URI nursing appoints associate dean for graduate programs, research

Katherine Hutchinson is nursing professor at Boston College

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Katherine Hutchinson
Katherine Hutchinson

KINGSTON, R.I. Feb. 13, 2019 — The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing has appointed Katherine Hutchinson to the position of associate dean of the College’s graduate programs and research.

Hutchinson — Ph.D., registered nurse and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing — comes to URI from Boston College, where she has been a tenured nursing professor since 2012. She has extensive experience in graduate nursing education, having served as associate dean for graduate programs at BC until 2017. Hutchinson earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Delaware. She completed post-doctoral training at the Center for Health Outcomes & Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the founding director of the UPenn nursing undergraduate honors program.

She plans to bring that experience to the URI College of Nursing, which she said already has a head start as an innovative, inclusive college focused on leading in the health care industry.

“There are some amazing things going on at URI. I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the College, the faculty, the students,” Hutchinson said. “The College has accomplished faculty who are really enthusiastic about moving nursing education and health care forward. People are really happy with what they are doing there. It’s really contagious, that kind of enthusiasm.”

Hutchinson has a clinical background in maternal-child and neonatal critical care nursing. Her research focuses on adolescent and young adult risk behaviors, and influential parenting behaviors. She focuses on HIV, sexual risk and violence prevention with high risk youth and young adults. Her HIV prevention work includes international research conducted in Jamaica. From 2007 to 2012, she led a randomized, controlled mother-daughter HIV risk reduction intervention in Kingston, Jamaica, with collaborators from the University of the West Indies.

Collaborating closely not just with fellow nurses but with providers in multiple health disciplines is a necessity in health care today, Hutchinson said. URI emphasizes that approach to health care with such entities as the Academic Health Collaborative, which combines the Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“The whole Academic Health Collaborative idea is intriguing. You can really promote a symbiotic relationship among health disciplines,” Hutchinson said. “If you work collaboratively, you can really move forward. URI has that. It’s inspiring to have that kind of emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation to move health care forward.”

Since 2001, Hutchinson has been principal- or co-investigator on numerous National Institutes of Health-funded research projects. She has widely published in professional peer-reviewed journals and served as a grant reviewer on NIH Scientific Review Groups.

“Dr. Hutchinson is a fabulous addition to college and the entire university,” College of Nursing Dean Barbara Wolfe said. “We are delighted to have her join the ranks of the URI College of Nursing as we continue to serve as a dynamic catalyst for improving health and transforming health care in our communities through innovation and excellence.”

Hutchinson is expected to join the URI College of Nursing in summer 2019. She will work alongside Mary Leveillee, associate dean for undergraduate programs, and Denise Coppa, who has served as interim associate dean for graduate programs over the past year. Hutchinson will be based in the Nursing Education Center in Providence.