The Connell School of Nursing offers Greater Boston’s only advanced generalist master’s degree (AGM) in nursing. With a focus on leadership, administration, and systems change, this rigorous program prepares students from diverse backgrounds and experience levels to serve as compassionate, evidence-based nurse leaders with the skills needed to advance patient care. Hear from a faculty member and three students about the program’s unique strengths.

Patricia Reid Ponte

Clinical Associate Professor

Pat Reid Ponte

Thanks to a career in leadership at some of the nation’s most prestigious health care facilities, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Patricia Reid Ponte knows what it takes for nurses to succeed in elite institutions.

“To coordinate, manage, lead, and educate in this complex health care system,” she explains, “you really need a master of science in nursing that’s specially designed to give nurses the skills they need.

”To prepare nurses for these diverse roles, Reid Ponte helped develop the curriculum of the AGM program, ensuring that it would effectively serve both students without undergraduate degrees in nursing and those with experience in the field.

“This coursework prepares students to lead, assure quality and safety, and think creatively about innovation and the complex situations that arise when we care for people,” Reid Ponte says. “Our graduates are a good fit for any complex health care organization.”

Visit Prof. Reid Ponte’s faculty page

Brian Eagan

M.S. ’21

Brian Eagan

Before entering the AGM program, Brian Eagan was a teacher assistant at BC’s Campus School, which serves students with extensive support needs, including complex health care needs. “I felt like I could better serve this population and others by shifting into nursing,” he says.

Eagan found his primary opportunity for hands-on learning through clinical rotations at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Arbour Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital. “Each of these rotations focused on a different type of nursing, taught a different skill set, and served a different patient population,” he explains, “so they complemented each other well.”

Today, Eagan works as a registered nurse in the infant-toddler surgical unit at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he completed his Child Health rotation.

“My experiences at BC and in clinical rotations have definitely helped strengthen my understanding of what I can do to support children and their families. I love my job.”

Sarah Pollan

M.S. ’21

Sarah Pollan

In 2020, Sarah Pollan, a single mother of two, decided to leave her career in teaching to go into nursing. After comparing schools in New England, she enrolled in the Connell School’s AGM program. “I was drawn to BC because the program was quick and would give me a master’s degree that I knew would open doors for me,” she explains.

Though Pollan worked almost full time while studying, the BC community gave her the support she needed. “The professors really are great,” she says. “A lot of faculty and staff checked in to ask how I was doing, which really made a difference because I didn’t feel alone.”

After graduating, Pollan joined Massachusetts General Hospital as a registered nurse in the emergency department. She believes she got the job thanks in part to the clinical experience BC offered.

“I feel really lucky to have this job, and maybe I’ll go back to school to get my DNP degree.”

Sandrine Soivilien

M.S. ’21

Sandrine Soivilien

From an early age, Sandrine Soivilien had a passion for caring for others, starting with her grandmother. “I wanted an education that would help me care for underserved populations in Boston,” she says.

As an adult, she pursued this passion by attending BC’s AGM program, but, because Soivilien started during the pandemic, she struggled at first. “It was challenging to be in an accelerated program,” she says, “but the faculty and staff always supported me. Tutors helped me study, and whenever I had a personal matter that interfered with my schoolwork, the professors helped me find a way to succeed.”

In 2021, Soivilien graduated and joined Boston Medical Center as a program administrative coordinator. While she studies for the NCLEX licensure exam, she cares for the vulnerable by connecting them to essential resources, a role she believes the AGM program helped prepare her for.

“The program requires so much hard work and dedication, but it’s so gratifying.” ▪