Patrice Nicholas, DNSc, DHL (Hon.), MPH, RN, NP-C, FAAN

Patrice Nicholas
Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director, Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health
Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health
(617) 643-2487
Office Location: 
Shouse - 206

Dr. Patrice K. Nicholas completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Fitchburg State University, and a Master of Science in Nursing degree and Doctor of Nursing Science degree at Boston University. From 1996-1999, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health focusing her research on symptom management in HIV disease and global health and completing a Master of Public Health degree in International Health. In May 2010, Dr. Nicholas received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree Honoris Causa from her alma mater, Fitchburg State University. In 2007, she was selected as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of KwaZulu-Natal focusing on adherence to HIV and TB medications. In 2008, she was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Nicholas is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Nursing, teaching in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and was actively involved in curriculum redesign of the DNP program. From 2006- 2019, Dr. Nicholas served as Director of Global Health and Academic Partnerships at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she also co-led the efforts in their successful American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet journey. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, two texts, and many invited and peer-reviewed presentations including several manuscripts on climate change, climate justice and climate-related health consequences. Dr. Nicholas serves as director of the MGH Institute of Health Profession’s newly launched Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health.

Research Interests

Dr. Nicholas' scholarship and research efforts have focused on global health issues; HIV symptom management and quality of life; and climate change, climate justice, and health. She has published research and policy papers in these areas and been funded as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Nata for a research and teaching award. Most recently, she leads the Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.


Certificate in Climate and Health, Yale School of Public Health, 2019
Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa), Fitchburg State University, 2010
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard School of Public Health, 1996-1999
Master of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 1999
Doctor of Nursing Science, Boston University, 1989
Master of Science in Nursing, Boston University, 1982
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Fitchburg State University, 1977


Nicholas, P.K., Breakey, S., McKinnon, S., Zeman Eddy, E., Fanuele, J., Starodub, R. CLIMATE: A framework for assessment of climate-change related health consequences in the emergency department. Journal of Emergency Nursing. In revision.

Nicholas, P.K., Breakey, S., White, B., Brown, M.J., & Fanuele, J. (2020). Mental health impacts of climate change: Perspectives for the emergency department clinician. Journal of Emergency Nursing. 46(5), 590-599.

Nicholas, P.K., Breakey, S., Tagliareni, E., Simmonds, K, & Sabo, K. (2020). Climate change and the health of populations: Incorporating stages of nursing’s political development. Nursing Outlook. In press.

Nicholas, P. K., Breakey, S., & Blank, P. (2020). Health consequences of climate change in older adults. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 16, 433-437.

Nicholas, P. K., Breakey, S., Tagliareni, E., Tuck, I., Neal-Boylan, L., Ladd, E., Corless, I. B., Reynolds, R. Y., Simmonds, K., & Lussier-Duynstee, P. (2020). Advancing a school of nursing center for climate change, climate justice, and health. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 38, 1-13.

Neal-Boylan, L., Breakey, S., & Nicholas, P. K. (2019). Integrating climate change topics into nursing curricula. Journal of Nursing Education, 58, 364-368. 

Nicholas, P. K., & Breakey, S. (2019). The economics of climate change and the intersection with conflict, violence, and migration. Nursing Economics 37(1). 23-34.

Nicholas, P. K., Rosa, W. E., & Breakey, S. (2019). The imperative for climate action to protect health (Letter to the Editor). New England Journal of Medicine,380(17), e29. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1902963

Rosa, W. E., Schenk, E., Travers, J. L., & Nicholas, P. K. (2019). Climate change and health consequences: Engaging public health nursing within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Public Health Nursing, 36(2), 107-108.

Reynolds, R., Smoller, S., Allen, A., & Nicholas, P. K. (2019). Health literacy and health outcomes in persons living with HIV disease: A systematic review. AIDS and Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02432-9.

Lilienfeld, E., Nicholas, P. K., Breakey, S., & Corless, I. B. (2018). Addressing climate change through a nursing lens within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A scoping review. Nursing Outlook, 66 (5), 482-494. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.010

Sabone, M., Mogobe, K. D., Matshediso, E., Shaibu, S., Ntsayagae, E. I., Corless, I. B., Cuca, Y. P., Holzemer, W. L., Dawson-Rose, C., Soliz Baez, S. S., Rivero-Mendez, M., Webel, A. R., Sanzero Eller, L., Reid, P., Johnson, M. O., Kemppainen, J., Reyes, D., Nokes, D., Wantland, D., Nicholas, P. K., Lindgren, T., Portillo, C. J., Sefcik, E., Long-Middleton, E. (2018). A qualitative description of service providers’ experiences of ethical issues in HIV care. Nursing Ethics.

Nicholas, P. K., & Breakey, S. (2017). Climate change, climate justice, and environmental health: Implications for the nursing profession. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 49(6):606-616. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12326

Leffers, J., McDermott-Levy, R., Nicholas, P. K., & Sweeney, C. (2017). Mandate for nursing education to address climate change. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 49(6):679-687. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12331

Curriculum Vitae