Richard Nelson, MD MSRC RRT-NPS RCP
Program Director, Entry-Level Respiratory Care
Dr. Nelson started his career in health care as an orderly at the age of 15. At night, he trained as an EMT and a NA-c and during summers he assisted in navigation and patient transport where his mom worked as a medical aviation pilot. At just 16, he entered Loma Linda University to study respiratory care. As a student, he received the Award for Clinical Excellence and was the first LLU respiratory care student to publish in a peer reviewed journal and also the 1st LLU respiratory student missionary.
Dr. Nelson’s decades of clinical work includes neonatal, pediatric and adult critical care working in California and as a clinical supervisor with the Loma Linda University overseas heart team. Dr. Nelson has a passion for helping the underserved and was the pioneer of the 1st USA accredited international university program in respiratory care and has provided lectures in more than 20 countries. As an interdivision union director, Dr. Nelson coordinated work in five nations of Central Asia, establishing 85 projects for community service. He has served as a professor, department chair, associate dean, & vice president for medical affairs. Dr. Nelson is the recipient of the SAHP Distinguished Service Award and SAHP Alumnus of the Year. He has served as an LLU faculty member for 30 years and is currently BS Respiratory Care Program Director. Together with his wife Anna (SPH MPH & DrPH Health Education program director) they keep up a passion for adventure and service with their four boys.