New associate degree nursing director brings enthusiasm to nursing education

October 8, 2010

Patricia Hanrahan, the new Director of GCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program, is enthusiastic about nursing education and GCC. Patricia taught for many years in baccalaureate and graduate level nursing education programs, and spent the past seven years asDirector of Clinical Education in the School of Health and Patient Simulation at Springfield Technical Community College. Having lived in western Massachusetts for most of her adult life, and for the past 15 years in Colrain, she’s thrilled to be working at GCC. Patricia said, “GCC’s Nursing faculty and students are terrific and have been very welcoming. GCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program has a wonderful reputation in the community and the state, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to our community in this way. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education is developing ‘Nurse of the Future’ competencies, and the Institute of Medicine is considering the future of nursing in the changing health care system. I look forward to working with GCC’s Nursing faculty on how GCC’s already superb program can meet the challenges of educating the next generation of nurses.” 

Patricia has a Master of Science in Nursing with a clinical specialty in psychiatric nursing from the University of Kentucky, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in sociology from the University of Massachusetts. For three years, Patricia worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health as a regional school health advisor for all 102 towns in western Massachusetts. She enjoyed working with adults learning on the job, helping keep the health care workforce supported and current in their positions, and looking at how policy drives health care decisions in the community. At GCC, Patricia is interested in exploring the role of interdisciplinary practice in nursing education, how nursing students learn to work with other health care professionals. She also hopes to encourage nursing students and nurses to consider careers in nursing education.

On Patricia’s first day of work, a colleague said to her “We transform lives here.” Patricia was skeptical at first, but it only took a few days to understand the truth of that statement. Now working at GCC, Patricia understands how community colleges support and enhance people’s lives. Patricia said, “It is a great honor to be able to work at GCC. We’re not just training nurses here, we’re educating professionals to be able to take concepts and principles and apply them to any situation. The contemporary health care system is changing rapidly, especially with increased use of technology. Technology doesn’t have a brain, that’s why health care professionals need to use theirs. The health and well-being of our community is in good hands with GCC students and graduates. GCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program supports our community and appreciates how our community supports nursing education at GCC.”

For information about GCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program, please go to http://www.gcc.mass.edu/getstarted/.  The next information session about the Associate Degree Nursing program will be held on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 6 p.m. on the second floor at GCC’s Downtown Center, 270 Main Street.

Mary McClintock, ’82