Joan Vitello, PhD, recognized for excellence in nursing leadership

Graduate School of Nursing dean receives Mary B. Conceison Award from Organization of Nurse Leaders

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

June 28, 2017
  Joan Vitello, PhD
  GSN Dean Joan Vitello, PhD

Graduate School of Nursing Dean Joan Vitello, PhD, has received the 2017 Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership from the Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Dr. Vitello accepted the award at the organization’s annual meeting on June 16.

“I am humbled to receive this recognition from my peers,” said Vitello, who was named GSN dean at UMass Medical School in 2015. Prior to that she served in numerous nursing leadership roles, most recently as associate chief nurse of cardiovascular, thoracic and surgical acute and critical care nursing at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

First awarded posthumously to its namesake in 1982, the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership recognizes outstanding contributions made by a nursing administrator. Conceison was known for her advocacy in promoting nursing as a profession.

Vitello earned her bachelor of nursing degree from Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass Dartmouth), Master of Science in nursing from the University of Alabama, and her master’s and doctorate in human and organizational systems from the Fielding Graduate Institute. First working as a staff nurse at several Boston hospitals, she rose through management roles at Boston Medical Center, hospitals within the Caritas Christi Health Care System and Heywood Hospital. She served as the chief nursing officer and chief operating officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital before joining Brigham & Women’s.

An educator throughout her career, Vitello mentored graduate nursing students, coached new nurses and taught in several hospitals, culminating in her leadership role in graduate nursing education at UMass Medical School. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Regis College and Bentley College. In 2009 she was designated a “Living Legend” by the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, and was recently recognized with the alumnae achievement award by UMass Dartmouth.

“Her authentic leader style is characterized by inclusivity, positivity, trust, a framework of abundance versus a scarcity model, and commitment to excellence,” wrote one of Vitello’s nominators. “In her everyday interactions with students and faculty, Joan affirms our institutional values and commitment to inclusion, diversity and civility.”

The Organization of Nurse Leaders is a not-for-profit professional association committed to the advancement of professional nursing, promoting the delivery of quality patient care and influencing the development of health policy in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

GSN Professor and Dean emeritus Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD, received the Conceison Award in 2012.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
GSN dean appointed to Gov. Baker’s special commission on opioid safe prescribing
Vitello named fifth dean of the Graduate School of Nursing

For the Media
▴ Back To Top
Section Menu To Top