KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing built on its impressive history Thursday, January 12, with 23 students from across the region starting classes to earn their Master of Science in nursing.
Chancellor Michael Harris welcomed the students to “the best M.S.N. program anywhere in Indiana, with the best faculty to teach it,” and congratulated them on choosing IU Kokomo to further their careers in nursing.
“There is no doubt in my mind you are obviously ambitious about your careers. This M.S.N. will allow you many other opportunities that will allow you to go places and do things which will make even more of a difference than you do now,” Harris said.
Students enrolled in this first cohort come from Kokomo, Indianapolis, Anderson, Lafayette, Logansport, and Marion, among other communities.
Gail Elbert, a nurse from Community Hospital in Anderson, and three of her co-workers became interested because of the face-to-face classroom instruction.
“We were looking for a program with classroom instruction, not so much looking for something online. We’re driving a good distance to be here,” she said.
Evelyn Kamoto commutes from Elkhart for classes. She found IU Kokomo’s M.S.N. program online and chose it for the nursing administration track. She is the program’s first international student, originally from Malawi, Africa.
Harris thanked Linda Wallace, dean of the School of Nursing, Mary Bourke, assistant dean for graduate studies, and the nursing faculty for their work developing the curriculum.
“We are on our way to be the best regional campus in the world. We are on our way to be the best M.S.N. program – nothing short of that is sufficient for us,” he said, adding that the students should come to every class with that mindset. He told them others would look at their success and decide to come to IU Kokomo based on their work.
Bourke said faculty spent a year developing curriculum for the new program, which matches that of the top nursing schools in the country. Students can complete the program in two years, and will be prepared for careers in hospital management or teaching.
Memory Mollongwa was happy to return to IU Kokomo, where she earned her B.S.N. degree, to earn a master’s degree. She chose to commute from Indianapolis because “I recognize the faculty, and it wasn’t as intimidating.”
Melissa Garber was happy to be able to earn a master’s at IU Kokomo, after receiving her associate and bachelor’s degrees from the university.
“I have faith in the faculty and the program, and I like that it’s in my community.”
IU Kokomo has the third-largest nursing school in Indiana, educating many of north central Indiana’s nurses. In addition to the master’s program, it offers bachelor’s degrees in nursing and an R.N. to B.S.N. program. The school has active cultural and service programs in Guatemala and South Korea.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.