Leaving A Nursing Legacy 65 over 65 - Dr. Rhea C. Sanford
Pearl of Wisdom
“Effectiveness in roles as a clinical provider and educator isbuilt on how to say “Hello” to a range of populations: patients; families; students; and fellow collaborators in clinical and academic practice. What follows is engagement in conversation and in exploration of paths that can and need to be pursued.”
About the Honoree
Rhea has dedicate her entire career to care for the residents of Connecticut, and teach the next generations of nurses to be compassionate, caring and excellent clinicians. Her clinical practice spans over 30 years from 1973 to 2007; the first ten in behavioral health at Waterbury Hospital followed by more than 20 years in adult acute care and performance improvement at the UCONN Health Center. After a successful clinical career, Rhea moved to a focus in working with students to prepare them for the role of nurse. Her first full-time academic position was at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing retiring in 2011; after which, she took a faculty position at Quinnipiac University School of Nursing where she currently focuses on academic preparation of undergraduate and graduate degree nurses. Here she shares her passion for teaching and mentoring and serves the School of Nursing on a variety of committees.
Of significance to her practice, Rhea developed a strong appreciation for the works of Paolo Freire, philosopher and educator. Freire’s work focused on the roles of teacher and student and the significance of dialogue between the two; dialogue where both are simultaneously teachers and students. This perspective provided grounding for the conversations continuously embedded in both clinical care and academic practice.
Rhea has been honored to receive awards in recognition of her clinical and academic endeavors: Eleanor K. Gill Outstanding Alumnae Award for Clinical Excellence in Nursing, University of Connecticut School of Nursing;the Florence Wald Award from the Connecticut Nurses’ Association; and the Carolyn Ladd Widmer Research Award, University of Connecticut School of Nursing.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut, followed by her registered nurse certificate and Master’s in Medical-Surgical Nursing from Yale University School of Nursing, and her PhD in Nursing from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing.