Nancy Krusen, Ph.D., OTR/L


Associate Professor

Nancy has developed a wide range of educational and clinical skills in roughly 30 years of practice as an occupational therapist and educator.  She has taught students at technical, professional and post-professional levels and is an innovator in on-line course development.  As an evaluator for the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), she has developed skills in program evaluation that helps us assure our program is meeting its goals effectively.  Nancy brings these experiences to the School of Occupational Therapy to teach a wide range of courses in the curriculum, in both the traditional residence and virtual classrooms where she loves to stimulate learning through highly interactive lecture-discussions and engaging learning activities.

Dr. Krusen’s research interests revolve primarily around students’ adaptation to challenges presented during fieldwork education.  She has primarily used qualitative research methods to explore the concepts of the Occupational Adaptation frame of reference as applied to the professional development of occupational therapy students.  She is particularly interested in negative relative mastery, a phenomenon that she has identified, learning from life challenges that do not go as planned and in the contribution the human environment in occupational adaptation. 

Dr. Krusen’s current innovative practice projects include work with Forward Stride addressing equine assisted therapy; home accessibility and caregiver support with the Washington County Disabled, Aging and Veteran’s Services; and the development of an AgrAbility program in Oregon.  AgrAbility is a United States Department of Agriculture funded program to support ill or injured farmers and ranchers continue their farming and ranching lifestyle.  Dr.  Krusen is working with a group of stakeholders in Oregon to develop this program, sorely needed in our agrarian state.

Nancy practices what she teaches about occupation – that a well-occupied life leads to health and life satisfaction.  She has a wide range of leisure occupational pursuits including indoor and outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, swimming, cooking, reading and music performance.  This variety of interests supports her teaching about occupation and how it contributes to our ability to meet occupational life challenges. 





Recent Publications:

Krusen, N. (2012). Technology, culture, family: Influences on home life. [Book review].    

    Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 19, 83.

Krusen, N. 2011. The influence of environment on clinical practice: Unspoken rules. British   

   Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(12), 546-553.


Krusen, N. 2011.  Improvisational leadership as an adaptive strategy for leadership and

   practice.  Occupational Therapy in HealthCare Early Online: 1–10, 2011. C_2011 by Informa

   Healthcare USA, Inc. Available online at

   DOI: 10.3109/07380577.2011.637609

Krusen, N. (2010).  Organizational ethnography. [Book review].  

    Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 2(17), 127-128.


For more information on Dr. Krusen: