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Nurse of Year Honors for CSON's Harris

Allyssa Harris pursues research in adolescent sexual decision-making and risk behaviors and health care disparities. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle Staff

Published: Oct. 31, 2013

Connell School of Nursing Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris has been named a 2013 Nurse of the Year by the Massachusetts Chapter of the March of Dimes. Harris was honored in the category of Nurse Researcher.

Nurse of the Year is a statewide award that recognizes exceptional nurses, who are an integral part of the March of Dimes’ mission for stronger, healthier babies. Harris was one of 17 nurses feted at a recent ceremony in Natick.

Harris, a faculty member at Boston College since 2007, teaches Advanced Practice in Women’s Health Nursing and Theoretical Foundations in Women’s Health and Pediatric Nursing, as well as a clinical course in childbearing. Her research interests are in adolescent sexual decision-making and risk behaviors and health care disparities.

“It is an honor to receive an award from such a prestigious organization. The health of women and children is very important because they form the backbone for many families,” said Harris. “To be recognized for my work with adolescents is extremely important because the negative behaviors that adolescents adopt can have significant consequences on their health and well-being during their reproductive years and on their children.”

“I am so proud of Dr. Harris’ recognition by the Massachusetts Chapter of the March of Dimes,” said Connell School Dean and Professor Susan Gennaro. “The March of Dimes’ mission to improve the health of babies is important to all of us and Dr. Harris’ commitment to improving the health of women and infants in the US is closely aligned with that mission.”

Harris holds an appointment at the Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and served as a women’s health nurse practitioner at the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center. Harris has been published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Nursing for Women’s Health and Journal of the Black Nurses Association. In 2011, she was honored for excellence in nursing education and teaching by the New England Black Nurses Association.