M. Katherine Hutchinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, an associate professor at New York University’s College of Nursing, joins the Connell School this summer as a tenured professor and associate dean for graduate programs.
A neonatal critical care nurse for 20 years and founding director of the University of Pennsylvania’s nursing undergraduate honors program before she moved to NYU, Hutchinson will guide all Connell School programs in graduate education and lead its expanding doctoral program.
Born and raised outside Philadelphia, Hutchinson says she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a nurse. She received a B.S.N. from Michigan State University College of Nursing, a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware, did post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, then joined the faculty there in 2001.
Hutchinson moved to NYU in 2007, at a time when its College of Nursing was revamping its Ph.D. curriculum to emphasize rigorous coursework and research training. “Within a few years, we had NIH-funded doctoral students, many were publishing and presenting research papers at regional, national, and international conferences, and all were actively engaged in mentored research experiences with faculty,” recalls Hutchinson, who taught doctoral research design and methods at NYU.
Hutchinson’s research interests include adolescent and young adult risk behaviors, with a focus on parental influences of sexual risk behaviors and HIV prevention. Since 2005, she has been collaborating with researchers from the University of the West Indies on an NIH-sponsored project testing a family-based HIV risk-reduction intervention for adolescent girls and their mothers.
Although the Connell School already has a strong doctoral program, Hutchinson says she expects that lessons she learned at NYU will help guide her work at Boston College. With funding so competitive, and research designs so complex, students need “the time, resources, rigorous coursework, and mentored training experiences” necessary to develop solid research skills, she says. “The most exciting aspect of this challenge, and it's a challenge everywhere, is that at Boston College I believe that the provost, Dean Gennaro, and the Connell faculty share this belief.”
“Boston College has produced many of the nursing profession’s most notable leaders,” Hutchinson adds. “It's an exciting opportunity to be part of a school of that caliber.”