roles (PIONEER-nursing)
Dates of Project Period: 7/1/2018–6/30/2022rresponding PI: Dr. Tamara Zurakowski, PhD, GNP-BC
Total Direct Costs Over All Years of Award:  $2,641,870         
Role on Project: Faculty
Description: I assist the clinical partners in identifying and implementing practice changes in their settings.
Percent Effort: 5% first year, 10% thereafter

Agency: The VCU School of Nursing Clinical Scholars Fund Award      
Identifying Number:  HM20014918
Title of Project: Reducing Diabetes Related Distress in Primary Care to Improve Outcomes
Dates of Project Period: 2018–2019
Corresponding PI: Dr. Pamela Biernacki, DNP, RN, FNP-C
Total Direct Costs Over All Years of Award: $10,812   
Role on Project: Faculty/clinician
Description: I am involved in screening and treating the patient population.
Percent Effort: 5%

Agency: Health Resources and Services Administration
Identifying Number: D11HP29865
Title of Project: Primary Care Options to Maximize Opportunities to Transform Education in Nursing (PrOMOTE-Nursing)
Dates of Project Period: 7/1/2016–6/30/2018
Corresponding PI: Dr. Tamara Zurakowski, PhD, GNP-BC
Total Direct Costs Over All Years of Award:  $754,557        
Role on Project: Faculty
Description: I was involved in the clinical role of nursing and the education of undergraduates in the primary care setting.
Percent Effort: 5%

Agency: Workforce Development and Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation
Title of Project: Enhancing Registered Nursing Education for Care Coordination in Primary Care
Dates of Project Period: 2013–2014      
Corresponding PI: Dr. Pamela Biernacki, DNP, RN, FNP-C
Total Direct Costs Over All Years of Award: $4,000           
Role on Project: Primary investigator
Description: I was involved in recruiting the recipient and evaluating outcomes.

Agency: Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation
Title of Project: A Collaborative and Transformative Approach to Curriculum Development
Dates of Project Period: 2012–2013
Corresponding PI: Dr. Pamela Biernacki, DNP, RN, FNP-C
Total Direct Costs Over All Years of Award: $3,500     
Role on Project: Primary investigator
Description: As investigator on this award, I was involved in developing a program, identifying resources, and evaluating outcomes.
Percent Effort: NA

Invited/Refereed Lectures

Panel Presentation, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Special Topics Conference, Preparing for a Senior Academic Leadership Position, Bethesda, Maryland, December 2018

Podium Presentation, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Special Topics Conference, Creating a Course and Syllabus, Bethesda, Maryland, December 2018

Podium Presentation, 5th Annual Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium, Transformation of Care: Changing Roles in Primary Care to Improve Outcomes, Richmond, Virginia, April 2017

Podium Presentation, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties 42nd Annual Conference, Integrating Quality and Safety Active Learning Strategies Throughout a Nurse Practitioner Curriculum, Seattle, Washington, April 2016

Podium Presentation, Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN) Conference, Innovative Integration of Quality and Safety Competencies Into Curricular Design and Teaching Strategies of a DNP Program, San Diego, California, May 2015

Guest Lecturer, Population Care Coordinator Program, Interventions of the RN Care Coordinator in Primary Care, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, May 2015

Podium Presentation, American Nurses Association (ANA) Quality Conference, Transformation of Care: Integrating the Registered Nurse Care Coordinator Into the Patient Centered Medical Home, Orlando, Florida, February 2015

Podium Presentation, 2014 DiabetesMine Innovation Summit: Emerging Models for Improving Life With Diabetes, Care Coordination and Diabetes, Palo Alto, California, December 2014

Panel Presentation, Scientific Advisory Board: Valeritas, Care Coordination: Integration and Interventions, Dallas, Texas, November 2014

Guest Lecturer, Population Care Coordinator Program, Duke University, Interventions of the RN Care Coordinator in Primary Care, Durham, North Carolina, September 2014

Webinar, Sentara Quality Care Network, Registered Nurse Care Coordination for Improved Diabetes Care, Norfolk, Virginia, April 2014