Susan Larsen Beck, PhD, APRN, FAAN, AOCN is a professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing where she teaches in the doctoral program. With more than 30 years of experience as an advanced practice oncology nurse, Dr. Beck holds national credentials as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN). Dr. Beck's research interests include the management of symptoms in cancer patients and interventions to improve the quality and outcomes of care. Most recently her work has focused on testing of tools to improve the measurement of quality of care related to pain management in the individuals with cancer or receiving surgery for a potential cancer.
Dr. Beck served as Principal Investigator for the University Hospital’s Program to Improve Patient Care from 1989 through 1995. In 1996, she was a visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Pretoria in South Africa where she conducted multiple studies related to cancer pain management. She currently is a principal investigator of a multi-site clinical trial of a nursing intervention to mitigate cancer treatment-related symptoms in older men with prostate cancer (funded by the National Cancer Institute). She also leads a study to develop a tool to measure the quality of nursing and interdisciplinary care related to pain management in the acute care setting, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative. She is a co-investigator on a study of care provided by a Nurse Practitioner supported by an electronic case management system (Mooney, PI).
Dr. Beck is a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Control and Population Science Program and served on Advisory Boards of the Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center and the Pain and Palliative Medicine Program at HCI. She was a member of the ONS Oncology Nurse Sensitive Outcomes Team and helped to lead the Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) project which has now won two national awards.
In 2008, Dr. Beck served as the Chair of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Quality Measures Project team which has proposed a formal process for the development of quality measures sensitive to oncology nursing care. The team also drafted an initial set of candidate performance members for women with breast cancer receiving treatment. She now serves as a consultant on the initial testing of the ONS breast cancer measures that is planned for 2009-2010 in collaboration with the Joint Commission. In addition to multiple leadership roles within the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), she served on the interdisciplinary, national Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Cancer Pain Initiatives. She received the ONS Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and the University of Utah Distinguished Doctoral Student Mentor Award in 2007. In 2012, she was named the ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher.