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WCSU nursing professor receives honor

image of Dr. MaryEllen Doherty
Dr. MaryEllen Doherty

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty will be inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) this spring.

With years of clinical experience as a certified nurse-midwife, maternal-child clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, childbirth educator and expert witness for the legal system, as well as teaching engagements at Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Doherty became a WCSU faculty member in 2008. She teaches a variety of courses in the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral curricula.

Dr. Joan Palladino, interim dean of the School of Professional Studies, reacted to Doherty’s induction.

“The WCSU Department of Nursing is proud and honored to have Dr. Doherty as a member of our faculty,” she said. “She is an outstanding professor, talented researcher and extraordinary nurse midwife whose research adds to the body of knowledge of our profession.”

An active researcher, Doherty’s first book, “Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan,” co-authored with twin sister Dr. Elizabeth Scannell-Desch and based on three research studies, was released in 2012 by Springer Publishing Co. A follow-up book, “Nurses After War: The Reintegration Experience of Nurses Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” was released in 2016. Doherty also has research studies published in a wide variety of professional nursing journals.

According to their website, the ACNM “is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries.” The website elaborates on the fellowship, stating, “the Fellowship in the American College of Nurse-Midwives (FACNM) is an honor bestowed upon those midwives whose demonstrated leadership within ACNM, clinical excellence, outstanding scholarship and professional achievement have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession.”

Doherty will be inducted at the 65th ACNM Annual Meeting and Exhibition, taking place May 29 through June 2, 2020, in Austin, Texas. “This honor means the world to me and I still can’t believe it,” she said. “I keep pinching myself that it is not a dream.”

For more information about WCSU’s nursing program, visit the Department of Nursing website at For more information about Doherty, visit her WCSU faculty page here.



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