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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Loretta P. Higgins, Ed.D., RN

associate professor emeritus

Photo of Loretta P Higgins

Contact Information


educational history

  • Ed.D. Boston College
  • M.S. Boston College
  • B.S. Boston College
  • Diploma St. Francis Medical Center; School of Nursing

research interests

Nursing history; biographies of nursing leaders; development of coeducation; women's health, specifically decision-making in labor and delivery, homone-replacement therapy during menopause, and battering during pregnancy


Loretta Higgins has been the associate dean of the undergraduate program since 1992 but has been a member of the faculty since 1974. She chaired the committee that implemented the new program, Master's Entry into Nursing and oversees the admission process and co-directs the first year of the program. Her areas of research are women's health, specifically menopause and abuse during pregnancy, nursing history and the development of coeducation in Catholic institutions of higher education. She teaches an elective that she developed, Women and Health, that is open to students from all majors and is cross registered with Women's Studies as part of the Women Studies minor.

recent publications

  • Poulson, S. & Higgins, L. P. (2003). Gender, Coeducation, and the Transformation of Catholic Identity in American Catholic Higher Education. The Catholic Historical Review, 89(3), 489-510.
  • D'Avolio, D. et al. (2001). Screening for abuse: barriers and opportunities. Health Care for Women International, 22, 349-362.
  • Hawkins, J. W., Doona, M. E. & Higgins, L. P. (1997). American women in the 1920’s. Reflections, 23 (3), 20-21.
  • Hawkins, J. W., Doona, M. E. & Higgins, L. P. (1997).   The 1920’s historical background:  Setting the social stage for an honor society for nursing. In Celebrating 75 years of excellence:  Histories of the early Sigma Theta Tau Chapters.  Indianapolis:  Center Nursing Press.
  • Higgins, L. P.  (1996).  Army nurses in wartime:  Distinction and pride.  Military Medicine, 161, 472-474.
  • Doona, M. E., Hawkins, J. W., Van Ryzin, U., Friedman, A. H., & Higgins, L. P. (1995).  Nursing in Massachusetts during the roaring twenties.  Historical Journal of Massachusetts, 23, 133-165.