Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Sarah A. Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean and Professor

Sarah Thompson

Sarah A. Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN, joined the CU College of Nursing as dean and professor on Aug. 27, 2012. She previously held a joint appointment with the University of Nebraska Medical Center as professor in the College of Public Health, Department of Health Services Research and Administration, and professor and associate dean of academic programs in the College of Nursing. She held a faculty appointment at the University of Kansas Medical Center School of Nursing.

Thompson earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kansas. She completed a certificate in gerontology from KU and has done much of her research in end-of-life care in nursing homes. She held two hospice related positions as case planners for Kansas City Hospice and St. John’s Regional Medical Center Home Health and Hospice in Joplin, Mo.

Thompson has been a reviewer for numerous research and gerontology-related journals. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Sigma Theta Tau International and the Western Institute of Nursing. She became a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2009.

This year, the Dean has received some impressive recognition. Based on her hard work, dedication, and pass​ion for nursing education, Dean Sarah Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named one of the top 30 most influential deans of nursing in the country. Learn More.​​



​Degree ​Awarding Institution ​Field of Study ​Graduation Date
​University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS
Minor in Gerontology and Health Services Administration 1996​
​Certificate in Gerontology
​University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
​Gerontology ​1995
​University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS
​Nursing ​1992
​University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK
​Nursing ​1977
  1. Tilden, V.P., Thompson, S.A., Gajewski, B., & Bott, M.J. (In Press). End-of-Life Care in Nursing Homes: The High Cost of Staff Turnover. Nursing Economics: The Journal for Health Care Leaders.
  2. Thompson, S., Bott, M., Gajewski, B. Tilden, V.P. (In Press). Quality of care and quality of dying in nursing homes: Two measurement models. Submitted to Journal of Palliative Medicine.
  3. Lee, R.H., Gajewski, B.J., Becker, A., Coffland, V., & Thompson, S. (In Review). Are quality of life measures useful for nursing home regulators and consumers? Submitted to Aging and Social Policy.
  4. Thompson, S., Bott, M.J., Gajewski, B., Buescher, C., & Tilden, V.P. (In Review). Sampling challenges in nursing home research. Submitted to Research in Gerontological Nursing.
  5. Zhang, Chao, Thompson, S. & Miller, CL (2011). A Review of Simulation-based Interprofessional Education. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 7, e177-e126.
  6. Thompson, S., Bott, M.J., Boyle, D., Gajewski, B., & Tilden, V.P. (2011). A Measure of Palliative Care in Nursing Homes. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 41, 57-67.
  7. Gajewski, BJ, Boyle, DK, and Thompson, S, (2010) “How a Bayesian Might Estimate the Distribution of Cronbach’s alpha from Ordinal-Dynamic Scaled Data: A Case Study Measuring Nursing Home Residents Quality of Life,” Methodology: European 5S. Thompson, 01/12 Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2, 71-82.
  8. Tilden, V.P. & Thompson, S. (2009). Policy Issues in End of Life Care. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25, 363-368.
  9. Thompson, S. & Tilden, V.P. (2009). Embracing quality and safety education for the 21st century. Journal of Nursing Education, 48, 698-701.
  10. Margalit, R.S., Thompson, S., Visovsky, C., Geske, J., Collier, D., Birk, T., & Paulman, P. (2009). From professional silos to interprofessional education: Campus-wide focus on quality of care. Quality Management in Health Care, 18, 165-173.
  11. Duncan, J.G., Bott, M.J., Forbes-Thompson, S., & Gajewski, B.J. (2009). Relative Rates of Symptom Occurrence and Associated Clinical Factors in Nursing Home Residents with Cancer. Research in Nursing and Health, 32, 453-64.​
​Title ​Organization ​Year
​Fellow ​American Academy of Nursing ​2009
​Senior Nurse Scientist ​Midwest Nursing Research Society ​2009
​Niedfelt Distinguished Professor ​University of Nebraska medical Center ​2008
Distinguished Scientist​ ​University of Nebraska Medical Center ​2008
​Fellow ​AACN Fuld Academic Leadership ​2006