Anne Marie Buonocore of Harwinton, Conn., has been named associate director of graduate nursing at American International College in Springfield, Mass. Her appointment was announced recently by Cesarina Thompson, dean of the AIC School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Buonocore has an earned Ph.D. from the College of Nursing at the University of Connecticut where her doctoral dissertation queried accelerated nursing education.

Dr. Buonocore's plans at AIC include further evolution of the MSN program, including the RN-MSN, so that expert nurses may advance in their practice. Additionally she plans to investigate the addition of public health and geriatrics tracks for advanced practice nurses. "There is a critical need for nurses with advanced degrees," Buonocore said. "The demand for health care is increasing because of the aging population. Also, the aging nursing work force has contributed to the shortage, as many nurses are retiring."

In 2004, AIC became the first area college offer a graduate program in nursing. AIC has offered a bachelor of science degree in nursing since 1978.

The MSN program at AIC is designed for the working nurse, as classes are mainly on line. "Adult graduate education should practical, pleasurable and relevant to each individualís career goals and experience," she said.

Dr. Buonocore initiated her nursing career as an associate degree registered nurse educated at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT. She was employed as a staff nurse from 1985-1992 at the University of CT Health Center in the Maternal/Fetal ICU. During that time she earned a BSN from St. Joseph College in West Hartford, CT. Her interest in nursing education and womenís health led to a MS degree from Syracuse University as a clinical nurse specialist.

Her career interests steered her to a research position at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ontario, Canada. More recently she was employed as faculty at Southern CT State University in New Haven, CT and at the University of Hartford.

Prior to her position at AIC she developed the RN-BSN program at the University of Hartford. In May of 2012 she received the Nightingale Award at the Marriott Hotel in Hartford CT for outstanding leadership in recruitment and retention of RN-BSN candidates. The award was given for Dr. Buonocore's ability to "make it possible for many working RN's to successfully achieve their dreams of the baccalaureate degree."