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Doherty honored as URI College of Nursing Luminary

DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University Nursing Professor and Institutional Review Board member Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty has been chosen as a University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Luminary in recognition of the college’s 75th Anniversary.

Doherty is one of 75 College of Nursing Luminaries. Those nominated are alumni, faculty or individuals who have championed advancement of the URI College of Nursing. These individuals have excelled in contributions to professional practice, education, research and/or advancement of the college, and demonstrate an interest and commitment to its mission and vision. Doherty was selected for her outstanding contribution to the College of Nursing, the profession of nursing, the improvement of nursing practices and her influence on the health and wellness of all the people she has touched throughout her esteemed career. A signature event is planned for this coming June to honor Doherty and the 74 other Luminaries.

Before joining WCSU in 2008, Doherty earned a B.S. in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary College, an MSN in Maternal-Child Nursing from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island. After a long career in clinical practice as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Maternal-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Childbirth Educator and expert witness for the legal system, she began her teaching career in 2000 at Northeastern University.

Doherty is coauthor with her twin sister and research colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, of the books, “Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan,” which explores the experiences of U.S. military nurses during deployments in those war zones from 2003 to 2011, and “Nurses After War: The Reintegration Experience of Nurses Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.” She was named a “Fellow” by the American College of Nurse Midwives at its annual meeting in June 2020.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.