Berthilde Dufrene

Berthilde Dufrene, MSN, CARN, RN, DNP (c)

Founder & Past President


Ms. Dufrene was born in the beautiful Caribbean island, Haiti but migrated to United States in the 1970s.  She has held several positions in marketing and administrative support at International Business Machines, Inc (IBM).  She opted for a career change in 1993 from Business Marketing to Nursing when her employer relocated to Raleigh, NC. 

Ms. Dufrene is the founder and past president of the Haitian American Nurses Association of Rockland County, Inc.  She is presently serving as the Chief Nursing Officer for the NYS OMH Corrections Based Operations.  She is also currently the President of the Zeta Omega Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.  She is a published author, a well decorated acclaimed leader and sought after speaker on leadership, mental health, correctional nursing and addiction issues.  She is both a general practitioner and a specialist with a nursing career that encompasses many areas including pediatric psychiatry, addiction, gerontology, forensic psychiatry, MRDD and nursing education.  Her ten years business experience with IBM. makes her a well-rounded healthcare leader who is renowned and respected for her common sense creative and pragmatic approach to patient care and transformation of the US healthcare system. 

Ms. Dufrene is a graduate of Berkeley College in White Plains, NY.  She received her Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY; her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) at SUNY New Paltz and her Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Education at Mercy College in Dobbsferry, NY.  She is presently completing her doctoral project for her Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

Berthilde showed a keen interest in community service at a very young age serving as a member of the “Rally des Jeunes” of St. Joseph Church for many years until she went away to college.  She has served as both a leader and member of many community organizations, including the NAACP and the Tau Phi Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc, NYSNA District 17 – PNARC, the Rockland County Nurses Recognition Committee, and the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA).  

Ms. Dufrene is the author of “Addiction Nursing” Advance for Nurses Magazine, Vol. 9 •Issue 23 • Page 14 – October, 2008.  Ms. Dufrene’s Achievements have been recognized and honored by the National Nurses Honor society, Sigma Theta Tau, Advance Magazine’s “Best Nursing Team” for patient advocate, Nurses of Excellence by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals (IAHCP) to name a few.  

Ms. Dufrene’ s most recent advocacy efforts include leading the fight for justice when a national medical staffing published an ad “No Haitians Need Apply”.  Her efforts went viral and received international attention.  The company was fined by the New York Attorney General’s Office and she collaborated with the NAAPC to win nursing scholarship awards for under privilege students.   Her efforts won her Rockland County wide respect and appreciation.