• Title:
    Program Director, Graduate & Doctoral Nursing Education
  • Department:
    Nursing and Health Professions

Donna Proulx, Ph.D., RN, CCRN-CSC



Dr. Donna Proulx has served patients in the acute care arena for the first 30 years of her career, with the last 20 being in the critical care environment. She first worked as a staff nurse caring for patients with acute illness, including those patients’ immediate post cardiothoracic surgery requiring mechanical ventilation and hemodynamic monitoring, before transitioning into the critical care educator position. In her role as the critical care educator, she developed and published an orientation program for graduate nurses entering the critical care practice environment. She holds two certifications in critical care from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses—one in adult critical care (CCRN) and a second in adult cardiac surgery (CSC).

She has a passion for nursing research, which directed her to earning her PhD in Nursing. To gain an informed understanding of the experience of postpartum women with opioid and heroin addiction here in New Hampshire, her 2018/19 doctoral work was a qualitative inquiry: “The Lived Experience of Postpartum Women Attending Outpatient Substance-Abuse Treatment for Opioid or Heroin Use.”

Dr. Proulx is Past President of the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and is an active member of the local Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She earned her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Dr. Proulx continues to serve the community by volunteering as a scientific voting member on a local hospital Institutional Review Board.

After earning her undergraduate and graduate degree from Rivier University she was on-boarded at Rivier University into the adjunct teaching role (2006) before transitioning to half-time then full-time faculty prior to assuming the role of Graduate Nursing Program Director (2015). Dr. Proulx was instrumental in developing and gaining accreditation for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Rivier University (2017).

Academic Philosophy

Dr. Proulx’s teaching philosophy is to encourage students to always seek the highest level of evidence available when striving to improve individual or population health outcomes. She encourages the use of data-driven decision making when possible and encourages nurse leaders to learn how to utilize statistical software to assist in best-practice decision making.  She continues to meet a student where they are, with hopes of fostering them to the next level of their professional career and maximizing their practice potential as a nurse.


  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Lowell (2019)
  • M.S., Rivier College (2007)
  • B.S., Rivier College (2003)
  • ADN, New Hampshire Vocational-Technical College Manchester (1986)

Courses Taught

  • NSG 606 Research Capstone
  • NSG 620 Biostatistics
  • NSG 805 Health Research Methods
  • NSG 802 Interpretation of Quantitative Research for Healthcare

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1. Proulx. D. Fantasia, H. (2021). The Lived Experience of Postpartum Women Attending Outpatient Substance Treatment for Opioids or Heroin Use. The Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health; 66(2), March/April. 211-217.
  2. Lambert, P., Proulx, D. (2010). Condition H. Advance for Nurses. (May).
  3. Proulx, D. Bourcier, B. (2008). Graduate Nurses in the ICU: An Orientation Model. Critical Care Nurse. 28(4): 44-52.
  4. Proulx, D. (2007). Using the NICO Monitor to Monitor and Manage Proning/ARDS. Respironics.
  5. Proulx, D. (August, 2004). Capnography Guided Insertion of Gastric Tubes. Nursing Spectrum.
  6. Proulx, D. (April, 2000). (Photographs published in) Nursing Reflections: A Century of Caring. Mosby (April 15, 2000). ISBN-13 ‏‎ 978-0323011730
  7. Proulx, D. (1998). Animal-Assisted Therapy. Critical Care Nurse. Apr;18(2): 80-84.
  8. Proulx, D. (Dec 1998). Pawsitive Visitation: Animal Assisted Therapy. Nursing Spectrum.