At the Connell School pinning ceremony in May, Isabelle Kelly ’19 recalled the first time she started to feel like a nurse. “It was in adult health lab, as we learned to use our stethoscopes listening to our partner’s heart,” she said. “Our first competency was on manual blood pressure, and at the time we were so worried we would never know how to master this skill. Now it is second nature.”
Maria Meyer ’19, who, at Commencement, received Boston College’s top undergraduate honor—the Finnegan Award—also spoke at the pinning ceremony. “There is no denying that we learned so much in the past four years,” she said. “We have gone from being timid sophomores to confident, soon-to-be nurses who accept challenges and walk into patient rooms with ease and a smile.
“BC has been cultivating us as nurses and as people since day one,” with nursing seminars, retreats, service learning organizations, and other co-curriculars, she noted. “Let me put it this way: Pretty much any nurse can insert a Foley catheter. But it takes a special nurse to put in a Foley catheter while also caring for the patient. BC has taught us to take care of the whole patient, and for that, we are so thankful.
“Thank you for teaching us all what it truly means to be a BC nurse.”
I couldn’t express the Connell School’s goals any better myself. And I hope you will take some time to read about the many ways we’ve achieved them in our annual Year in Review, which details faculty, alumni, and student accomplishments. It also points to the most important achievements that Isabelle and Maria expressed: The Connell School exists to shape students into nurses who care for and about their patients and their families.
Dean, Connell School of Nursing
The American Nurses Association Massachusetts presented Associate Professor Jane Flanagan with the 2019 Excellence in Nursing Education Award at its annual dinner in March.
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.
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 »
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.
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 »
“BC has taught us to take care of the whole patient.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“As Boston College nurses, we are truly the embodiment of men and women for others.”
died in August in Florida at age 65.
of Warwick, Rhode Island, died in December at age 74.
died in June near her home in Beverly Hills, Florida. She was 64 years old.
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.