New nursing chairperson

Saint Joseph’s College has named Dr. Barbara Higgins of Holden, Maine, as the new chairperson of the nursing department at the college. She previously was a professor and dean at the College of Health and Education at Husson University, where she was responsible for the oversight and administration of the Schools of Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Education since July of 2010. Prior to her position as dean, she was a professor and chair of the nursing department at Husson for five years, in charge of both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Higgins began teaching nursing at Husson College in 1984, became a tenured professor, and from 1994 to 2000 was also the founding director of the Family and Community Nurse Practitioner Program, responsible for the program’s development from inception through obtaining federal funding and initial NLN accreditation. From 1981 to 1984, she was a nursing instructor at Eastern Maine Medical Center School of Nursing and involved with its development of a bachelor’s degree nursing program in concert with Husson College.

An experienced professional nurse in various roles, Higgins’ clinical experience also includes a position as women’s health nurse practitioner and owner/manager of Summit Women’s Center in Bangor for the last six years. Prior to that, she was an ob/gyn practitioner at Bangor Women’s Healthcare in Bangor for nine years.

Higgins earned her bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham, and she holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Maine and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas. Her doctorate degree in child and family studies is from the University of Maine. She also completed a post-master’s nurse practitioner program at State University of New York, Stony Brook. She has been a presenter at many professional conferences and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2011. Dr. Carol Seavor, who served as the nursing chairperson for the past year, states that “Dr. Higgins is a respected nursing educator and advanced practiced nurse, and I am confident she will be a strong advocate for continuing Saint Joseph’s innovative and high-quality nursing programs.”

August 7, 2012
Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail