Sarah Thompson to lead Sinclair School of Nursing as new dean

University of Missouri Interim Provost Jim Spain announced June 11 that Sarah Thompson, associate vice chancellor of health professions and professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Denver, has been named dean of the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. Thompson’s appointment will begin Aug. 1.

“Dr. Thompson is a proven leader who has spent her career helping to shape the nursing profession as a nurse, a teacher, a researcher, an administrator and a member of national organizations,” Spain said. “Her experience in nursing and with the health care system is valuable as she leads the Sinclair School of Nursing in developing students who will be the nurses of tomorrow in the state of Missouri and throughout the world. We are fortunate to have attracted Dr. Thompson to Mizzou as the next dean of the Sinclair School of Nursing.”

Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Oklahoma, and she received both her master’s degree and doctorate in nursing from the University of Kansas. She joined the University of Colorado Denver in 2012 and has served as a professor, dean of the College of Nursing, and associate vice chancellor of health professions.

“I am excited and honored to be selected to lead the Sinclair School of Nursing, a program with a national reputation for excellence in research, preparing the next generation of nurses and providing health care leadership,” Thompson said. “I am looking forward to getting to know the students, faculty, staff, alumni and our many partners as we chart a course for the future while affirming our commitment to education, practice, research, service and extension.”

During Thompson’s five-year tenure as dean at the University of Colorado Denver, grants and contracts grew by 69 percent, including support from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and private foundations. Faculty at the College of Nursing grew from 87 to 150, and clinical revenue increased by 68 percent.

“Sarah brings a comprehensive understanding of health care systems and is passionate about the future of nursing,” said Kathryn Chval, dean of education at MU and chair of the search committee for the new dean of nursing. “She recognizes that nurses have the capacity to be innovators in health care and improve health care systems for the people and communities they serve. I have no doubt Dr. Thompson will play a critical role in expanding partnerships and collaborations with clinical providers, physicians, therapists, and social workers, to name a few.”

Thompson is a member of several organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Nursing and the Western Institute of Nursing. She also has served on several task forces for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and she was the chair of a national task force appointed by AACN to examine the implementation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has received numerous honors for her research and leadership, having been named a John A. Hartford Institute Geriatric Nursing Research Scholar, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Niedfelt Distinguished Professor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The Sinclair School of Nursing, a leader in nursing education since its founding in 1920, has been led by Interim Dean Roxanne McDaniel since the beginning of the year.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Roxanne McDaniel who graciously came out of retirement to serve as interim dean while we conducted this search,” Spain said. “Her dedication to students and passion for the University of Missouri and the School of Nursing is obvious. The school has long history of success, and that high level of excellence continued under Dr. McDaniel’s leadership.”