Aug 19, 2022  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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Graduate Faculty and Fields of Interest

Avery-Desmarais, Shannon, DNP Program Director, Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-C, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Specializations: LGBTQ health, minority stress in LGBTQ nurses and gerontology.

Brisbois, Maryellen Associate Professor, Community Nursing, PhD, PHCNS-BC, University of Massachusetts Worcester. Specializations: Breast cancer, health disparities, global health, student exchange, chronic illness, vulnerable populations, quality of life, uncertainty

Chin, Elizabeth (Chairperson, Adult Nursing)  Associate Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, University of Massachusetts Worcester. Specializations: COPD, self-management, symptom management, qualitative methodology, learning differences

Desroches, Melissa  Assistant Professor, Community Nursing, PhD, RN, CNE, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specializations: developmental disability nurse and a nurse educator.

Dolce, Maria (Master’s Program Director) Associate Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, CNE New York University, Specializations: Integrated care, interprofessional practice and education, oral-systemic health, older adults.

Dunn, Dorothy (Chairperson, Community Nursing) Associate Professor, Community Nursing, PhD., RN, CNP, FNP-BC, AHN-BC, CDP, Florida Atlantic University Specializations: Formal and Informal Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia and Their Care Recipients, Gerontology, Rural Health, Global Health, Unitary Caring Science, Hermeneutic  Phenomenology Methodology, Dunn’s Theory of Compassion Energy, Nursing Philosophy

Elliott, Kathleen Senior Lecturer, Adult Nursing, DNP, ANP-BC University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specializations: substance use disorders, nursing education, and primary/urgent care.

Horowitz, June  Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, New York University. Specializations: family mental health, perinatal/ postpartum mental health disorders-specifically postpartum depression, mother-infant interaction, neurophysiologic markers for depressed mothers and their infants, intervention research, mixed methods research.

Hunter Revell, Susan M  Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, University of Rhode Island. Specializations: Adult health, theory, spinal cord injury, technology in the classroom.

Kellogg, Marni Assistant Professor, Community Nursing, PhD, RN, CPN,  University of Massachusetts Lowell. Specializations: pediatrics, secondary traumatic stress in nursing, engaging staff nurses in research.

Leseure, Pim Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, University of Missouri. Specializations: Diabetes care and prevention.

McCurry, Mary (Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track Coordinator) Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RNBC, ANP, ACNP, Boston College. Specializations: Adult Nurse Practitioner, theory and philosophy, family caregivers, technology in the classroom.

Rudd-Arieta, Margaret Lecturer, Community Nursing, DNP, PPCNP-BC, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Board Certified Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.  Specializations: Pediatrics, ermerging adults, Type I Diabetes, asthma, informatics

Schuler, Monika Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, CNE, Northeastern University. Specializations: Role development and nursing education.

Pounds, Karen  Clinical Associate Professor, Community Nursing, PhD, PMHCNS - BC, University of Rhode Island.  Specializations: psychiatric mental health nursing, social cognition dysfunction, chronic illness/symptom management, qualitative research methods.  

Sethares, Kristen (PhD Program Director) Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, CNE, FAHA, FHFSA, Boston College. Specializations: Adult health, chronic cardiac illness, self-care of illness, metacognitive learning strategies, quantitave research methods.

Sosa, MaryBeth Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN,  University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specializations: Adult health, cardiac critical care, physical activity promotion.

Tyo, Mirinda Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing, PhD, RN, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specializations:

Viveiros, Jennifer Assistant Professor, Adult Nursing,  PhD, CNE, RN, University Massachusetts Dartmouth. Specializations: Memory, cognitive impairment, education, heart failure

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Dartmouth offers the following graduate programs: the Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Nursing.  

The Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs at UMass Dartmouth are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, N.W. Suite 655 K Street, Washington, DC 20001 (202-887-6791).

The outcomes of the Master of Science (MS) in Nursing program are to:

1.  Synthesize specialized and diverse knowledge for application in nursing practice.

2.  Apply principles of organization and system leadership to promote high quality and safe patient care to individuals, families, groups and populations.

3.  Apply quality principles within an organization.

4.  Use evidence to guide nursing practice, address patient problems, and disseminate results.

5.  Interpret information from a variety of healthcare technologies to integrate and coordinate care.

6.  Influence health system and health policy to shape care delivery to individuals, families,  groups and populations across the lifespan.

7.  Engage in interprofessional collaboration to promote health, guide clients through the illness experience, and improve the health system.

8.  Apply the principles of culturally appropriate care to plan, deliver, manage, and evaluate healthcare to  individuals, families,  groups and populations.

9.  Influence healthcare outcomes through nursing practice by integrating advanced scientific, clinical, and systems knowledge.


The outcomes of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nursing program are to:

1.  Translate evidence, clinical judgment, research findings, and theoretical perspectives to improve practice, care environments and maximize health outcomes.

2.  Use organizational and systems leadership in collaboration with interdisciplinary team members and community partners to promote health, guide clients through illness experience and improve the health systems.

3.  Evaluate outcomes using accepted professional standards and evidenced based benchmarks to improve quality within and across systems so that consumers and staff can contribute to continuous quality improvement.

4.  Integrate effective use of informatics and technology to support quality improvement initiatives, clinical decision making and safe care.

5.  Influence nursing practice and health policy to shape care delivery, addressing gaps resulting from growing healthcare needs at the local, state, national and international levels.

6.  Master communication, collaboration, and consultation strategies to address complex health issues in a variety of forums and formats.

7.  Assume a leadership role in advancing, fostering and maintaining nursing values and standards in a variety of settings and roles for individuals, populations, and systems.

8.  Model nursing practice that demonstrates respect for human dignity, ethical responsibility, interpersonal connectedness and equity to promote health and reduce risk.

9.  Synthesize scientific knowledge and humanistic perspectives in a variety of roles and areas of practice. 


The outcomes of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program are to:

1.  Develop the science of nursing by conducting and disseminating theory guided research in the chronic illness experience and nursing education.

2.  Integrate research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the organization and/or profession.

3.  Contribute to the development of future nurses through discovery, application, and integration.

General Graduate Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit the required application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions. These include:

  • Application form (name, address, program to which seeking admission, etc.)
  • Application fee
  • Official transcript reflecting either a Bachelor of Science of Nursing (B.S.N.) degree from an accredited nursing program or a baccalaureate degree in a related program (see Graduate Admission Program for RNs with a Non-nursing Baccalaureate Degree). For PhD applicants MS in Nursing or related field. Official transcripts of any other undergraduate or graduate work must also be submitted.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.000 or higher in undergraduate study
  • Three letters of recommendation. These should include 1) references from the dean, chairperson, or faculty member of the student’s undergraduate program if recently graduated and 2) a reference from the current or a recent employer. Letters of recommendation should be solicited from individuals capable of evaluating the applicant’s potential for academic success, commitment to nursing or quality of practice. (Two letters for the PhD Program)
  • Statement of Purpose. The admission process in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences attaches weight to this statement. Candidates should give considerable thought to the aspects of (a) professional development and areas of expertise; (b) professional goals; and (c) appropriate “fit” between applicant’s goals, background and the degree sought. 
  • Writing sample. (Not required for Nursing MS or DNP applicants.)
  • Professional resume.
  • Pre-admission interview may occur.
  • Evidence of a current license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the United States. (or another region if PhD applicant)
  • Minimum one (1) year of experience as a registered nurse. (Not required for Nursing MS, and may be waived for DNP applicants upon request and review.) 
  • Consult the College of Nursing and Health Sciences web site for program application details and deadlines.

For admission to the PhD in Nursing degree, the following additional requirements apply.

  • For BS-PhD applicants, BS minimum GPA of 3.5. MS-PhD applicants, MS minimum GPA of 3.3.
  • One of these two degrees (BS and MS) must be from an accredited nursing program.
  • Master’s level courses that include exposure to theory and research, and a course in multivariate statistics. For BS-PhD applicants, these will be completed in the program.
  • If possible, at least one of the two recommendation letters should be from a doctorally-prepared faculty member who is familiar with the applicant’s academic work and capacity. The recommendations should address the applicant’s ability to do graduate work, and potential to advance the discipline of nursing through scholarship.
  • The Statement of Purpose and research interest should be include a typed two-part essay. In the first part (up to 250 words), give your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate study. In the second part (up to 1,000 words), indicate your research interests and goals for doctoral study.
  • All applicants are encouraged to submit supporting credentials (curriculum vitae or resume) with their applications.
  • An example of scholarly writing (for example, a peer reviewed publication or a paper from school).
  • Applicants must be registered nurses but do not have to be registered in MA to complete the program.

Graduate Admission Program for RNs with a Non-Nursing Baccalaureate Degree

RNs who hold a BA or BS in a related, non-nursing field may be considered for admission to the MS, DNP and PhD Program in Nursing. Related fields include psychology, sociology, anthropology, biological areas, and health services. Other fields of study will be evaluated on an individual basis.

All other admission requirements to the program must be met. Students completing the program are awarded a Master of Science degree in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice or PhD in Nursing degree. No Nursing BS degree is awarded. During this program, students complete a portfolio to demonstrate expected undergraduate nursing outcomes. They also take one 3-credit graduate level course in nursing, NUR 503 (Transitions for Advanced Nursing Practice), prior to enrolling in other graduate courses.

Financial Assistance

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid, such as loans or work study. Eligibility is dependent upon income. Applications are available from the Office of Financial Aid on the first floor of the Foster Administration building. Please refer to the chapter on “Expenses and Financial Assistance.”

A limited number of teaching assistantships are available. Teaching assistants work with department faculty for 10- 20 hours a week and are compensated with a stipend and tuition/partial fee remission. Teaching assistants might assist in direct supervision of foundational clinical experiences or support faculty teaching responsibilities. Part-time teaching assistantships are available depending on the needs of the department (10 hours per week).

Research assistantships become available as faculty are awarded scientific or program grants. Announcements of the requirements will be posted on the web site, or faculty will directly contact students who have demonstrated interest and skills in the research area. You may wish to make your field of interest known to faculty.

A limited number of scholarships are available to nursing graduate students. Additional funds are traditionally available through memberships in the following organizations. While small in amount, these awards tend to be readily available and require minimal application data. Explore all options that might pertain.

District State Nurses Association–MNA, District III, etc.

Sigma Theta Tau Chapter–Theta Kappa or your original chapter

Specialty Nursing Organizations–Oncology; Critical care; Emergency room

Alumni Organizations–Particularly diploma schools

Organizational Affiliations–Hospitals; parent corporations; local communities

Specialty Categories–Black Nurses Association

For students preparing for the faculty role (Nurse Educator MS option and PhD), funding may be available on an annual basis if the Nurse Faculty Loan Program award was received in the College.  This is a loan-forgiveness program that must be renewed annually.  MS and PhD Program Director scan provide more details.


June Horowitz, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Kristen Sethares, PhD, RN, CNE, FAHA, FHFSA
PhD Program Director
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Sharon Avery Desmarais
DNP Program Director
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Maria Dolce, PhD, RN, CNE
MS Program Director
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

Information sessions for the graduate Nursing program are conducted regularly.  Contact us at 508-910-6487 or visit us online at

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