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Heather Harker Ryan

University of Massachusetts-Boston PhD
Home Chelsea MA United States


Heather Harker Ryan is a third-year student enrolled in the Nursing BS-to-PhD Population Health program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She received a BA in Anthropology from the Barnard College in 2006, and a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in 2008. She currently works as Program Nurse for the Preventive Cardiology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, focusing on treatment of children with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and obesity. Heather is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, and the Preventive Cardiology Nurses Association. She has been elected President of the PhD Nursing Student Collaborative at UMass Boston for the 2014-2015 academic year, and will begin serving on the STTI Theta Alpha Chapter Board of Directors as Webmaster in September 2014. Heather’s particular interests lie in the social experience of children and families treated for cardiovascular risk factors, as well as medical professional behavior related to diagnosing and treating cardiovascular risk in their patients. Her professional goals relate to ensuring that patient understanding of cardiovascular risk and preference for screening and treatment are fully understood, and specifically incorporated into practice protocols and medical education. Heather also has a passion for nursing theory and theory development, and she hopes to actively incorporate this into future nursing leadership roles.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Nurse Leader – Cardiovascular health promotion and risk prevention in children and adolescents
Dissertation: Cardiovascular risk and prevention in children