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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Danielle and Patrick Burchett: An Unexpected Journey

Two DNP students find love during their education

Danielle and Patrick Burchett

Most students don’t choose nursing school expecting to find a spouse, but for two doctorate of nursing practice students, that’s exactly what happened.

Danielle and Patrick Burchett met on the first day of class as undergraduates in 2005 and are both in the accelerated RN/MSN/DNP program. They married in 2008 after earning bachelor of science degrees and now have two sons: Liam, born in 2009, and Ari, born in 2012.

“A lot of us would go get wings after class at College Inn and hang out,” Danielle recalls. “One day everyone had to leave early and Patrick and I decided we wanted to hang out and see a movie. Long story short, we spent all evening together, caught a 10 o’clock show and didn’t get home until midnight.”

“We were flirting a bit previous to that,” Patrick admits. “We were kind of glad everyone couldn’t come to the movie.”

Danielle and Patrick have had undergrad, master’s program core classes and now doctorate classes together.

“It is great to be in class with Patrick,” Danielle says. “We remind each other when assignments are due, explain subjects that might be confusing to one another, and don’t get upset when we don’t have time for each other since we both have to write the same paper.”

Patrick adds that “It is nice to have a wife who understands the demand for school. Now if our kids could just understand that we have a paper due…”

“We are both looking forward to graduating, so we can hopefully one day have a life again!” says Danielle. Patrick agrees. “We’re looking forward to school being done. Life is hectic.”

After their master’s degrees, Patrick became certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner and now works full time in the urgent care/emergency room at Children’s Hospital. Danielle became certified as women’s health nurse practitioner and works full time for the Tri-County Health Department. Both plan on graduating with their doctorates in May 2014.