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Dr. Sandra Larson Named Interim Dean of Planned RFU College of Nursing
Rosalind Franklin University announces the appointment of Sandra Larson, PhD, MS, CRNA, as interim dean of our planned College of Nursing. She will assume her new role effective immediately, and will begin building the structure to support the establishment of the new college and expansion of our nursing programs.
A certified registered nurse anesthetist, researcher and leader in her field, Dr. Larson chaired our Nursing Task Force, which conducted extensive analyses regarding nursing education at RFU and provided the recommendation for programmatic expansion. Our current vice president of partnerships, she will continue to serve in that position, providing leadership and oversight of both clinical and academic affiliations in alignment with the university’s mission, vision and strategic plan.
Dr. Larson joined RFU in 2011 as chair and program director for the Department of Nurse Anesthesia, where she continues to serve as associate professor. She led improvements to operational efficiency, created a dynamic culture of teamwork and assessment, and transitioned the curriculum from a master’s degree for entry to practice to a doctoral degree for entry to practice. She also established a strategic and sustainable network of clinical nursing rotation sites.
An expert in cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia, Dr. Larson is the former director of cardiovascular nurse anesthesia services at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, IL. She was the first nurse anesthetist to lead-author research published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, contributing to the nationwide transition from high- to low-dose narcotic anesthetic technique for cardiac surgery.
Dr. Larson earned a BSN from the University of Illinois (UI), an MS in nurse anesthesia from Rush University, and a PhD in public policy analysis from UI. She is a fellow of the National Academies of Practice and the Institute of Medicine-Chicago. She is director of the RFU Interprofessional Joanna Briggs Affiliate Group, which joins us to a global network working to provide the best available evidence to inform clinical decision-making at the point of care.