With over four decades of service and experience, Dr. Richard Nielsen has served as the president of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions since 1998, when the university was originally named Rocky Mountain University of Physical Therapy.
After obtaining two separate Bachelor of Science degrees from Brigham Young University in 1973 and the University of Utah in 1975, both in physical therapy, Dr. Nielsen served in the United States Navy for over 20 years. During his time in the Navy, Dr. Nielsen held several esteemed positions, one of which included serving as the Physical Therapy Consultant to the Surgeon General and White House.
After his retirement from the Navy, Dr. Nielsen co-founded and served as president of the Institute of Clinical Electrophysiology, until later becoming president of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
During this time he went back to school and graduated from the University of Washington with his Master of Science degree, as well as the University of St. Augustine in Florida with a Doctorate in Health Science, emphasis in Clinical Electrophysiology.
As a board-certified electrophysiologic clinical specialist, Dr. Nielsen has co-founded with his wife, Jodi, and their eldest daughter, Kindee, two charitable foundations, both of which focus on building schools for underserved children in Africa. For nearly 30 years, Dr. Nielsen has built several schools in locations such as Ghana and Kenya, all providing educational opportunities for children. His current foundation, World of Difference (WoD), partners with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions to provide graduate healthcare students opportunities to participate and gain clinical experience in third-world countries.
Dr. Nielsen is currently practicing as an electromyographer in Utah and has received several recognitions in the medical community, including the 2015 Leader of the Year Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.