Margaret Costello

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Costello PhD, RN has taught several courses in the undergraduate program over the years including Simmons 201, Simmons 301, Medical Surgical Nursing 1 and 2, Leadership and Management, Nursing Research, Synthesis & Clinical Decision Making and Caring at the End of Life. Dr. Costello serves as an advisor for first year students and in the First-Generation Faculty Student Mentor Program.

Dr. Costello currently practices part-time as a registered nurse on the Inpatient Oncology and Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr Costello is a certified Reiki practitioner. She also maintains certification in Hospice and palliative Care Nursing (CHPN). She has trained with Jean Watson PhD, RN and is a Caritas Coach®.

Dr. Costello has a Master's degree in Health Care Administration from Simmons University, a Master's degree in Cross Cultural Family Nursing and has trained as a family nurse practitioner. She received her PhD in Health Professions Education from Simmons University. Her area of expertise is in adult medical surgical nursing, interprofessional care, oncology, palliative and end of life care, and spirituality. She has been published in Nurse Educator, Journal of Holistic Nursing, Nursing Management, American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Teaching and Learning in Nursing, International Journal of Caring Sciences, Journal of Interprofessional Care, and Pain Management Nursing. Dr. Costello has presented her research both locally and nationally.

What I Teach

  • Synthesis & Clinical Decision Making
  • Caring at the End of Life.

Community Engagement

  • Medical Reserve Corps 2011-present
    Newton, MA


Research Publications

Costello, M., Ballin, A.,Diamond, M., Gao, L. (2018).First generation college students and non-first-generation college students: Perceptions of belonging. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 8(12), 58-65. DOI: 10.5430/jnep.v8n12p58

Costello, M, Prelack, K., Faller, J., Huddleston, J, Adly, S., & Doolin, J (2018). Student experiences of interprofessional simulation: Findings from a qualitative study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 32(1), 1356-1820. DOI:10.1080/13561820.2017.1356810

Costello, M. (2017). Nurses' self-identified characteristics and behaviors contributing to patients' positive perceptions of their nursing care. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 35(1), 62-66. DOI:10.1177/0898010116643835

Costello, M., Thompson, S., Aurelien, J., & Luc, T. (2016). Patient opioid education: research shows nurses' knowledge of opioids makes a difference. MedSurg Nursing, 5(25), 307-333.

Costello M., & Thompson, S. (2015). What prevents professional care? Nursing Management 46(3), 38-45.

Costello M., Thompson, S. (2015). Preventing opioid misuse and potential abuse: the nurse's role in patient education. Pain Management Nursing, 16(4),515-9. doi:10.1016/j.pmn.2014.09.008

Evans, L., Costello, M., Greenberg, H., & Nicholas, N. (2013). The attitudes and experience of Registered Nurses who teach and mentor nursing students in the acute care setting. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 3(2).

Costello, M., Faller, J., & Hedberg, M. (2012). The use of simulation to instruct students on the provision of spiritual care: A pilot study. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 30(4).

Costello, M. (2011).Student issues: The use of simulation in medication calculation instruction. Nurse Educator, 36(5),181-182.

Costello, M. (2011). Student issues: Predictors of success on medication calculation tests. Nurse Educator, 36(1),11-12.

Costello, M. (2010). A comparison of three educational strategies for the acquisition of medication calculation skills among baccalaureate nursing students, Simmons University.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Costello, M., (2018). Watson's Caritas Processes® as a Framework for Spiritual End of Life Care for Oncology Patients International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 639- 644.

Costello, M., & Barron, A.M. (2017). Teaching compassion: Incorporating Jean Watson's caritas processes into a care at the end of life course for senior nursing students. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 10(3), 1113-1117.

Costello, M. (2017). The benefits of active learning: applying Brunner's discovery theory to the classroom: teaching clinical decision-making to senior nursing students. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 12(3), 212-213.

Costello, M. (2016). The first-generation college student experience: A case study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 7(1), 62-65.

Costello, M. (2016). Team concepts. Fostering collaboration: The nurse-medical student connection. Nursing Management, 47(1), 13-14. DOI:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000475632.9050518

Costello, M. (2015). Prescription opioid analgesics: promoting patient safety with better patient education. American Journal of Nursing, 115(11), 50-57. doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000473315.02325.b4

Costello, M. (2011). Prepare yourself for a future in research: Understanding evidenced based practice for the evolving nurse. Imprint, 58(5), 39-42.

Costello, M., Greenberg, H., Bell, C., & Trowers-Smith, J. (2011). Management of the hospitalized patient experiencing acute on chronic pain: A case study Pain Management Nursing,14(4), 268-273.

Costello, M. (2010). Changing handoffs: The shift is on. Nursing Management, 41(10), 39-42.

Silvernail, S. Costello, M., & Thompson, S. (2011). Reiki practice: A comfort for patients and nurses. in Hickey, M. and Kritek, P. (Eds.), Change Leadership in Nursing How Change Occurs in a Complex Hospital System (239-242). New York, Springer Publishing Company.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Nurses Association
  • Greater Boston Nursing Collective (GBNC) Program Committee Member
  • Item Writer, National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)


  • Dean's Research Incentive Award 2017
    Simmons University
  • Partners in Excellence Award 2014
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Mary Fay Enrichment Award 2012
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Mary Fay Essence of Nursing Award 2007
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Partners in Excellence Award 2006
    Brigham and Women's Hospital