College of Professional Studies

Kathleen O'Connor, Ph.D., RN

Kathleen O’Connor has served as Dean of the College of Professional Studies since July 2013. The College of Professional Studies includes the departments of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Social Work; Education; Engineering Technology; Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Military Science and ROTC; and Nursing and Allied Health.

Kathleen began her tenure at Missouri Western State University as an instructor in 1980. She became an assistant professor in 1987, then an associate professor and chairperson of the department of nursing in 1998. As chairperson, Dr. O’Connor led the development of Missouri Western’s Master of Science in Nursing: Health Care Leadership program. She also helped create a partnership with Metropolitan Community College for an RN-to-BSN program at MCC’s Penn Valley campus. She is a past recipient of the Missouri Western State University Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award and the university’s Jesse Lee Myers Excellence in Teaching Award.

Kathleen is a Registered Nurse in Missouri, and has worked primarily in critical care at the University of Missouri Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and Heartland Health System. She has served as chairperson of the Missouri Association of Colleges of Nursing and is a past president of the Collegiate Nurse Educators of Greater Kansas City. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, Missouri Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses, and American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Kathleen received her BSN from Creighton University, MSN from Kansas University, and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D., RN, Vita