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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Melissa Sutherland, PhD, FNP-BC

associate professor

Melissa Sutherland, Ph.D., FNP-BC

Cushing Hall 421


  • Ph.D. - University of Virginia
  • B.S.N., M.S.N. - Binghamton University        
  • B.S. - Cornell University


Intimate partner violence, STDs/HIV, health consequences of violence


Dr. Sutherland joined the Boston College faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor. Clinically, she practiced as a family nurse practitioner at a public health department in upstate New York for 10 years. At the health department, she worked with patients and populations with a specific focus on sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis. Her research and scholarship addresses the issue of interpersonal violence and its influence on health outcomes among adolescent and young adult women.

Dr. Sutherland has also been involved in the initiative to develop an interdisciplinary Public Health Minor at BC. In spring 2014, she taught the first course in the initiative, Public Health in a Global Society. For the fall 2014 semester, Dr. Sutherland is co-teaching with Dr. Summer Hawkins of the Graduate School of Social Work.


  • 2014-2016 - NIH R03 grant: "Violence Screening in College Health Centers". Funded by NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. 
  • 2013-present - Boston Public Health Commission's Chlamydia Advisory Board
  • 2013-present - Committee for Community Service Board at Boston Children's Hospital
  • 2011-present - Nursing Network Violence Against Women International Advisory Board Member (Treasurer)
  • 2014 - Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Multi-Disciplinary Advisory Board

additional awards »


  • Sutherland, M. A., Fantasia, H. C., & Fontenot, H. B. (in press). Reproductive coercion and partner violence among college women. To appear in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing.
  • Fontenot, H. B. (in press). A second look: Urine based HPV testing as a screening method for cervical cancer. To appear in Nursing for Women's Health.
  • Cory, A., Boyle, K., McClain, N., Sutherland, M. A. (2014). Examining nutrition among a sample of 3-to 5-year-old children living in rural Jamaica. Pediatric Nursing, 40(6), 279.
  • Fantasia, H. C., Sutherland, M. A., Fontenot, H. B., & Ierardi, J. A. (2014). Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about contraceptive and sexual consent negotiation among college women. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 10(4), 199-207. doi:10.1097/JFN.0000000000000046
  • Sutherland, M. A., Fontenot, H. B., & Fantasia, H. C. (2014). Beyond assessment: Examining providers' responses to disclosures of violence. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 26(10), 567-573. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12101

additional publications »