Research College of Nursing appoints Rebecca Saxton PhD, RN, CNE

Kansas City, MO – Research College of Nursing (RCoN) announces Rebecca Saxton PhD, RN, CNE, as the third independent dean of the College’s 115-year history. She succeeds Julie Nauser, PhD, RN, CNE, in her retirement from administration, with plans to continue serving the college.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Saxton to this new role. Her passion for education and commitment to excellence will continue to elevate Research College of Nursing into the future,” said RCoN president, Thad Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN.

As the new dean, Saxton will provide visionary leadership to achieve a high standard of excellence and innovation in curricular and instructional strategies, student success and faculty development. RCoN offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Saxton will consult with faculty and program directors to achieve the goals of the nursing program.

Promoted from her role as Director of the Accelerated BSN program, Saxton’s deanship began June 28, 2021. Since joining RCoN as a faculty member in 2006 she has held leadership positions advancing the institution and the nursing profession. Saxton is a 2000 graduate of the joint BSN program through Rockhurst University and Research College of Nursing. She went onto to earn her MSN and PhD through the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“I am excited to be expanding my role here at Research College of Nursing. We have the best faculty, staff, and administrative team working toward our shared vision of being the college of choice for nurses who desire to lead in practice, service and advocacy,” said Saxton. “Our college is anchored in the mission of caring for communities and I look forward to continue building relationships here in the heart of Kansas City.”

Carrying the torch of leadership

In 2018 Research College of Nursing announced plans to conclude the joint BSN program and continue offering the degree independently beginning in 2022. This transition allows RCoN to expand program offerings and better support the region with a larger talent pool of baccalaureate and master’s prepared nurses.

“Moving forward on our own is a wonderful opportunity for the College to enhance recruitment efforts in the communities we serve,” said Saxton. She notes her predecessors have maintained the College’s longstanding tradition of excellence. Stepping into this new role, her vision is to build on service to the community beyond clinicals in the hospital. “We can help young people in middle school and high school consider the diverse nursing opportunities available to them right here in Kansas City.”

Professional societies and awards

Saxton is the Chair of the West Central Region for the Missouri Nurses Association. She is also a program evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and active member of the Sigma Theta Tau International honor society of nursing and the American Nurses Association.

In 2018 she was presented The Research Foundation Scholarly Achievement Award. Her expert leadership helped RCoN earn national honors by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing with the Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership Award.

“I am honored to represent my alma mater as Dean. Together we will shape the future of nursing education,” said Saxton.