Directory Profile

Sandra M Branson

Sandra M Branson, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE

Associate Professor
Department of Undergraduate Studies
View Curriculum Vitae

Dr. “Sandy” Branson received her BS in Psychology from the University of Houston and her BSN from Texas Woman’s University. She received her MSN in Leadership and Administration, post master's certificate in Education, and her PhD as the Hamill Foundation Scholar in the Accelerated Ph.D. Program from UTHealth School of Nursing. 

Dr. Branson’s clinical background is in acute care, community health, clinical education, and healthcare leadership/management/administration, and most currently equine-assisted interventions. She teaches a variety of leadership/management and quality improvement courses and is a community clinical instructor in the undergraduate and RN-to-BSN programs. As a TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer, she conducts simulations utilizing Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety with the Ambassador Honor's students. She also has experience teaching students using Team-Based Learning. She has received several awards, including academic scholarships, service awards, abstract awards, and received the Outstanding Houston Nurse award from Texas Nurses Association District 9.

Dr. Branson works with individuals with disabilities, including those with physical, cognitive and emotional issues participating in equine-assisted interventions. Her overall research goal is to establish a program of research that incorporates animals in peoples’ lives and in the treatment and recovery process. She has been consistently funded since 2014, and a has conducted several cross-sectional studies and randomized controlled trials investigating pet ownership and the effectiveness of incorporating animals in the treatment process.  

Dr. Branson is interested in collaborating on projects involving animal-assisted activities and pet ownership in a wide variety of populations. She is also interested in collaborating on projects related to team-based learning and team-based care, acute care, community health, staff development/clinical education, and healthcare leadership, management, and administration.

Related News Items

Branson’s BSN students saddle up for equine-assisted learning at SIRE horsemanship center (Dec 2019)

Pilot trial by Pickens and Branson assessing telephone-based care for at-risk elderly (Jun 2019)

Human Animal Bond Research Institute funds Branson’s new study on health benefits of pet caretaking (Jan 2019)

TNA District 9 Foundation honors Branson and Otto at Nov. 10 “Nursing Celebration” dinner (Oct 2016)

Branson and co-authors publish study in Journal of Pediatric Nursing (Aug 2017)