Year in review 2018–19




ANA-Massachusetts honors Flanagan

ANA-Massachusetts honors Flanagan

The American Nurses Association Massachusetts presented Associate Professor Jane Flanagan with the 2019 Excellence in Nursing Education Award at its annual dinner in March.

American Heart Association Fellow

American Heart Association Fellow

CSON Assistant Professor Carina Katigbak was inducted as a fellow of the American Heart Association in Chicago in November. In January, the Eastern Nursing Research Society Board of Directors elected her its secretary.

Lee at the NIH

Lee at the NIH

Associate Dean for Research Christopher Lee lectured on “Integrative Biobehavioral Research in Heart Failure” at the National Institute of Nursing Research Director’s Lecture Series at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He detailed his innovative approach to the study of chronic illness for an audience that included some of the nation’s top nurse scientists. Read more at BC News » 

Harris receives Inspiration Award

Harris receives Inspiration Award

Associate Professor Allyssa Harris received an Inspiration in Women’s Health Award at the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health conference in San Antonio last October. The award recognizes singular contributions to policy, leadership, and advocacy for women’s health care.

CSON faculty in TIME

CSON faculty in TIME

TIME magazine spoke to Clinical Instructor Alison Marshall about new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that shows why rates of sexually transmitted disease are at an all-time high in the US. Read more in TIME magazine »

Helping nurses retire well

Helping nurses retire well

In their new book Redefining Retirement for Nurses: Finding Meaning in Retirement (Sigma Theta Tau International), Associate Professor Patricia Tabloski and a co-author present stories from nurses who have continued to contribute to society after retiring. Read more in BC Bookmarks »

Identity and prevention

Identity and prevention

Assistant Professor Nadia Abuelezam—an epidemiologist whose research spans disease epidemiology, mathematical modeling, and HIV/AIDS—suggests in an article she co-authored in Public Health Post that allowing respondents to identify as Middle Eastern and North African in federal studies such as the US Census could improve understanding of disease risk and prevention. Abuelezam also appeared on New England Cable News’ The Take to discuss the national outbreak of measles. View video on NECN »

Distinguished scholars and clinicians who joined CSON's faculty


Katie Huffling

Huffling receives environmental health award

Katie Huffling ’01 received Health Care Without Harm’s 2018 Charlotte Brody Award, which recognizes nurses who promote and protect environmental health. Huffling is a certified nurse-midwife and the executive director of Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

Shark fin in water

Shark bite saviors

Recent CSON graduates Kerstin Peterleitner ’18 and Molly Tobin ’18 came to the aid of a 61-year-old man who was bitten by a shark while swimming near Longnook Beach in Truro, Mass. View videos on WCVB-TV News and ABC News »

Boston Globe

CSON simulation in the Globe

In a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe, Rosemary Phalen ’78 highlighted CSON’s end-of-life simulation program, recently featured in Boston College Magazine. Since 2013, the program has prepared students to support dying patients and their families. 

Courtney Pladsen

Leading in health equity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation named Courtney Pladsen ’07 a Culture of Health Leader. Pladsen, whose work focuses on providing care to underserved populations, including those experiencing homelessness, will work to develop health equity in Portland, Maine.


Comparative health care

Comparative health care

In summer 2018, eight Boston College undergrads and 14 Swiss students took part in Compara­tive Health Care, a course designed to explore different countries’ health care systems. BC students visited Swissnex Boston, a nonprofit that connects Switzerland with North America in science, education, art, and innovation; the VA Boston Healthcare System in West Roxbury; and the Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest homeless services provider.

Caitlin Keenan

Keenan on leadership

Caitlin Keenan ’19, a member of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, was featured in a Boston College video about leadership. “Being a leader is about maturity, being able to see the big picture, and put others before yourself,” Keenan says. 

Maria Meyer

Finnegan Award recipient Meyer

In recognition of Maria Meyer’s academic achievements, leadership, and service, Boston College President William P. Leahy, S.J., presented her with the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award at Commencement. The award is given annually to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Boston College’s motto “Ever to Excel.” 

Alexa, Jaclyn, and Kylie Russell

Triple threat in 22

CSON students Alexa, Jaclyn, and Kylie Russell, all members of the Class of ’22, are the first triplets to study at Boston College in the same school while pursuing the same major. 

BC has taught us to take care of the whole patient.
Maria Meyer ’19, 2019 Finnegan Award recipient


Undergraduate study abroad

More than 50 undergraduate nursing students studied abroad in 2018–19 in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Comparative health care in Chile

In January, seven Connell School students traveled to Santiago, Chile, with Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Susan Kelly-Weeder to take Comparative Health Care, a program that combines coursework with tours of urban and rural health care facilities to teach direct patient care.

Chilean nurse practitioner collaboration

Susan Kelly-Weeder worked with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile faculty and medical doctors to develop the first family nurse practitioner program (FNP) in Chile, which graduated its first student in May.

In the Dominican Republic

Ten students traveled with Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne and Ph.D. candidate Jane Hopkins-Walsh to the Dominican Republic in January. Working with local health care promoters, the students went on home health care visits; gave presentations on diabetes, respiratory illnesses, toxoplasmosis, and HIV; and spoke at elementary schools about exercise.

Global health perspectives

Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne led eight CSON undergraduates on a trip to Ecuador in May 2019 as part of Global Health Perspectives, a month-long course that provides a firsthand look at health care systems globally.

A semester in Quito

Four CSON students spent a semester in Quito, Ecuador, where they attended Spanish-language classes at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and completed Population Health Clinicals in a public community health center, gaining experience in health care delivery.

Promoting health in Guatemala

In March, 11 students traveled with faculty members Rosemary Byrne and Sherri St. Pierre to Guatemala. There, guided by the director of health care promoters, they went on home visits, provided fluoride treatments and health classes at schools, and saw patients during focused visits. Students also gave talks on diabetes, reproductive health, and respiratory issues.

CSON returns to Haiti

In January, Clinical Assistant Professor Donna Cullinan traveled to Léogâne, Haiti, with 17 students. The group returned to villages that BC nursing students had visited in past years, providing care and health classes to approximately 1,250 people in mobile clinics and orphanages. The group distributed 550 pairs of The Shoe That Grows, specialized children’s footwear.


Mindhunter on the Heights

Mindhunter on the Heights

In September, the Connell School convened two of the minds behind the hit Netflix crime drama Mindhunter: CSON Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess and retired FBI Special Agent John E. Douglas, her longtime colleague and co-author. The two developed the theory and techniques of criminal profiling dramatized in the show.

View video of Minds behind Mindhunter event »

Partners in Health leader gives Pinnacle Lecture

Partners in Health leader gives Pinnacle Lecture

Sheila Davis, chief of clinical operations and chief nursing officer at Partners in Health, gave the spring 2019 Pinnacle Lecture in April. She discussed her work developing malnutrition programs in South Africa, managing Ebola responses in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and championing global health equity.

View video of Davis’ Pinnacle Lecture »

NONPF president speaks at Boston College

NONPF president speaks at Boston College

For the fall 2018 Pinnacle Lecture in October, Lorna Finnegan, president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and executive associate dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, spoke about preparing transformational nurse leaders.

View video of Finnegan’s Pinnacle Lecture »

Kelleher Award presented to Welch

Kelleher Award presented to Welch

Alumni, faculty, and friends attended the presentation of the Connell School’s 2018 Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award to John Welch, M.S. ’12, a senior nurse anesthetist at Boston Children’s Hospital and former chief clinical officer for Ebola response at Partners in Health. He then discussed health care in Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the United States.

View Kelleher Award recipient video »

Pictured: Dean Susan Gennaro, Kelleher Award recipient John Welch, and discussion moderator Joy Moore ’81, Hon. ’10, Boston College’s interim vice president for student affairs


U.S. News rankings

U.S. News rankings

In the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Graduate Schools rankings, CSON rose four spots to 28th Best Nursing School Master’s Program. It also placed:

  • 11th in Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health, Across the Lifespan
  • 12th in Nurse Practitioner: Adult Gerontology, Primary Care
  • 22nd in Nurse Practitioner: Family

The school’s Nurse Anesthesia program maintained its ranking at 22nd.

DNP program to launch this fall

DNP program to launch this fall

Connell School administrators and faculty have finalized the curriculum for CSON’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which will welcome its first cohort in fall 2019. A rigorous program leading to the most advanced practice degree in the field of nursing, the DNP program focuses on translating research findings into clinical practice.

KILN celebrates 10 years

KILN celebrates 10 years

The Connell School’s Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing (KILN) program celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019. The program’s goal is to reduce health care disparities by educating students to lead efforts to improve health care in underserved communities. KILN scholars, often students of limited financial means, are frequently from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the field of professional nursing. 

NLN honors the Connell School

NLN honors the Connell School

The National League for Nursing named the Connell School of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

NERBNA recognizes CSON

NERBNA recognizes CSON

At the New England Regional Black Nurses Association’s annual presentation of Excellence in Nursing Awards in February, the school was recognized for 10 years of support.

Pictured: CSON Dean Susan Gennaro; Sasha DuBois, vice president of NERBNA; and Amari Harrison ’20

Pillars of Innovation

Pillars of Innovation

Christopher Lee, CSON’s associate dean for research, distilled the school’s researchers into three key categories—Health Equity for Women and Children, Person- and Family-Oriented Aging, and Safety and Quality of Care—that he calls “Pillars of Innovation.”

Volunteering at Rosie’s

Volunteering at Rosie’s

This April, students in Donna Cullinan’s Population Health Practice in the Community course volunteered serving dinner at Rosie’s Place, the first women’s shelter established in the United States, which provides support and a safe environment for poor and homeless women. 

As Boston College nurses, we are truly the embodiment of men and women for others.
Isabelle Kelly ’19


Karen Margaret Meneses, M.S. ’80, Ph.D. ’92 

died in August in Florida at age 65.


Judith Surveyer Mitiguy ’65

of Warwick, Rhode Island, died in December at age 74.


Joanne O’Sullivan Oliveira, M.S. ’97, Ph.D. ’03

died in June near her home in Beverly Hills, Florida. She was 64 years old.








AHANA (individuals of African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent)


incoming first-year students


US states and territories




full time


part time




US states and territories




Degrees, Programs, and Certificates

Bachelor of science in nursing

Master of science in nursing 

Three routes of entry to master’s degree programs in advanced practice nursing: traditional, accelerated, RN to M.S.

M.S./M.A. in Pastoral Ministry (joint degree program with the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)

M.S./M.B.A. (joint degree program with BC’s Carroll School of Management)



Doctor of Nursing Practice program begins in fall 2019.

Advanced Practice Nursing Specialties