Alumni Spotlight: JoAnne Burris, CNM, MSN

FNU Alumnus, CNEP Class 130


From birthing her child with the help of a midwife to becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife herself, Alumna JoAnne Burris, CNM, is the picture of how Frontier Nursing University (FNU) provides its students with an education to match their passion.


In her journey from patient to provider, JoAnne now seeks to provide women with holistic care using her degree from Frontier.


Suffering an uncomfortable experience with her first child’s birth, JoAnne was displeased with the way her birthing decisions were dominated by the health care providers. She sought the help of nurse-midwife Melissa Courtney in the birth of her second child a few years later.


Through Melissa’s gentle consideration, consistent reassurance, and willingness to allow JoAnne to make several of her own birthing decisions, JoAnne’s second birth experience was truly an enjoyable one.


It did not take long for JoAnne to feel a spiritual calling to provide the same care for other women. Within the year she began didactic classes at FNU (CNEP 130), after receiving her associate’s degree in nursing and then attending nurse-midwifery clinical training at Womankind Midwives, a practice established by Melissa.


In 2016, she was hired at the University of Kentucky (UK) HealthCare Polk Dalton Clinic into the UK Midwife Clinic. The clinic collaborates with UK’s Obstetrics/Gynecology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, ensuring the most resourceful care possible.


"I work in two patient population settings,” said JoAnne. “Half of my clinic time is spent in a downtown clinic that serves primarily Hispanic, refugee, and low-income women. The other half of my time is spent at a midwife clinic that serves patients who desire midwifery care specifically. I enjoy working at the University of Kentucky because it allows me to serve a diverse group of women.”



Together with Melissa and two other CNMs, JoAnne is fulfilling her dream of providing care, expertise, and empowerment to other women as they journey throughout their lifespan.


The community at FNU is thankful for JoAnne’s dedication to quality health care!


At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.




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