Dr. Melissa O’Connor joins College of Nursing faculty

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A recognized expert in geriatric nursing and home health care, Melissa O'Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, COS-C joined the faculty of the College of Nursing this fall as assistant professor. She was most recently a post-doctoral research fellow at the NewCourtland Center for Health Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing where her scholarly work centered on individualized care for at-risk older adults. She is currently a research associate with the Visiting Nurse Services of New York.

Dr. O’Connor’s research aids health care providers in clinical decision-making and care management and, in parallel, helps the elderly age in place in the community, thus avoiding hospitalization. She frequently uses large data sets in her studies. Her work indicates the unique contributions of skilled nursing care in support of the goal of community-based care for older adults. Dr. O’Connor’s studies have been published in such journals as Home Health Care Management and Practice, Home Health Care Services Quarterly, Journal of Comparative Effectiveness and Nursing Outlook and she has shared her study results at conferences nationally and internationally.  Her efforts also target building geriatric nursing capacity in academic settings.

Additionally, Dr. O’Connor is the co-chair of the Policy and Leadership Committee for the Hartford Geriatric Nursing Leaders and is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Older People Nursing.

Having practiced nursing in the acute care setting as well as in the community, Dr. O’Connor brings that dual perspective --and experience as both staff and management-- to her research and teaching. She has also held positions in telehealth, utilization review and case management in addition to establishing her own care management business. She has taught for the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University and Immaculata University.

Dr. O’Connor earned her BSN from Thomas Jefferson University, her MBA from Eastern University and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also earned a certificate in teaching. Additionally, she holds a certificate in applied health informatics from Johns Hopkins University.