Connolly, Phyllis M.


Connolly, Phyllis M.

Date Updated



Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Academic Rank

Professor Emerita

Year Retired from SJSU


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Faculty Site

Phyllis Connolly Artist

Educational Background

Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA, Philosophy in Public Administration, PhD 1987

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Graduate Psychiatric Nursing Program, MS 1981

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ, Humanities, Magna Cum Laude, BA 1974

Jersey City Medical Center, School of Nursing, Diploma 1963

Teaching Experience

Professor, Nursing, San Jose State University, San Jose, 1991-2011

Associate Professor, Nursing, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 1983-1990

Lecturer, Consortium, California State University, 1984-1988

Assistant Professor, Stockton State College, Pomona, NJ 1981-1983

Administrative and Professional Experience

Acting Director of School of Nursing, Spring 2008

Educator Option, Moore Grant, Fall 2004 - 2009

Graduate Coordinator, Fall 2001-2011

Assistant Director of Nursing, Fall 2001- 2011

Interim Graduate Coordinator, Fall 2000

Serving as the Content Expert for psychiatric and mental health nursing curriculum, CA Board of Registered Nursing requirement, 1983 - 2011

Director of Institute for Nursing Research & Practice, 1995 – 2000

Chair, Program Evaluation and Research Committee, SON, 1995 - 2008

Coordinator Transdisciplinary Collaboration Project, 1993 – 2006

Interim Department Chair, Fall 1990

Coordinator Nurse Managed Centers, 1988-92, S 1998

Semester 6 Chair, 1984-88, 1992-94

Project Director, Los Gatos CDBG, 1989-92


Professional Dr. Connolly was the eighth President of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 10/1997) and only President who established a state APNA Chapter (California) before serving as President – Elect ( 10/96). As President, she supported the development of the Public Relations Task Force which resulted in organizing the first Board retreat on Marketing for Mission, the results of which served as the framework for APNA’s leadership for the 21st Century. As President-Elect responsible for the Membership Committee, she developed several recruitment strategies which resulted in a 15% membership increase, and seven new Chapters. Her ability to collaborate was evident in setting up a Regional and State Representative Structure for APNA based on a request from the Board, and she initiated the Functional Networking Groups.

She has been recognized for her collaborative work with several awards for initiating and maintaining a Transdisciplinary Collaboration Project focused on persons with serious and persistent mental illness living in the community—the results have been published in the Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing (1995). The outcomes have also been presented in Australia, Vancouver, London, Telford (England), as well as in DC, Virginia, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. The Project, an outgrowth of a Psychiatric Nurse Managed Center which she also initiated, includes collaboration with the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Dr. Connolly and a colleague’s proposal to FITNE resulted in being selected from 42 other proposals as one of FITNE’s seven Centers of Excellence in Community Healthcare and Technology in the nation, serving as a showcase site for the Nightingale TrackerTM system (1998). The award was an exciting opportunity for students and faculty to become pioneers in the next wave of clinical communication, and San Jose State School of Nursing was the only site. A case study, Omaha: Psychiatric home care, was developed by Dr. Connolly in 1998, utilizing the Omaha System with a psychiatric population.

Dr. Connolly has also served as Co-Chair of the California Alliance for the Mentally Ill AB 1278 Task Force on Families and Mental Illness from 1993 to 1995 and co-authored yearly Reports.

California Statewide University

Statewide & International Programs Chair, 1990-91; Member 1988-92

Extended Education Commission, 1989-92

Statewide Academic Senate, 1987-92

San Jose State University

Early Career Investigator Award Committee 2005-11

Organization & Government 2002-2004

Information Technology Advisory Board 2001-2011

Community Outreach Partnership Center 1997-2000

WASC Task Force, 1993-94

Alcohol and Substance Abuse 1992-95

Academic Senate 1987-94

Professional Standards, 1987-94; Chair 1989-90

College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Dean’s Search Committee 2005

Sabbatical Leave Committee 1996

Decanal Review Committee, Chair 1992

Administration of Justice Bureau, Advisory Committee, 1989-2010

Faculty Affairs, 1986-87

School of Nursing

Director’s Evaluation Committee 2008-09

Moore Grant Committee 2004 - 2011

Working Council for Advancement Fall 2000 - 2011

Executive Committee, 2000-2011

Self-Study Task Force, CCNE, Standard IV, Chair, 2000 – 2011

Graduate Committee, Chair, 2000 – 2011, member 1990

Nightingale Tracker Project, Co-Chair, 1998

Program Evaluation and Research, Chair, 1995- 2008

Personnel, 1987-94, Chair, 1991-93

BRN Content Expert Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing 1987- 2011

Process Task Force, Chair, 1993-94

Task Force Organizing Conceptual Framework, 1990-93

Semester 5, 1988

Semester 6, 1983-94, Chair, 1984-88, 1992-94

Semester 7, 1983, 1995-Present

Curriculum Coordinating, 1984-88, 1992-94, 2000

Faculty Affairs, 1984-93, Chair, 1985-87, Executive, 1985-87, 1990, 1995-2011

Nurse Managed Centers, 1986-2011

Computer Task Force, 1985-86

Graduate, 1985-86, 1990-92, 1993-2011, Chair

Selected Publications

  • Connolly, P. M. (2012). Crisis intervention. In W. Mohr (Ed.) Psychiatric mental health nursing, (8thed.) ( Chap. 35, pp. 758-774.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Nguyen, E. E., Connolly, P. M., Wong, V. (2010). Medication Safety Initiative in Reducing Medication Errors. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 25(3),224-230.
  • Connolly, P., Crider, M., Henninger, R. & Irwin, C. (October, 2009). Complementary Alternative Care for Persons with Schizophrenia Living in the Community: A Pilot Study. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 13, (3). Available at
  • Canham, D., Mao, D., Yoder, M., Connolly, P., & Dietz, E. (2008). The Omaha System and quality measurement in academic nurse-managed centers: Ten steps for implementation. Journal of Nursing Education,47(3), 105-110
  • Twoy, R., Connolly, P. M., & Novak, J. M. (2007). Coping strategies used by parents of children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19, 1-10.
  • Connolly, P. M., Mao, C., Yoder, M., & Canham, D. (2006). Evaluation of the Omaha System in an academic nurse managed center. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 10(3) [online]. Available:
  • Lee, C., Connolly, P. M., & Dietz, E. (2005). Forensic nurses’ views regarding medications for inmates. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 43(6), 32 – 39.
  • Ngoh Toche, C., Lewis, I. D., Connolly, P. M. (2005). Outcomes of inpatient geropsychiatric treatment. Journal of Gerontological Nursing,31(4), 12 – 18.
  • Barrera, C., Machanga, M., Connolly, P. M., & Yoder, M. (2003). Nursing care makes a difference: Application of the Omaha documentation system.Outcomes Management, 7 (4), 181- 185.
  • Han, C., Connolly, P. M., & Canham, D. (2003). Measuring patient satisfaction as an outcome of nursing care at a teaching hospital of southern Taiwan. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 18(2), 143 -150.
  • Connolly, P. M., & Elfrink, V. (2002). Using information technology in community-based psychiatric nursing education: The SJSU/NT project. Home Health Care Management and Practice,14 (5), 344 – 352.
  • Connolly, P. M., & Elfrink, V. (2002). Using information technology in community- based psychiatric nursing education: The SJSU/NT project. In C. L. Weigand (Ed.) From email to earthquakes: On teaching and learning with technology in the California State University, (pp. 93 – 106). Long Beach, CA: California State University Press.
  • Connolly, P. M., & Novak, J. (2000) Teaching collaboration: A demonstration project. Journal of American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 6(6),183 -190.
  • Connolly, P. (1999). Consumer advocacy. In C. Shea, L. Pelletier, E. Poster, G. Stuart, & M. Verhey (Eds.) Advanced practice nursing in psychiatric & mental health care(pp. 387 - 407). St. Louis: Mosby.
  • Connolly, P. M., Huynh, M. T., & Gorney-Moreno, M. J. (1999, Winter). On the cutting edge or over the edge? Implementing the Nightingale Tracker. On-Line Journal of Nursing Informatics [On-Line], 3(1), Available:
  • Connolly, P. M. (1998). Emma B.: Woman with Mental Illness: The Omaha System Case Studies 1:
  • Palmer-Erbs, V., Connolly, P., Bianchi, R., Hoff, L. (1996). Nursing perspectives on disability and rehabilitation. In K. Anchor (Ed.) Disability analysis handbook: Tools for independent practice.(pp. 173 - 201) Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt.
  • Connolly, P. (1995). Transdisciplinary collaboration of academia and practice in the area of serious mental illness. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 4 (4), 168-180.
  • Connolly, P. (1991). Services for the underserved: A nurse-managed center for the chronically mentally ill. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 29 (1), 15-20.
  • Connolly, P. (1989). The homeless chronically mentally ill: Strategies for improving education. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 27(6), 24-28.

Personal Commentary

My 57 years in the profession of nursing include acute care in medical surgical nursing, community health, private practice as a clinical nurse specialist in adult psychiatric/mental health nursing, crisis intervention, teaching, administration and consulting. My areas of expertise and research include serious mental illness, crisis intervention, psychosocial rehabilitation, assertiveness training, total quality improvement, cultural diversity and organizational development. I was one of the recipients of a Learning Productivity award for Community Service Learning, A Collaborative Model for Professional Curricula and I received several San Jose State University awards for my collaboration work.

After retirement I became involved with watercolor painting because I was always interested in art. I only work with watercolor primarily because I love the watercolor paintings of other watercolor artists. The purpose of my work is to improve my skills, learn more with each piece, and enjoy my outcomes. I also value the satisfaction that others have from viewing my work. I consider myself a novice in this work and I love the outcomes of the medium. My favorite subjects are seascapes, landscapes and animals. I designed notecards from several of my paintings and for the past six years designed my annual Christmas card. I have participated in intense group classes for over eight years with local artist, Tricia Reichert. The instructor has moved her teaching to Webinars during the Corona Virus so I am able to continue to paint with her. I sought additional competencies in a number of water color and drawing courses at Hancock College as well as local Adult Education courses.

I am an active member of the Central Coast Water Color Society and have submitted works for competitive exhibits. I have been a member of the Trilogy Art Group and initiated and manage the Annual Fund Raising Exhibit for the Friends of the Nipomo Library. I have had paintings hung in Gala De Arte, Trilogy Soirees, The Monarch Dunes Tour Center, the Nipomo Library, The Arroyo Grande Library, the Clark Center, and the Burton House Restaurant in Nipomo. Many of my paintings are hung in my daughter’s home and office. Great statement of support. And, my grandchildren have several of my paintings. They are quite enlightened checking to see if they have an original or if it is a print. I had professional assistance in developing a website because my 93 year old former mother-in-law. After sending her some of the note cards I had made she asked if I had a website so she could order more, thank you.

Given the Corona Virus I have still been able to continue to play Mahjong online, and utilizing Zoom for a number of social needs including my granddaughter in Brazil. I am fortunate that I have been playing golf before I retired and continue now. I am getting all my steps in, and now the gym has reopened so getting back to muscle building. I am an active member of the Book Club, and Monarch Butterfly Habitat Committee.

I am grateful to still be a member of SJSU retired faculty and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to impact the lives of the undergraduate and graduate nursing students who were my reason for being at SJSU.

Transitions to Retirement Project Interviews

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Connolly, Phyllis M.