Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

William F. Connell School of Nursing

Danny G. Willis, D.N.S., PMHCNS-BC

department chair and associate professor

Danny G. Willis, D.N.S., PMHCNS-BC

Office
Cushing Hall 336K
617-552-6838
danny.willis@bc.edu

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY

  • M.S.N., D.N.S. - Louisiana State University
  • B.S.N. - University of Mississippi

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Healing as a central construct of the discipline of nursing; humanization as a process for promoting social justice and individual and societal well-being; theoretical development of the discipline; loving-kindness meditation; contemplative and reflective modes of being; sound entrainment in healing (Tibetan Buddhist sound bowl); spiritual aspects of healing and the healing arts; men’s health and well-being; qualitative research (philosophical analysis, hermeneutic phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography)

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Danny G. Willis, D.N.S., RN, PMHCNS-BC is an associate professor, department chair, and chairperson of the Diversity Advisory Board at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College. He is ANCC board certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric mental health. His scholarly expertise is in qualitative research, philosophy of science, and theory development. Dr. Willis’ program of research incorporates the philosophical foundations of nursing science and synthesized knowledge from other disciplines to explicate boys’ and men’s health and well-being in the aftermath of traumatic and marginalizing experiences, with a focus on a central construct of the discipline of nursing -- healing. His research has been internally and externally funded, including a series of studies focused on adult hate crimes, boys' lived experiences of being bullied, child witness to violence, and adult survivors’ of child maltreatment perceptions and experiences of health promotion within the context of child maltreatment survivorship. Building on the previous research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded his most recent research (2010-2013) focused on describing, interpreting, and theorizing adult male survivors’ experiences of healing from all forms of child maltreatment. Dr. Willis is a regional, national, and international leader in men’s mental health, nursing philosophy, and qualitative research. He holds a faculty nurse scientist appointment in the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital and has co-chaired the Theory Development group for the Eastern Nursing Research Society for several years. He has served as a past secretary of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and currently co-chairs the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. He is on the editorial review panel of Advances in Nursing Science, American Journal of Men’s Health, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Nursing Philosophy. Dr. Willis’ international nursing leadership involves co-chairing the 12th International Philosophy of Nursing Conference, serving as special guest editor of the interdisciplinary journal Nursing Philosophy, and international speaking engagements on the topics of men’s health in the aftermath of violence, nursing’s unifying focus of “facilitating humanization, meaning, choice, quality of life, and healing in living and dying”, qualitative research perspectives, and processes for ensuring the humanization of healthcare. He serves as a reviewer for the Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences and is the 2014 guest editor of a special edition of Issues in Mental Health Nursing focused on research and theory development relevant to men’s mental health and well-being around the globe.

SELECTED APPOINTMENTS & AWARDS

  • 2014 - Nancy M. Valentine Excellence in Leadership Award, New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)
  • 2011 - Rising Star Award: Eastern Nursing Research Society
  • 2010 - Research Poster Award, American Psychiatric Nurses Association
  • 2010-2012 - NIH/NINR 1RI5NR011353-01A1: Adult Male Survivors Healing from Childhood Maltreatment
  • 2010 - Guest Editor, Nursing Philosophy

additional appointments & awards »

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Easton, S.D., Leone, D. M., Sophis, E.J., & Willis, D. G. (in press). From that moment on my life changed: Turning points in the healing process for men recovering from childhood sexual abuse. To appear in Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Willis, D. G., DeSanto-Madeya, S. A., Fawcett, J. (in press). Moving beyond dwelling in suffering: A situation-specific theory of men's healing from childhood maltreatment. To appear in Nursing Science Quarterly.
  • Easton, S. D., Saltzman, L., Willis, D. G. (in press). Would you tell under circumstances like that? Barriers to disclosure for men who were sexually abused during childhood. To appear in Psychology of Men and Masculinity.
  • Willis, D. G., Rhodes, A., Dionne-Odom, J., Lee, K., Terreri, P. (in press). A hermeneutic phenomenological understanding of men's healing from childhood maltreatment. To appear in Journal of Holistic Nursing.
  • Willis, D. G., (Ed.) 2014. Introduction to this special edition on men's mental health. [Special issue]. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 35(8) 568. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2014.929373

additional publications »