Dr. Sandra Burns - Doctor of Physical Therapy program | Briar Cliff University
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Sandra Burns, PT, DPT, C/NDT

Sandra Burns

Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

Phone: (712) 279-5597
Email: Sandra.Burns@briarcliff.edu
Office Location: Mayfair 109


  • DPT, Des Moines University
  • MS, Physical Therapy, Des Moines University
  • BA, Biology, University of San Diego
  • Advanced Certification in Neurodevelopmental Treatment for Children and Adults with Hemiplegia
  • APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor
Sandra Burns


Sandra Burns PT, DPT, joined the Briar Cliff Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2019 as an Assistant Professor. In the 3 years prior to joining the team full time, Dr. Burns served as an adjunct professor assisting with the DPT 601 Neurorehabilitation course and the DPT 640 Pediatric Physical Therapy course. She has been employed as an adjunct faculty member since August 2016. Dr. Burns also served as a clinical instructor to students from the first and second cohorts prior to joining the program full time.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Burns has served our community in a variety of physical therapy settings. Most recently, she was employed at Lifescape Ablekids in Sioux City as the clinic manager. Her role as a Physical Therapist in the clinic focused on neurologically involved pediatric population. As a manager, Dr. Burns focused on administrative tasks including staffing, productivity, continuous quality improvement, risk management, marketing, staff development and program development for a staff of 18 professionals. She has worked in a hospital based outpatient department serving Pediatric and Neurologically impaired populations as well as covering Rehabilitation unit and Acute care. Further clinical experience includes serving as a manager of rehabilitation services for a cluster of SNF facilities in Northwest Iowa. Dr. Burns has specialized training/certifications in the following areas: NDT Adult Hemiplegia, Lymphedema, and NDT Pediatric certifications.

Dr. Burns earned both a DPT and MS degrees in Physical Therapy from the Des Moines University She also received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology from the University of San Diego. Dr. Burns is licensed to practice physical therapy in the state of Iowa and South Dakota. She also holds certifications in NDT Adult Hemiplegia from the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute since December 1999. She received her Certified Lymphedema Therapist in 2000 in Ames, Iowa. In May 2012, Dr. Burns completed 365 hours of training to become certified in NDT Pediatric care. Dr. Burns maintains contemporary competence in the realms she teaches through her clinical work at Opportunities Unlimited, Lifescape Ablekids and through continuing education. Dr. Burns is an active member of the APTA in the Neurology and Pediatric sections and with the Iowa PT Association.

Dr. Burns is involved in service to the Department by serving on the Briar Cliff University DPT Program Advisory Board. Dr. Burns contributes to the Siouxland community through being a volunteer Yoga teacher at several community sites and her service at various triathlon events. She also sits on the Siouxland Trails Foundation and Gigi’s Playhouse as a Board Member.