Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA's portrait
Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA
Adjunct Clinical Professor
New York University College of Nursing
New York, NY
Nicola V. Hawkinson is a member of the SpineUniverse Editorial Board.

About Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA

Since 2008 Nicola Hawkinson has been the founder and CEO of SpineSearch, a nationwide recruitment and continuing educational company. SpineSearch works with hospitals, private practices and ambulatory surgery centers to partner highly qualified individuals with specialized career opportunities.

Nicola received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware, Master’s Degree (Nurse Practitioner Program) from New York University and Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Case Western Reserve University. Her career in nursing has spanned from the operating room, neurosurgical oncology, to orthopedic spine. Simultaneously, Nicola remains an adjunct clinical professor at NYU’s College of Nursing.

Nicola has presented and published extensively in the field of Spine, first as a clinician, and now she continues to utilize this academic platform to speak and write extensively regarding recruitment, retention, and staffing needs in orthopedic and neurosurgical practices, ambulatory surgery centers and a variety of other companies that service the spine market.

Articles Written by Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA

Are Creating Job Descriptions Worth the Time and Effort?

A well-written job description serves a multitude of purposes and the better it’s written, the more useful it can be to define the roles of employees in your practice.

Ghost Attendance: How to Handle a Candidate who Lied about Their Education

A common practice for most candidates applying for jobs is to make their resumes more robust possibly by embellishing. What if the candidate never graduated or even attended a school they said they did? How to avoid difficult situations.

Great Job Candidate? Don't Be Too Quick to Extend the Offer

Over the course of my career as a recruiter for many large health care practices I've been involved in/counseled hundreds of clients. I can say without hesitation that the most successfully practices take the hiring process seriously.

Back Conditions Treated by Spinal Bracing

Read this article to learn about the back and neck conditions that may be treated using spinal bracing (also known as orthotic management).

Common Back Pain Questions

This article answers common back pain questions, such as "I just injured my back, but it doesn't hurt enough to go to the doctor. What can I do?"

Corsets: A Type of Spinal Brace

There are many types of spinal braces.This article focuses on corsets, which are used for low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, injury, or spinal deformity.

Sacroiliac and Lumbosacral Belts: A Type of Spinal Brace

Sacroiliac and lumbosacral belts are back braces that treat pain in the lumbar spine and sacrum. If you have low back pain, your doctor may recommend one of these spinal braces to immobilize the painful area and allow it to heal. Learn more here.

Physical Therapy to Relieve Back Pain

Physical therapy has 2 components: passive and active treatments. Read about what your physical therapist may use as he or she works to reduce your back pain. Also explains why you may need to do aerobic exercise as part of the healing process for back pain.

Patients with Back or Neck Pain Have a Voice in Their Spine Care

As a patient with neck or back pain, you have specific rights that help protect you and your information. Here, SpineUniverse.com outlines some important points about your Patient Bill of Rights.

Exams and Tests for Back Pain

To diagnose the cause of your back pain, your doctor will need to do several tests. You'll have physical and neurological exams, and then you'll most likely need imaging studies, such as x-rays or CT scans. This will help confirm your diagnosis.

Symptoms of Back Pain

There are various ways to feel back pain and your symptoms depend on what is causing your pain.

Physical Exam

The physical exam is one way the doctor will try to assess your pain and condition. In this examination, he or she will feel your spine, check how well your joints move, and ask you questions about your pain and other symptoms.

Recent blog posts from Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA

December 23, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Prior to Back Surgery

An expert offers 5 questions to ask your surgeon prior to back surgery. Don't miss your opportunity to get clear about what to expect from the procedure as well as post-surgical outcomes. 

October 27, 2015

Spine Surgery: How Surgeons and Patients Make Decisions Together

Patients are more involved in their healthcare plan than ever before; more information is available to patients, and they often become their own healthcare advocates. Surgeons have felt this shift and are now including patients in the decision-making process.

July 07, 2011

Spinal Arthritis and Weight Loss

My doctor says I need to lose weight in order for any types of treatments, including spine surgery, to be effective. I've recently started a weight loss program. My goal is to lose 60 more pounds by the end of the year. I would like to know: What can I do in the meantime to treat my back pain?

More from Nicola V. Hawkinson's blog "Back Pain Tips"

Articles Reviewed by Nicola V. Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA

Degenerative Disc Disease Center

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is typically associated with aging. As you age, your discs, like other joints in the body, can degenerate (break down) and become problematic.

Questions to Ask Your Orthotist

An orthotist is a specialist who designs and fits braces. During your visit with your orthotist, it's important to come prepared with questions.

Molded Jackets: A Type of Spinal Brace

A molded jacket, also called a thoracolumbosacral orthosis, provides rigid stabilization. This brace may treat a number of spinal conditions, including spinal fractures and scoliosis. It can also limit movement after surgery. Learn more here.

Hyperextension Braces: A Type of Spinal Brace

A hyperextension brace is a spinal brace used to restrict forward bending to help your spine heal properly. Learn how this treatment may help you recover from a spinal compression fracture or from spine surgery.

Rigid Braces: A Type of Spinal Brace

Article covers 3 common types of rigid spinal braces: the chairback brace, Raney flexion jacket, and Williams brace. These braces are prescribed if you have low back pain. They also help stabilize your back after spine surgery. Read about them here.

Statins and the Spine

The anti-cholesterol drug lovastatin (Mevacor) may improve degenerative disc disease surgical outcomes, according to a recent study.

Back Pain Prevention and Relief

Many helpful tips about body mechanics and posture are presented to help back pain patients prevent injury.

Drugs, Medications, and Spinal Injections to Relieve Back Pain

Learn the basics of what medications are prescribed and the different medications for acute and chronic back pain.

Alternative Treatments for Back Pain

You may want to try alternative treatment options to help relieve your back pain. Acupuncture, herbal remedies, or massage may be part of your treatment plan.

Anatomy of Back Pain

Understanding why you have back pain starts with understanding the parts of your spine. This article provides an informative overview of the vertebrae, joints, muscles, and nerves that make up your backbone.

Neck Braces: A Type of Spinal Brace

If you need cervical spine surgery, or if you've injured your neck, you may need to wear a neck brace. Neck braces are among the most common of all spinal braces (which your doctor may call orthoses or orthotics). Learn more about them here.

Back Pain Exercises and Stretches

Keeping your back healthy is a daily commitment. It helps to do daily stretches and exercises specifically designed to prevent back pain. Follow these easy instructions on how to prevent back pain or find back pain relief.

Surgery for Back Pain

Less than 5% of people with back pain need spine surgery. But if you're in that 5%, your doctor will make the best recommendation for the type of surgery. This is a list of typical surgical procedures used to treat back pain.

Facts and Tips about Back Pain

Quick facts and tips about back pain.

Slideshow Six Surprising Everyday Habits that Are Hurting Your Back

This slideshow shows you 6 surprising ways you’re hurting your back. Learn how everyday bad habits like poor posture and eating unhealthy foods can lead to chronic back pain.

Financial Disclosures

SpineUniverse, a Vertical Health, LLC website, is committed to ensuring that the medical information it presents is accurate, balanced, objective, and trustworthy. 

To help achieve this goal, SpineUniverse requires all authors, editors, and reviewers to disclose any financial relationships or affiliations they have with companies whose products or services may be mentioned in the content they author, edit, or review.

The intent of this policy is to identify any perceived, potential, or real conflicts of interest so that readers can make their own judgments about the value of information being presented.

Author's Statement

I, or an immediate family member, have a financial interest(s) or affiliation(s) with the following commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Vertical Health, LLC’s websites.

Disclosed Relationships

Stock/Shareholder
SpineSearch LLC
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