Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Photo of McPherson, Sara

Sara McPherson, PhD, RN, CNE

Director, UIC Nursing-Springfield Campus, Interim Director Peoria Campus

Clinical Associate Professor

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science

Pronouns: She/Her



One University Plaza, SAB 23, Springfield, IL 62703

Office Phone:



Dr. McPherson has been faculty in the Biobehavioral Nursing Science (BNS) department since 2016, Springfield campus.  Dr. McPherson has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  She has taught in a wide variety of courses and labs: foundations, medical-surgical, integrated practice, simulation lab, EBP courses, and DNP faculty mentor.

Dr. McPherson program of research and scholarship are centered on nursing education.  Her research focuses on preparing faculty, recruitment, and retention strategies.  Dr. McPherson is published for her work on nursing faculty preparation and needs.  She is an expert in the Delphi method.  Dr. McPherson has reviewed for several journals on nursing education and the Delphi method.  Dr. McPherson has presented her work at local and international conferences, most recently Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Congress in 2019.  She is a board member for Illinois League for Nursing.

Selected Publications

McPherson, S. & Wendler, M. C. (2023).  “Finding my place in academic:” Understanding the experiences of novice faculty.  Journal of Nursing Education, 62(8), 433-442.  doi: 10.3928/01484834-20230612-01

Vanderzwan, K., Hiller, A., Amusina, O., Ryan, C., Krassa, T., McPherson, S., Tozer, C., Carlucci, M., Quinn, L., & Kent, D. (2023). A mentoring workgroup for academic role transition among clinical track nursing faculty.  Journal of Nursing Education, 62(3), 183-186.  doi:  10.3928/01484834-20230109-10

Courson, S., Breen, K., Smith, J., Flynn, A., Evans, J., Moffitt, R., Staake, C., & McPherson, S. (2022).  Impact of COVID-19 on the level of work engagement of nurses at a small, rural hospital.  Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 53(4), 157-164.

Vortman, R., Wendler, M. C., & McPherson, S. (2021). A Delphi study to understand current surgical smoke evacuation practices and related health concerns of perioperative nurses. Perioperative Care and Operating Room Management, 24, 100196.

Wendler, M. C., Vortman, R., Rafferty, R., & McPherson, S. (2021). What do novice faculty need to successfully transition to the nurse faculty role? An integrative review. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 18(1) 1-18.

Vortman, R., & McPherson, S. (2021). The state of the perioperative nursing specialty workforce: A concern for executive nurse leaders. Nurse Leader, 19(3), 281-288.

Vortman, R., Wendler, M. C., & McPherson, S. (2021). A Delphi technique study to understand nurses’ knowledge and concerns regarding surgical smoke.  Perioperative Care and Operative Room Management, 24.

McPherson, S., Reese, C., Van Schyndel, J., & Wendler, M. C. (2021). Scholarly requirements and support for nursing faculty development and career advancement: A nationwide Delphi study. Nurse Education Perspectives, 42(2), 69-73. doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000784 *CEU article

McPherson, S., & Wendler, M. C. (2020). Safe clinical practice in pre-licensure nursing students: A concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 55, 513-522. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12457

McPherson, S., Reese, C., & Wendler, C. (2018). Methodology update: Delphi studies. Nursing Research, 67(5), 404-410. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000297

Notable Honors

2022, I TEAM Award: Interprofessional Development Education Experience, University of Illinois

2021, Nurse Educator Fellow, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education

2020, Forty under Forty Emerging Leader, Illinois Nurse Foundation


2016 Doctor of Philosophy, Nursing Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV

2009 Master of Science in Nursing, Millikin University, Decatur, IL

2005 Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Selected Presentations

McPherson, S. (2019). Delphi Study: Understanding the preparation and support needed for undergraduate clinical faculty. Sigma Theta Tau International Congress: Calgary, Canada.

Weaver, B., Knox, K., & McPherson, S. (2019). Perceptions of rural magnet® nurses comfort and confidence with EBP.  Memorial Medical Center, Sigma Theta Tau: Springfield, Illinois.

McPherson, S. (2016).  Understanding the preparation and support for undergraduate clinical faculty.  Memorial Medical Center Academic Partnership: Springfield, Illinois.