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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Internationally Renowned Nurse Educator to join Connell School of Nursing

Connell News

Sean Clarke, RN, Ph.D., FAAN
Dr. Sean Clarke, Photo courtesy: McGill University


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (June 2014) --

The William F. Connell School of Nursing (CSON) is pleased to announce the arrival of Sean Clarke, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, who will be the new Associate Dean of the school’s Undergraduate Program.

Clarke is currently a professor and the Susan E. French Chair in Nursing Research and Innovative Practice at McGill University’s Ingram School of Nursing, in Montréal, Canada, and is widely known for his work on patient safety, work environments and workforce issues.

Clarke is an adult medicine nurse and has experience as a coronary care unit (CCU) nurse, in addition to specialized training as an adult nurse practitioner with a focus on cardiology.

A graduate of the Ingram School of Nursing, Clarke entered nursing through a master’s entry program after studying biochemistry and psychology. He has worked at McGill University since July 2012.

Clarke comes to BC with extensive teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Canada and the United States. He has managed research groups, and been involved in academia-practice in partnerships in a variety of roles, including an endowed clinical research chair at the University of Toronto and University Health Network.

“I'm hoping that I'll be able to work with our excellent [CSON] faculty to make sure we stay on the cutting edge in terms of equipping our BSN students for the future of nursing practice in a rapidly changing health care system,” said Clarke.

Currently, Clarke directs the McGill Nursing Collaborative for Education and Innovation in Patient and Family-Centered Care, a special donor-supported initiative to foster excellence in research, education and practice by strengthening connections between the school and its practice partners.

Clarke said he chose BC because it has one of the best bachelor’s level nursing programs and because it offers unparalleled liberal arts and sciences education to all of its undergraduates.

“I also hope to build on earlier work that's been done to make sure our undergraduates benefit fully from being in a research intensive school on a dynamic campus, and from being trained in a city that is an international health care hub,” said Clarke.

Clarke brings a lengthy track record in research to the table, much of which has been done internationally. His research interests include organizational aspects of health care safety and quality, nursing administration research, occupational health and safety of nurses, policy and program evaluation, and nursing and health care systems in international context.

“There are unique opportunities Boston’s health care and academic resources provide to continue my research in safety of care and health policy,” said Clarke.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and holds adjunct appointments at the Université de Montréal and the University of Hong Kong.

In an interview with The Boston College Chronicle, a newspaper for BC’s faculty and staff, CSON Dean and Professor Susan Gennaro said she is pleased to welcome Clarke to the new role, in which she believes he will excel.

“Dr. Clarke has a very broad understanding of nursing education and practice both in the United States and globally,” said Gennaro. “He is an internationally known health services researcher whose work is helping to inform answers about how to organize health care that is affordable but is also high quality.”

The decision to move to Boston, was an easy one for Clarke, as he believes it will be a great place for he and his family, which includes his wife Beth, a clinical nurse and experienced teacher in her own right, and their two children ages 16 and 13.

“I think we’re all ready for an adventure.”

Outgoing Associate Dean Cathy Read, who has been in that role since 2006, will return to her associate professor position following a sabbatical.


-- O. Angela Bowser, Communications Specialist