Roxanne Vandermause named dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis

Donald L. Ross Endowed Chair for Advancing Nursing Practice Roxanne “Annie” Vandermause was named interim dean of the College of Nursing in January. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Marie Mora named Roxanne “Annie” Vandermause dean of the College of Nursing, effective July 7. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Roxanne “Annie” Vandermause has worked tirelessly during her 18 months as interim dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis to educate the next generation of nurses, contribute to the science of nursing and serve the public by preparing nurses to address the health care needs of the region and beyond.

She’ll now have the opportunity to serve on a more permanent basis. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Marie Mora has tapped Vandermause to assume the role of dean of the College of Nursing, effective July 7.

“We are delighted that Dr. Vandermause will become dean of the College of Nursing,” said Mora. “She has demonstrated the strength of her leadership and her commitment to fulfilling the university’s and college’s strategic mission. Furthermore, she has an exceptional background in research and understands the needs and challenges of the UMSL student body and health care community partners in the St. Louis region, making her the ideal person to lead the education of those nurses who will directly impact the health of the region.”

Larry Davis, dean of the College of Optometry, chaired an eight-person committee that vetted and enthusiastically recommended Vandermause’s appointment.

Vandermause came to UMSL in 2015 as the Donald L. Ross Endowed Chair for Advancing Nursing Practice and has assumed progressive responsibility from the endowed chair to directing the PhD program and administering the College of Nursing research office and then serving as interim dean.

“I’m very excited about taking this piece of service on for the university, and I think I can provide strong leadership to move us into the future,” Vandermause said. “We’re in a discipline that’s still evolving, and now we’re faced with the challenges of this next century. I want to be a part of preparing the college for that next step in the process.”

In her permanent role, Vandermause looks forward to steering the college through a period of growth. She’s focusing on enhancing already-strong relationships with health care community partners and increasing enrollment so that the college can continue to produce superiorly prepared nurses and help fill the state’s nursing vacancy rate of 10 percent.

To that end, Vandermause embarked on a listening campaign tour with the college’s community partners.

“We are committed to providing a quality workforce for the St. Louis area and beyond,” Vandermause said. “Our students come out of our programs able to meet health care needs anywhere.”

Part of those efforts started with the implementation of a concept-based curriculum, a five-year review of the College of Nursing and the launch of the $7 million renovation and remodeling of the Nursing Learning Resource and Simulation Center. The new facility will allow the college to grow the number of pre-licensure BSN students it graduates by 20 percent annually.

She believes that the College of Nursing is uniquely situated to fill community needs because of the university’s focus on diverse, equitable and inclusive education; a group of students who range from traditional to first-generation to student-parents and beyond; and the strength of the college’s faculty, who have strong disciplinary knowledge.

“We have students who are advancing their careers and working to the highest level of education, increasing their ability, the scope of their practice,” she said.

Vandermause earned her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and previously was on the leadership team in the College of Nursing at Washington State University. Her research specialties are addiction, mental health, community mental health and community initiatives addressing access to health care.

She uses hermeneutic phenomenological methods – a type of qualitative research that examines and interprets patterns in everyday experience – to study health and well-being. Her research has been consistently supported by funding from foundations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and others.

Over the course of her career, Vandermause has practiced in all areas of health care delivery as a nurse and taught at all levels of nursing education and looks forward to continuing to bringing her expertise to UMSL nursing students.

“Nurses are resilient, flexible and able to see broadly, and they can do a lot of things,” Vandermause said. “I have enjoyed my profession. I want to share that with students and get them excited. We have a great group of leadership council members, faculty and staff, who are very eager to share their passion for nursing.”


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