Voice, Spring 2014

Page 1

Spring 2014

william f. connell school of nursing

Tribute to Cushing Hall With change ahead, the Connell School community looks back

from the dean susan gennaro

Dear Friends,


In this issue of Voice, we pay tribute

Susan Gennaro

to Cushing Hall. We look back at the


1960 opening of our longtime home

Maureen Dezell

on the Chestnut Hill Campus—and

managing editor

at milestones that came before it—

Tracy Bienen

as we look ahead and prepare for the Connell School’s move to Maloney Hall in summer 2015. Our story brims with memories of alumni who recall our momentous move from crowded quarters at 126 Newbury Street, where the School Photograph: Gary Wayne Gilbert



of Nursing was founded in 1947, and

the pioneers who established the school we know today. This edition of Voice also spotlights forward-looking Connell School faculty, alumni, students, and programs that are vital to our future growth. I am sure you will enjoy our feature story on the Undergraduate



art director Diana Parziale

contributors Zak Jason Alicia Potter Ralph Ranalli Debra Bradley Ruder Bari Walsh


Clockwise from above: Cushing Hall exterior groundbreaking: Cardinal Richard J. Cushing, President Michael P. Walsh, S.J., Dean Rita P. Kelleher, Mary Jane Gibbons Walten ’59


Patience Marks ’15

Donna Alberico Caitlin Cunningham Gary Wayne Gilbert Josh Levine Lee Pellegrini

Pamela Terreri, clinical assistant professor Ariana Chao ’10, M.S. ’11 Rendering of a nurse’s cap in stained glass panel, Cushing Hall Chapel



Research Fellows Program, which provides students opportunities to collaborate with faculty members—and enhances our efforts to build nursing science. This issue also includes a roundup of our faculty experts, who weigh in on how the Massachusetts health insurance mandate has affected primary care nursing, and look ahead to the likely

Voice is published by the William F. Connell School of Nursing and the Boston College Office of Marketing Communications.

effects of the federal Affordable Care Act. Letters and comments are welcome:

I am so pleased to share these features with you, along with a roundup of Connell School news, an update on what’s coming with us to Maloney from Cushing Hall, and faculty publications.


csonalum@bc.edu Communications Specialist William F. Connell School of Nursing Boston College 140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

cover Susan Gennaro Dean

Watercolor painting of Cushing Hall Maginnis & Walsh & Kennedy Architects Photographed by Gary Wayne Gilbert

Spring 2014 news


4 New Associate Dean,

6 A tribute to Cushing Hall

12 Presiding saints

With change ahead, the Connell School community looks back on its beloved home.

Five stained glass panels from the Cushing Hall Chapel will move next year with the School to Maloney Hall.

CSON hosts nursing leaders, faculty and student recognition.

14 Undergraduate Research Fellows Program a study in success Transforming a passion for nursing into an interest in research.

18 Faculty field report How affordable care is shaping nursing practice.

faculty publications

20 HPV risks, vaccine benefits: young males unaware Patient-reported outcomes as alternative research tool Family function affects heart patients’ emotional well-being


voice | spring 2014


boston college william f. connell school of nursing


news by zak jason

Above: Sean Clarke. Courtesy: McGill University


Faculty recognition

New Associate Dean

Willis lauded

Sean Clarke will join the Connell School as Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program, this fall. Currently a professor and the Susan E. French Chair in Nursing Research and Innovative Practice at McGill University’s Ingram School of Nursing, Clarke is widely known for his work on patient safety and workforce environments.

The New England chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association honored Associate Professor Danny Willis with the Nancy M. Valentine Excellence in Leadership Award at the chapter’s annual spring conference.

Below, top: Maureen McCausland. Photograph: Caitlin Cunningham

Below, bottom: Courtney Lyder. Photograph: Caitlin Cunningham

Events Fall Pinnacle Lecture Maureen P. McCausland ’72, M.S. ’77, drew from three decades as a hospital and nursing executive for her fall 2013 Pinnacle lecture on how major health systems balance quality care with an evolving business landscape. Currently senior vice president and chief nursing officer at MedStar Health, the largest health care provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region, McCausland addressed what nurses, especially those in direct care roles, can do to create “high-reliability” health care organizations.

Spring Pinnacle Lecture UCLA School of Nursing Dean Courtney H. Lyder shared lessons learned from his mentors with an audience gathered for his spring 2014 Pinnacle lecture in the Yawkey Center’s Murray Room. Lyder explored whether leadership is inherent or learned and revealed ways that mentors shaped him as a nurse scholar, educator, and administrator.


voice | spring 2014

MARN awards The Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses recognized the contributions of four CSON faculty members at its April convention. Professor Emeritus Carol Hartman was named a Living Legend in Massachusetts Nursing. Associate Professor Emeritus Jean O’Neil received the Excellence in Nursing Education Award; Associate Professor Judith ShindulRothschild, the Mary A. Manning Nurse Mentoring Award; and Assistant Professor Lichuan Ye, the Excellence in Nursing Research Award.

Massachusetts Senate testimony Associate Professor Judith ShindulRothschild testified in front of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on the findings of her publication “Patient Turnover and Nursing Employment in Massachusetts Hospitals Before and After Health Insurance Reform: Implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

CSON and its faculty honored The Connell School of Nursing and three of its faculty—Clinical Associate Professor Donna Cullinan, Associate Professor Judith Shindul-Rothschild, and Clinical Instructor Jacqueline Sly—each received a Teaching with New Media Award from Boston College.

Student news New Jonas Scholar Doctoral student Eileen Searle ’06, M.S. ’13, has been named a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar. A primary care nurse practitioner at Mount Auburn Hospital specializing in adult gerontology, Searle focuses her research on critical-care surge capacity and comprehensive nursing care in austere conditions.

ENRS conference At the April Eastern Nursing Research Society conference in Philadelphia, four students presented posters: • Eileen Anderson, M.S. ’14, “Nocturnal Care Interactions and Delirium in the ICU,” coauthored with Assistant Professor Lichuan Ye and others • Gianna Janney ’14, “Health Literacy of Hispanics for Cardiovascular Health Promotion,” coauthored with Assistant Professor Viola Benavente and others • Ph.D. student Danielle Leone, M.S. ’12, “From that Moment on my Life has Changed: Turning Points in the Healing Process of Men Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse,” coauthored with Associate Professor Danny Willis and others

Terri LaCoursiere Zucchero cares for a patient in the Dominican Republic. Courtesy: Sarah Bender

Alumni news

• Ph.D. student Eileen Searle ’06, M.S. ’13, “Rates of Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Health Care Workers and Challenges to Improvement ”

Rosanna DeMarco, M.S. ’76, was named chair of the Nursing Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences in September 2013.

Global reach

In Memorium

Inaugural Dominican Republic trip

Professor Emeritus Miriam Gayle Wardle, who taught at Boston College for 30 years, died November 29, 2013. She was 76. An expert in psychiatric mental health nursing, Wardle was known for her undergraduate teaching and her longitudinal study of professional women’s decision-making.

MLK Scholarship The University’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholarship Committee presented Patience Marks ’15 with its 32nd annual scholarship award at a February 12 ceremony at the Robsham Theater Arts Center. The competitive honor is given each year to a Boston College junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service, and involvement with African-American issues.

In February, Clinical Instructor Rosemary Byrne and part-time Clinical Assistant Professor Terri LaCoursiere Zucchero traveled with seven Connell School students to the Dominican Republic, where they treated patients and provided health education to local residents. CSON sponsors similar service trips and programs to Haiti, Nicaragua, Ecuador, France, and Switzerland.

Tell us your news Patience Marks. Photograph: Lee Pellegrini


boston college william f. connell school of nursing


a tribute to

Cushing Hall With change ahead, the Connell School community looks back by zak jason ’11 Images courtesy University Archives. Photographs: Gary Wayne Gilbert

On a cloudy June morning in 1958, students in the graduating class of the Boston College School of Nursing shuttled from their crowded quarters on the second floor of 126 Newbury Street, known those days as the “Boston College Intown,” to the University’s new Alumni Stadium. In 13 years, the School of Nursing already had become one of the largest nursing programs in the country, with an enrollment of 900. It was about to launch a master’s program. Nevertheless, the school was hardly integrated physically or socially into the University. In fact, Boston College nurses were joining the rest of their graduating class on the Chestnut Hill Campus for one day only, commencement. But things were about to change. Boston College President Michael P. Walsh, S.J., had announced a week before commencement that the University planned to break ground on a nursing school building on the Chestnut Hill Campus in 1961. But after giving the benediction that formally closed commencement, Boston Archbishop Richard Cushing remained on the dais—and announced he would donate the cost of the new building. Construction could begin as soon as the following spring; the new nursing school would open for classes by 1960. After a standing ovation, Walsh took the podium and proclaimed the building would be named for the archbishop. Cushing Hall was a signal advance not just for the School of Nursing but also for Boston College itself. As Walsh noted in a letter to Cushing shortly after his dramatic announcement, his was “the greatest single benefaction in the history of Boston College.” The following morning, a Boston Globe headline declared, “Gift comes as surprise to graduates,” over a page-one story.

Top: Postcard image of Cushing Hall, 1960. Nursing pins: Courtesy Laurel Eisenhauer, Elizabeth Grady, Martha Cadigan Sullivan. Bottom left: Bas-relief insignia in Cushing Hall. Bottom middle: Proposed design for building detail, Cushing Hall, 1959. Maginnis & Walsh & Kennedy Architects. Bottom right: Cardinal Richard J. Cushing, flanked by Boston College President Michael P. Walsh, S.J., seals the cornerstone of the building at its dedication, March 1960.


voice | spring 2014

boston college william f. connell school of nursing


Left: Cardinal Cushing and Fr. Michael P. Walsh breaking ground on Cushing Hall, 1960. Above: blueprints.

Those who had observed Cushing’s episcopacy may not have

Grady ’59, M.S. ’64, recalls that her fellow nursing students

been entirely surprised (see sidebar on page 10). Cushing began

frequently “ran the gauntlet” through clusters of male stu-

urging Boston College to establish a school of nursing in 1945.

dents who catcalled and even mooned them as they entered

He made a case to University President William Keleher, S.J.,

Lyons Hall for lunch.

who complained to the Jesuit Curia in Rome that coeducation would hurt Boston College’s “ethos.” But Cushing’s appeals were pragmatic and spiritual. The Boston Archdiocese was in dire need of nurses to staff its bur-

“Forced into a separate, small place, we built very deep connections,” says Sullivan. “We thought of ourselves as nursing students, not Boston College students.” Cushing dedicated his namesake hall before an audience of

geoning network of Catholic hospitals. Nurses, he maintained,

5,000 on March 25, 1960. The following week, nursing stu-

answered “a call to work for God in service of a particular

dents and faculty left 126 Newbury for good. “We finally felt like

group of God’s creatures.”

we belonged at Boston College. We had a home,” says Grady.

The school opened in February 1947 with a class of 35. For

On Chestnut Hill, nursing students and faculty settled into

the next 13 years, nursing students pursued their bachelor of

spacious, comfortable quarters with ample room to expand.

science degrees in overcrowded classrooms making do with

Many spent their limited free time in a first-floor student lounge,

small desk-chairs and blackboards at 126 Newbury. Nursing

filled in those days with cigarette smoke. More often they gravi-

faculty stayed downtown while their counterparts in the College

tated to the bright and spacious nursing library on the top floor.

of Arts and Sciences commuted from Chestnut Hill to the Back Clockwise from top left: Edward Morse of the M.S. Kelleher Company points out construction details to sophomore class officers Eleanor (Frank) Cook ’62, Sarah (Sally) (Osborne) Russell ’62, M.S. ’67, Joan (Mullahy) Riley ’62, Virginia StanleyTaub ’62; blueprint; Cushing Hall classroom; Elizabeth Grady, Laurel Eisenhauer, and Martha Cadigan Sullivan. Courtesy: Sub Turri.


voice | spring 2014

Bay to teach English, history, philosophy, and theology. “We loved our little, very cramped quarters. We felt like pioneers,” says Martha Cadigan Sullivan ’60, M.S. ’63, a member of the first senior class to graduate from the nursing school in Cushing Hall. There were no labs in the converted building on

“ We finally felt like we belonged at Boston College. We had a home.” — elizabeth grady ’59, M.S. ’64

Newbury Street, requiring students to perform all clinical work in area hospitals, primarily Boston City Hospital in the South End. The nurses did commute to Chestnut Hill on Tuesdays and

When Sullivan thinks back to the building, she says: “I think

Thursdays to take their lab classes in Devlin Hall. Fellow stu-

of the people who filled it. That library was all because of Mary

dents made it clear the women were not welcome. Elizabeth

Pekarski,” the nursing school’s genial, bespectacled founding boston college william f. connell school of nursing


William F. Connell An astute businessman who made the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, William F.

Richard Cardinal Cushing

Connell often joked that he was just a “junk man.” (Connell Limited Partnership, the metal

As Boston’s archbishop from 1944 through 1970, Cardinal

Top left: Cardinal Cushing gets behind the wheel at the groundbreaking.

Richard Cushing was involved

Top middle: A large crowd turned out to watch the historic event.

in the planning, development,

Top right: Fr. Walsh, Dean Rita P. Kelleher, and Mary Jane Gibbons Walten ’59 break ground on the new building.

groundbreaking, and dedica-

recycling and equipment manufacturer he founded, was one of the country’s largest privately owned companies.) A graduate of Boston College and Harvard Business School and vice chair of Boston College’s Board of Trustees, Connell was

tion of several Boston College buildings. But he typically didn’t climb behind the wheel of an excavator while dressed in his ceremonial vestments as he did in February 1959, when he presided at the groundbreaking for the nursing school building. The nursing school was special to Cushing, who personally raised and donated $1 million toward the cost of constructing the building that would be named in his honor.

As nurses went from wearing crisp white uniforms to

of FleetBank and BankBoston and orchestrate the deal

scrubs in the 1970s, capping ceremonies lost their signifi-

that kept the New England Patriots in Massachusetts.

cance and disappeared. Starting in the 1980s, the faculty grew,

The son of Irish immigrants—his father was a bus

Chaplain Edward Gorman, S.J., who taught theology at the

the curriculum evolved, and classroom use changed as the

driver, his mother a seamstress—Connell studied

school for 25 years, recalls Grady. “It was a mess—he let us

school began adding master’s programs in fields from pediat-

accounting at Boston College, graduating magna cum

hang our laundry and lunch there all the time—but a won-

ric nursing to gerontology as well as the first doctoral program

laude in 1959. He was a daily communicant, who often

derful mess for us all to camp out.”

in nursing at a Jesuit university. The nursing library collec-

said he lived by three rules: “Be good, do your best,

tion outgrew its space on the top floor and moved to O’Neill

and go to Mass.” He also said, “If you get lucky, you’re supposed to share.”

librarian, who built one of the most expansive nursing collections in the country before she retired in 1978. Students also gathered in the office of School of Nursing

No one, however, left a larger imprint on the School of

Spry and plain-spoken, a South Boston native and the

Nursing in its first decades than Rita P. Kelleher. In 1947,

Library in 1991. The Connell School now offers post-master’s

son of Irish immigrants, Cushing was known through-

when the now-legendary dean arrived at the University’s main

certificate programs in fields from forensic nursing to pallia-

out his priesthood for advocating tolerance and

gate to interview for the school’s first faculty position, she was

tive care as well.

civil rights and supporting missionary work. Named

told that the president did not meet with potential kitchen

Archbishop of Boston in 1944, he became a monolith

employees. Within a year she was the nursing school’s dean.

of a Catholic fundraiser and a model for a sprightly,

“She provided the school, the students, and the faculty

Change is now afoot once again. The Connell School of Nursing has outgrown its beloved home of 55 years. Next summer, the school will leave the four-story granite complex on

University President William P. Leahy, S.J., presented him with Boston College’s highest award, the Ignatius Medal, in a bedside ceremony the day before he died. Connell was only the 10th recipient of the honor.

informal, and inclusive priesthood.

[with] a sense of continuity from the downtown setting to the

Middle Campus, where hundreds of faculty members educated

William F. Connell lost his battle with cancer on

Cushing became Boston’s cardinal in 1958. During

main campus,” says Laurel Eisenhauer ’62, who earned her

and trained more than 10,000 nurses for more than a half

August 22, 2001, leaving his wife Margot and six chil-

his tenure, he founded a South American-based mis-

Ph.D. in 1977 from Boston College’s School of Education and

century. By September 2015, CSON expects to have settled in

dren, all Boston College graduates, including CSON

sionary, delivered the invocation at President John F.

was on the SON faculty from 1970 to 2005.

its new home on the second and third floors of Maloney Hall.

alumna Lisa McNamara ’89. On September 12, 2003,

Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, and said the slain


active in civic life. He quietly helped steer the merger

“She was a lady to the nth degree, incredibly sophisticated,”

Announcing the move in a letter to students, faculty, staff,

the Connell family gathered at the University for the

president’s funeral Mass in 1963. He left the Vatican

says Grady. “She took a lot of hard knocks from the Jesuits for

and alumni last fall, Dean Susan Gennaro wrote, “We will

formal dedication of its school of nursing in his honor.

Council’s second session early, claiming his time

being a woman leader, but she always rose above it.”

carry the traditions of Cushing Hall with us to our future

Margot C. Connell, William’s widow, carries on

would be better served fundraising for the poor. Over

Kelleher hosted regular student-faculty teas, where she

home in Maloney, where we will train the next generation of

his dedication to Boston College by serving on the

20 years, he built orphanages, nursing homes, centers

spoke of the importance of comprehensive nursing care and

extraordinary nurses as they build their dreams and careers.”

University’s Board of Trustees. She is a convening

for the blind and deaf, 86 churches, dozens of paro-

treating patients as humans, recalls Grady. “We were always

For alumni like Sullivan, “it is hard to imagine the building

chial schools, and hospitals.

most enamored with the faculty who were great clinicians.

being abandoned. But back then, we couldn’t have imag-

In spite of the fact that Dean Kelleher never did anything clini-

ined what the building would come to mean.” After all, she

cally, we thought she knew more about nursing than anybody.”

observes: “We were on the cusp of a new age too.”

voice | spring 2014

cochair of the Light the World campaign and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2009.


boston college william f. connell school of nursing


presiding saints by bari walsh

st. radegund 525–586/87

Photographed by Lee Pellegrini

Known for her good works, humility, and a dedication to intellectual pursuits rare for her time, St. Radegund was a beacon of light in the early Dark Ages. The devout daughter of a sixth-century German king, she was taken among war spoils by an invading Frankish king and later forced to become his reluctant queen. The union was unhappy, all the more so when he had her brother killed. She fled the marriage, turned to God, and was consecrated as a deaconess, later founding a monastery that became a center of learning and peacemaking. Throughout her life, she devoted herself to the poor and the sick, founding hospitals—including a leper hospital—and nursing patients herself.

When Dean Susan Gennaro told alumni last fall that the School of Nursing would “carry the traditions of Cushing Hall with us to our future home in Maloney,” she wasn’t speaking entirely in metaphor. Five stained glass panels given to the school in the late 1950s and early 1960s to adorn the third-floor chapel in Cushing will make the move to Maloney in 2015. The windows, three of which depict a saint whose life and works are directly connected to the practice of nursing, are expected to serve as a vital link to a cherished past, even as the School looks forward to a new era in its expansive, state-of-the-art Maloney home.

This panel was a gift of Rita P. Kelleher and Pauline Sampson.

st. elizabeth of hungary 1207–1231 A venerated symbol of Christian charity, St. Elizabeth was a princess who became a nurse. Born in 1207, the daughter of King Alexander II, she was a pious child, living with an austerity that defied royal tradition. Marrying at 14 to Louis of Thuringia—it was by all accounts a happy, devoted union— she rejected the pomp and frivolity of the court, taking up a life of service to the poor and sick. She distributed alms during a time of famine, ministering directly to those most afflicted. Regaining her dowry following her husband’s death, she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg, Germany, where she visited patients daily to give care and comfort, as shown in this panel. She died in 1231, not yet 24, and was canonized four years later. This panel was a gift of Ann Prendergast.


voice | spring 2014

st. catherine of siena 1347–1380 Born in 1347 during the bubonic plague that became known as the Black Death, St. Catherine spent much of her life ministering to those afflicted by its ravages. Intensely devout, she joined the Third Order of the Dominicans at age 16 and became known for the kind of radical charity this panel depicts—giving away her own food and clothing, often declining to eat, caring for the dying and preparing them for death. Prone to mystical visions, she was nonetheless drawn to the affairs of the world. Her meditations, collected in the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, remain a pillar of Italian literature. This panel was a gift of Rev. Walter J. Meagher, S.J., given in memory of Dennis R. and Rose A. Meagher and Mary Burke.

boston college william f. connell school of nursing


Undergraduate research fellows program

A study in success by alicia potter

When Ariana Chao ’10, M.S. ’11, started her freshman year at the Connell School of Nursing, she had no plans to pursue research. “It sounded dry,” she says. Today, Chao is working on her doctoral dissertation at the Yale School of Nursing and describes her research in a way that might surprise her freshman self. She calls it “fun.” Chao’s dissertation is on stress, binge eating, and metabolic

Fellows and faculty define the goals of the not-for-credit

abnormalities. In a single week recently, she received a National

program broadly, from cultivating research skills and strong

Institute of Nursing research grant; edited a research manu-

mentor relationships to expanding students’ understanding of

script for publication and submitted another; conducted data

nursing roles. In particular, they say, the program makes real a

analysis related to food cravings, food intake, and weight; and

concept emphasized in the classroom: that research is integral

helped to organize a colloquium for her fellow doctoral students.

to excellent clinical care.

“I’ve fallen in love with research,” she says. “There are so many complex questions for nurses to answer.” Chao is among a growing number of students who can credit

“The program sets the stage early that developing knowledge and generating evidence are part of a nurse’s responsibility,” says Catherine Read, associate dean of undergraduate nursing,

the Connell School’s Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

who oversees the research effort with Wolfe. “These are the

for transforming their passion for nursing into an interest in

skills that students need to become leaders.”

research. Now in its 17th year, the program gives undergraduates an opportunity to collaborate with a faculty member on a research project, giving them firsthand experience in nursing

“ I’ve fallen in love with research.” — ariana chao

science. Fellows, working closely with their mentors, take on a range of research responsibilities, often in a hospital or lab, and are paid hourly for their efforts. Chao assisted Associate

According to Donald L. Hafner, who is vice provost for

Dean for Research Barbara Wolfe for three years on a study

undergraduate academic affairs, the Undergraduate Research

analyzing the psychobiology of eating disorders—an experience

Fellows Program began in 1997, when Boston College under-

she says “changed my life.”

graduate schools received donor and strategic plan funds to start student-faculty research fellowship programs. (Other top-

Ariana Chao. Photographs: Donna Alberico


voice | spring 2014

ranked nursing schools offer comparable programs.)

boston college william f. connell school of nursing


Research studies on nursing education support such initiatives: exposing students to experiential research reduces the historical tendency of nursing undergraduates to dismiss

As Wolfe puts it, “There are no GPA limits on who can make a difference.” Currently, 27 out of 52 faculty members participate in the

But fellows’ responsibilities and experiences vary greatly and depend on the stage of the faculty members’ research they become involved in. Not all research is quite so high profile, par-

research as boring and to overlook the research-practice

program. After students submit applications in June, Read

ticularly in its early stages, she observes. Some fellows never set

connection. One paper published last year in the Journal

matches each of them with one or two fellows. Some matches

foot in a lab; instead, they might pull literature from the library

of Nursing Education and Practice found that 67 percent of

are naturals, such as Chao and Wolfe, who share an interest in

or input data in their dorm rooms. Chao came on at the begin-

undergraduate nursing students who participated in a data

eating disorders. Pairs of students and faculty find common

ning of one of Wolfe’s studies and helped to recruit subjects suf-

collection project indicated that their understanding of

ground based on the patient population being studied, the type

fering from anorexia, a hard-to-reach population. Chao posted

research improved.

of study being conducted, or on a broader health care specialty,

flyers at area colleges, placed ads in newspapers, and screened

such as interventions for chronic illness or health promotion.

potential participants; later, she entered data and assembled

Participation in the Boston College fellows program has risen, Read said. In the last five years, the program has fluc-

Some students working on projects in later phases have

research files. Given the need for a large sample, her responsi-

tuated from 38 students in 2010–11 to 65 students in 2012–13.

been named as coauthors on published studies. Other fellows

bilities didn’t change much over her three years in the program.

Moving forward, Read and Wolfe hope to increase not only

have presented at the campus-wide Undergraduate Research

She now employs techniques learned from her mentor, such as

participation but also student work hours (the average now is

Symposium, the Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Chi Annual Research

double-entering data, to increase the rigor of her own research.

four hours a week).

Day, and conferences for the Roy Adaptation Association,

For other students, the program’s greatest reward is the access it provides to specialized medical settings. In her first year of the program as a junior, Amanda Barbosa ’14 collected

“ The program makes real a concept emphasized in the classroom: that research is integral to excellent clinical care.” — barbara wolfe, associate dean for research

stool specimens from infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was paired with Associate Professor Katherine Gregory on a study investigating how bacteria in preterm infants’ guts affect their risk for necrotizing enterocolitis. Barbosa, an aspiring pediatrics

To Read’s knowledge, there have never been formal aca-

Eastern Nursing Research Society, New England Regional Black

and maternal care nurse, says she couldn’t have asked for a

says that she might never have considered a Ph.D. had it not

demic requirements for applicants, though in the past students

Nurses Association, and NANDA. When Jennifer Engel ’09

better assignment.

been for the opportunity to witness Wolfe “at the head of the

with higher GPAs tended to be selected first. In her nine years

was working with Wolfe during her senior year, she won the

administering the program, Read’s thinking on who should

“I was so excited!” she says. “I had never been in a NICU

table,” a nurse leading an interdisciplinary team of physicians,

student poster presentation award at the American Psychiatric

or hospital lab before.” She returned to the project this year to

nutritionists, psychiatrists, and other nurses in a research lab at

take part has changed, she said, and she is more inclined to

Nurses Association annual meeting—an honor intended for a

assist with data analysis.

the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Wolfe and Chao have

accept students with lower GPAs from less academically privi-

master’s-level participant. And Stephanie Van Dam ’13 assisted

leged backgrounds. (“In such instances,” she added, “a student

Professor June Andrews Horowitz, an expert in postpartum

set individual goals. But students gain from the experience,

must demonstrate progress, produce above-average academic

depression, in designing a game titled “Glad Baby, Sad Baby”

whether they are assigned to the library or the lab, undergradu-

helps students to fully grasp the critical link between research

work, and be able to handle the added responsibility.”)

to educate mothers about their infants’ emotional cues.

ates and faculty say.

and practice. For example, Read explains, fellows shift their

And if Connell School faculty members have enough projects

Read reports that the number of students now presenting

Faculty mentors and students typically work together to

One thing that all students seem to develop in the program

stayed in touch. Faculty and fellows agree that the program, above all,

focus from how to do a particular task, such as start an IV

to go around, all applicants are accepted; if not, upperclassmen

outside of the Boston College campus “marks a real change.

is better critical-thinking skills. Faculty note that students they

or read an EKG, to why the evidence tells them that it’s the

receive priority.

There wasn’t a lot of that going on 10 years ago.”

work with become better consumers of research; more able to

right thing to do. And Wolfe says that Connell School faculty’s

analyze and apply scientific reading at a higher level. After log-

emphasis on scholarship that addresses “the health issues of

ging hundreds of specimens, adding to the three years’ worth

everyday people” further illuminates the classroom-to-lab-to-

that had already been collected, Barbosa notes she not only has

bedside connection.

a better understanding of clinical papers but also greater interAmanda Barbosa. Photographs: Lee Pellegrini

est in research methodologies. Many faculty and fellows develop long-lasting mentoring relationships. A graduate of Yale’s master’s in nursing program and the Connell School’s Ph.D. program, Wolfe helped Chao

“Our faculty research covers many areas of illness and mental health, but it’s all about bettering the lives of others, especially the underserved,” says Wolfe. “Fellows see firsthand how these projects make a difference by advancing and improving care.” Barbosa, who hopes to practice in a hospital and seek out

prep for her admission interviews at Yale, wrote her letters of

research opportunities, says that she will graduate with a “deeper

recommendation, and even drove Chao to New Haven and

perspective” on the impact that nurses have on research and,

introduced her to one of Wolfe’s mentors, the prominent nurse

conversely, the impact of research on nurses. “I now realize how

scientist Margaret Grey, with whom Chao is now working. Chao

much research can help us implement change,” she says.


boston college william f. connell school of nursing


“The focus on health promotion and keeping people well is

for their annual screenings, their pap smears, and their prenatal

need to prepare people to

care. That makes us happy. When

deliver nursing care in a differ-

women didn’t come in for their

ent model.”

prenatal care, they showed up

— s usan kelly-weeder, associate professor and board member at large for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

later with hypertension,

faculty field report

How affordable care shapes nursing practice

“There is a better understanding from our students about what primary care is. For awhile, everyone wanted to be specialized, almost mimicking the physician model. Now they recognize that there is a real underserved need. They get it.” “Over the next 18 years, we’re going to have 8,000 people per day turning 65. And nursing has

The health insurance mandate that Massachusetts pioneered in 2006 has

always focused on the older per-

spurred more than 400,000 people to get coverage while intensifying the

people. It is a challenging pop-

need for primary care providers in a state that already had a shortage.

work. The demand for this specialty is going to be huge.”

As the demand for primary care services has expanded, nurses—and particularly nurse practitioners—have stepped in to meet the need,

insured who previously had no insurance or not enough coverage. “Primary care is the answer to the health care

son, the special needs of older ulation and people have to be uniquely suited for that kind of — jane flanagan, associate professor, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program “I think the shift is definitely to

crisis in the country,” says Susan Kelly-Weeder,

members. They say the state health law has dra-

an associate professor at the Connell School. But

One of the goals is to take peo-

matically influenced the field of primary care

the demand extends far beyond what physicians

ple out of the emergency room…

nursing and its clinical specialties. Meanwhile,

alone can meet. “That’s the issue now,” she says.

and have them hooked up with

they are encouraged by shifting attitudes as

“Who is going to do all this primary care?”

a primary care provider….There

tioners in new models of care.

Voice asked members of the Connell School faculty to weigh in—to share their views on how

The Massachusetts experience is beginning

the Affordable Care Act and its Massachusetts

to play out nationwide as the federal Affordable

predecessor are changing the practice of primary

Care Act adds millions to the ranks of the

care nursing and their clinical specialties.

diabetes, and then low-birthweight babies.” “I think nurse practitioners are encouraged by the current trends in health care. Now they are so integrated and part of the health care team, and patients now know nurse practitioners better.” — allyssa harris, assistant professor, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program “The biggest worry that I have is that our psychiatric nurse practitioners are pigeonholed as prescribers. Up to now, practices have been dictated by reimbursements. We’re not sitting down and doing psychotherapy. You take out your prescription

according to recent studies and nursing faculty

patients accept the central role of nurse practi-

“We started seeing a lot of people who hadn’t [previously] come

where we’re going. We really

primary care and prevention.

have to be more of us out there to provide the care, because this puts more pressure on us to see more patients. We’re busier, there’s more documentation, and care becomes more challenging as time becomes more compressed.” —r osemary byrne, clinical instructor, Family Nurse Practitioner Program

pad and write. “But now we are seeing a bit of a swing. We’re looking at stress management; we’re looking at exercise. We’re starting to look at quality-of-life issues.” — p amela terreri, clinical assistant professor, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program “More than 96 percent of children in Massachusetts are now covered, up from 87 percent in 2006, meaning that more children are getting their recommended wellness screenings and fewer are ending up in emergency rooms with acute problems.” — sherri st. pierre, clinical assistant professor, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program

Photographs by Caitlin Cunningham

— ralph ranalli


voice | spring 2014

boston college william f. connell school of nursing



faculty publications

Jane Flanagan Stamp, K.D., J.M. Flanagan, J. ShindulRothschild, “Predictors of Excess Heart Failure Readmissions: Implications for Nursing Practice,” Journal of Nursing Care Quality 29, no. 2 (2014): 115–123.

Holly Fontenot Fontenot, H.B., E. George, “Sexually Transmitted Infections in Pregnancy,” Nursing for Women’s Health 18, no. 1 (2014): 67–72. Fontenot, H.B., H.C. Fantasia, A.C. Charyk, M.A. Sutherland, “Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Risk Factors, Vaccination Patterns, and Vaccine Perceptions Among a Sample of Male College Students,” Journal of American College Health 62, no. 3 (2014): 186–192. Fontenot, H.B., H.C. Fantasia, T.J. Lee-St. John, M.A. Sutherland, “The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence Duration on Individual and Partner-Related Sexual Risk Factors Among Women,” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health 59, no. 1 (2014): 67–73. Fontenot, H.B., A.L. Harris, “Pharmacologic Management of Osteoporosis,” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 43, no. 2 (2014): 236–245. Sutherland, M.A., H.B. Fontenot, H.C. Fantasia, “Beyond Assessment: Examining Providers’ Responses to Disclosures of Violence,” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2014). DOI: 10.1002/23276924.12101 Fontenot, H.B., H.C. Fantasia, “Women’s Health, Pharmacology, and Aging,” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 43, no. 2 (2014): 224–225.

Susan Gennaro Kafulafula, U.K., M.K. Hutchinson, S. Gennaro, S. Guttmacher, E. Chirwa, “Practice Environment Related Barriers to Exclusive Breastfeeding Among HIV-Positive Mothers in Blantyre, Malawi,” Health 5, no. 9 (2013): 1412–1421. Ruiz, R.J., S. Gennaro, C. O’Connor, C.N. Marti, A. Lullof, T. Keshinover, A. Gibeau, B. Melnyk, “Measuring Coping in Pregnant Minority Women,” Western Journal of Nursing Research (2014). DOI: 10.1177/ 0193945914527176

HPV risks, vaccine benefits: young males unaware Male college students are at higher risk than they think for exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV), and many have not been vaccinated against this common sexually transmitted infection, according to research by Assistant Professors Holly Fontenot and Melissa Sutherland and CSON alumnae Anna Charyk, M.S. ’13, and Heidi Collins Fantasia, M.S. ’97, Ph.D. ’09. The study appeared online in March in the Journal of American College Health. Conducting an electronic survey of 18- to 25-year-old males attending a public university in the Northeast, the investigators found 93 percent of the 735 participants—all currently or previously sexually active—reported they were not at risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, even though their condom use was low (51 percent used condoms sometimes or never) and their mean number of lifetime sexual partners was high (6.3). Additionally, only 14 percent had received the three-shot vaccination against HPV, which can spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex and cause genital warts, certain cancers, and other problems. Some students had started the vaccine series while three-quarters had not been immunized at all. (The CDC recommends HPV vaccine for all adolescents and “catch-up” vaccines for older teens and young adults.) The research team found many survey takers lacked knowledge about HPV and the vaccine; other barriers to vaccination included cost, access, and fear of shots. The authors note that college health providers are well positioned to influence HPV vaccination rates through education, awareness, and immunization services for students.

Hawkins, S.S., C. Dacey, S. Gennaro, T. Keshinover, S. Gross, A. Gibeau, A. Lulloff, K.M. Aldous, “Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Nonsmoking Pregnant Women in New York City,” Nicotine & Tobacco Research (2014). DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntu034 Gennaro, S., “Your Legacy,” Journal of Nursing Scholarship 45, no. 4 (2013): 327. Gennaro, S., “Conducting Important and Ethical Research,” Journal of Nursing Scholarship 46, no. 2 (2014): 73.

Pamela Grace Willis, D.G., P.J. Grace, D.J. Perry, T.L. Zucchero, “Facilitating Humanization: Liberating the Profession of Nursing from Institutional Confinement on Behalf of Social Justice,” in Philosophies and Practices of


voice | spring 2014

Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis, eds. P.N. Kagan, M.C. Smith, P.L. Chinn (London, England: Routledge, 2014).

Katherine Gregory Gregory, K.E., W.A. Walker, “Immunologic Factors in Human Milk and Disease Prevention in the Preterm Infant,” Current Pediatrics Reports 1, no. 4 (2013): 222–228. Gregory, K.E., A.B. Winston, H.S. Yamamoto, H.Y. Dawood, T. Fashemi, R.N. Fichorova, L.J. Van Marter, “Urinary Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Protein Predicts Necrotizing Enterocolitis,” The Journal of Pediatrics (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.01.057 Gregory, K.E., N. DuBois, T. Steele, “Nutritional and Immunologic Considerations Relevant to Infant Nutrition,” The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing 28, no. 1 (2014): 80–86.

Allyssa Harris Fontenot, H.B., A.L. Harris, “Pharmacologic Management of Osteoporosis,” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 43, no. 2 (2014): 236–245.

M. Katherine Hutchinson Kafulafula, U.K., M.K. Hutchinson, S. Gennaro, S. Guttmacher, E. Chirwa, “Practice Environment Related Barriers to Exclusive Breastfeeding Among HIV-Positive Mothers in Blantyre, Malawi,” Health 5, no. 9 (2013): 1412–1421. Cederbaum, J.A., A.B. Adhikari, E.G. Guerrero, M.K. Hutchinson, “Relationship Satisfaction and Communication Among Urban Minority HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Mothers: The Influence on Daughter’s Alcohol Use,” Journal of Family Issues (2013). DOI: 10.1177/0192513X13513582 Hutchinson, M.K., M.G. Shedlin, B. Gallo, B. Krainovich-Miller, T. Fulmer, “Ethics-inthe-Round: A Guided Peer Approach for Addressing Ethical Issues Confronting Nursing Students,” Nursing Education Perspectives 35, no. 1 (2014): 58–60.

Carina Katigbak Ursua, R.A., D.E. Aguilar, L.C. Wyatt, C. Katigbak, N.S. Islam, S.D. Tandon, P.R.M.Q. Nur, N.V. Devanter, M.J. Rey, C. Trinh-Shevrin, “A Community Health Worker Intervention to Improve Management of Hypertension among Filipino Americans in New York and New Jersey: A Pilot Study,” Ethnicity and Disease 24, no. 1 (2014): 67–76. Kovner, C.T., C.S. Brewer, F. Fatehi, C. Katigbak, “Changing Trends in Newly Licensed RNs,” American Journal of Nursing 114, no. 2 (2014): 26–34.

Tam Nguyen Nguyen, T.H., H-R Han, M.T. Kim, K.S. Chan, “An Introduction to Item Response Theory for Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement,” The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research 7, no. 1 (2014): 23–35.

Judith Shindul-Rothschild Stamp, K.D., J.M. Flanagan, J. ShindulRothschild, “Predictors of Excess Heart Failure Readmissions: Implications for Nursing Practice,” Journal of Nursing Care Quality 29, no. 2 (2014): 115–123.

Shindul-Rothschild, J., M. Gregas, “Patient Turnover and Nursing Employment in Massachusetts Hospitals Before and After Health Insurance Reform: Implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/1527154414527829

Kelly Stamp Stamp, K.D., J.M. Flanagan, J. ShindulRothschild, “Predictors of Excess Heart Failure Readmissions: Implications for Nursing Practice,” Journal of Nursing Care Quality 29, no. 2 (2014): 115–123. Stamp, K.D., S.B. Dunbar, P.C. Clark, C.M. Reilly, R.A. Gary, M. Higgins, N.

Kaslow, “Family Context Influences Psychological Outcomes of Depressive Symptoms and Emotional Quality of Life in Patients with Heart Failure, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (2014). DOI: 10.1097/ JCN.0000000000000097 Pozzar, R.A., N.A. Allen, K.D. Stamp, D.A. Sampson, “Focusing on Feedback: How Nurse Practitioners Can Use Focus Group Interviews to Build a Patient-Centered Practice,” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2013). DOI: 10.1002/2327-6924.12065 Stamp, K.D., M.A. Machado, N.A. Allen, “Transitional Care Programs Improve Outcomes for Heart Failure Patients: An Integrative Review,” Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 28, no. 2 (2014): 140–154.

Patient-reported outcomes as alternative research tool The use of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures is growing in health care research, and demand for high-quality data from PROs has intensified with today’s focus on patient-centered care and outcomes. A new paper by Assistant Professor Tam Nguyen and collaborators at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas at Austin introduces a research framework, item response theory (IRT), and its potential for improving the efficiency and accuracy of measuring PROs—questionnaires completed by patients about their perceived health status. The paper was published online in the journal Patient in January. An alternative to classical test theory, IRT “is a set of mathematical models that describe the relationship between an individual’s ‘ability’ or ‘trait’ and how they respond to items on a scale,” the authors write. Already used extensively in education, IRT is gaining traction in health care, they say; for example, it is being used to develop computerized adaptive testing, which bases items for test-takers on responses to previous questions (think MCATs). Their article outlines IRT concepts and illustrates typical applications using existing data from 636 Korean- and Vietnamese-American adults who responded to two questionnaires with different formats, one assessing health literacy in the context of high blood pressure, and another measuring depression. Nguyen and her colleagues also provide a handy glossary of IRT-related terms, such as ability invariance, function curves, and monotonicity.

boston college william f. connell school of nursing


faculty publications

Family function affects heart patients’ emotional well-being

Vessey, J.A., R.L. DiFazio, T.D. Strout, “Youth Bullying: A Review of the Science and Call to Action,” Nursing Outlook 61, no. 5 (2013): 347–345.

Patients with heart failure tend to fare better psychologically when families function well, understand the disease, and support patients in decisions about their care, concludes a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing this year and led by Assistant Professor Kelly Stamp and researchers at Emory University and Georgia State University.

DiFazio, R.L., J.A. Vessey, “Non-Medical Out-of-Pocket Expenses Incurred by Families During Their Child’s Hospitalization,” Journal of Child Health Care 7, no. 3 (2013): 230–241.

The investigators say their results underscore the need for clinicians to better understand the effects of age, ethnicity, family dynamics, and disease knowledge on patients’ well-being and to incorporate interventions aimed at decreasing depressive symptoms (such as sadness and feelings of guilt) and increasing emotional quality of life for individuals with heart failure, a chronic condition affecting more than five million Americans. The study involved 117 patient-family pairs recruited from three large medical centers in the southeast U.S. and explored patients’ perceptions of their family functioning (such as communication and problem solving); autonomy support (how much relatives accept, rather than criticize, patient choices around care); and family members’ knowledge about heart failure and its management. Among the findings: Younger patients and those perceiving poor family functioning should be considered at risk for greater depressive symptoms and a diminished quality of daily life. Ethnicity was also a factor in outcomes. For example, researchers noted that African-American patients appeared less sensitive than whites to lower family functioning, which could be partly explained by having more sources of emotional support, such as extended families and faith communities.

Melissa Sutherland Fontenot, H.B., H.C. Fantasia, A.C. Charyk, M.A. Sutherland, “Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Risk Factors, Vaccination Patterns, and Vaccine Perceptions Among a Sample of Male College Students,” Journal of American College Health 62, no. 3 (2014): 186–192. Fontenot, H.B., H.C. Fantasia, T.J. Lee-St. John, M.A. Sutherland, “The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence Duration on Individual and Partner-Related Sexual Risk Factors Among Women,” Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health 59, no. 1 (2014): 67–73.

Sutherland, M.A., H.B. Fontenot, H.C. Fantasia, “Beyond Assessment: Examining Providers’ Responses to Disclosures of Violence,” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2014). DOI: 10.1002/23276924.12101

Danny Willis Willis, D.G., P.J. Grace, D.J. Perry, T.L. Zucchero, “Facilitating Humanization: Liberating the Profession of Nursing from Institutional Confinement on Behalf of Social Justice,” in Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis, eds. P.N. Kagan, M.C. Smith, P.L. Chinn (London, England: Routledge, 2014).

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Phillips, K.E., K. Keane, B.E. Wolfe, “Peripheral Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Bulimia Nervosa: A Systematic Review,” Archives of Psychiatric Nursing (2013). http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2013.11.006

Terri LaCoursiere Zucchero Willis, D.G., P.J. Grace, D.J. Perry, T.L. Zucchero, “Facilitating Humanization: Liberating the Profession of Nursing from Institutional Confinement on Behalf of Social Justice,” in Philosophies and Practices of Emancipatory Nursing: Social Justice as Praxis, eds. P.N. Kagan, M.C. Smith, P.L. Chinn (London, England: Routledge, 2014).

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Sutherland, M.A., H.C. Fantasia, L. Adkison, “Sexual Health and Dissociative Experiences among Abused Women,” Issues in Mental Health Nursing 35, no. 1 (2014): 41–49.

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sonce@bc.edu 617-552-4256 All research summaries by Debra Bradley Ruder


voice | spring 2014

boston college william f. connell school of nursing


william william f. f. connell connell school school of of nursing nursing 140 140 Commonwealth Commonwealth Avenue Avenue Chestnut Hill, Hill, MA MA 02467 02467 Chestnut www.bc.edu/cson www.bc.edu/cson


voice | spring 2014

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