Faculty Feature: Rachel BortonDate: January 9, 2018
Director Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) online program & Assistant Professor of Nursing
MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner from University of Phoenix
BSN, Nursing from Bradley University
Professor Borton is ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) board-certified, as an Advanced Practice Nurse, specializing in Family Practice. Prior to coming to Bradley full-time, she functioned in the role of an Advanced Family Nurse Practitioner. Professor Borton’s advanced practice clinical experience includes urgent care, maternal-child, and family practice. She maintains her advance practical clinical expertise by working part-time as a family nurse practitioner at a local urgent care clinic. Prior to achieving her FNP, she worked at Mesa General Hospital, in Arizona, as a charge nurse on a Cardiac step-down unit, and also as a float nurse to all hospital units/floors.
Professor Borton joined the Bradley University Department of Nursing Faculty in January 2010 as a part-time clinical instructor. In February 2011, she joined the faculty as a full-time Assistant Professor of Nursing.
What are you most passionate about in your work or research?
- Breastfeeding: There’s a cultural shift that’s creating a larger awareness surrounding breastfeeding. While there’s more support, the amount of time mothers breastfeed is surprisingly short. My true passion and desire are to increase the time mothers are able to breastfeed their children — ideally, to one year. I’m also enthusiastic about educating my patients about the benefits of breastfeeding, including but not limited to decreased breast cancer risk, lower postpartum depression risk, improved infant health and increased postpartum weight loss.
- Childhood obesity: In family practice, I’m able to focus on childhood obesity, increasing family education and offering healthy choices for child and parents. Preventing childhood obesity and educating families about healthy choices will help prevent obesity in adulthood.
- Fitness and health: Along with preventing childhood obesity, I focus on the general health and well-being of my patients and work to ensure they’re informed about fitness and nutrition. I make patients and parents aware of unhealthy habits their children might engage in and encourage participation in sports and exercise to make sure children stay active.
Can you tell us more about your research into increasing the duration of breastfeeding?
I’m participating in two breastfeeding research studies in Bloomington, Illinois, and Vandalia, Illinois. While we’re aware that certain populations of breastfeeding mothers are at high risk of having decreased breastfeeding success and duration, such as new mothers and rural mothers, we’re not sure which interventions might be most successful. We don’t know what the rural breastfeeding mothers’ experience is. Consequently, my first research study involves texting new mothers who have begun breastfeeding, and my second research study looks at interviewing rural mothers and gathering their experiences related to breastfeeding. My hope is to provide a voice for rural mothers, identifying the challenges and successes they’re experiencing with breastfeeding.
What do you teach children and parents about nutrition in your practice?
I work closely with patients to ensure they’re maintaining a healthy weight between their visits to my office for annual health and sports physicals. If there is rapid weight gain or loss, or the child is engaging in unhealthy nutritional habits, I work with parents to identify the causes behind that increase or decrease in weight. I also educate parents on healthy nutrition habits that may result in healthy weight loss in overweight children, such as decreasing or eliminating soda intake and discouraging snacks after dinner.
What excites you most about teaching?
My goal is to develop excellent, family-focused advanced practice nurses who thrive in any working environment. To accomplish this, I try to make learning fun. I hope to increase the curiosity students bring with them at the start of the semester and feed that curiosity throughout the program as I watch their knowledge grow.