IPFW Nursing Mentoring


The roles of professional advisors and faculty are similar, yet different, in student career progression and student success. While advisors are well versed in many areas of student resources, student progression in the curriculum, and the workings of the programs and IPFW, the faculty are each “experts” in specific nursing realms. For example, Professor Carol Crosby is a wonderful resource for Law and Ethical Informatics and Patient Safety while Professor Denise Jordan excels in Community Nursing and reaching out to the Underserved. Posters are throughout the Department of Nursing and on the Nursing website directing students to their Faculty Mentors. A Mentoring Fair is held each semester. This is an opportunity for students to peruse the area and learn of faculty’s areas of expertise. Faculty are available to meet one-on-one and begin to develop these mentoring relationships. The atmosphere is welcoming, informative, and relational.


IPFW Nurses Get Involved with the Community


Lac Du Flambeau Reservation

At IPFW, there are countless ways to get involved in the healthcare community. Here are just a few of the ways we do our part to help out.

Healthy Cities Health Fair

Each fall, hundreds of volunteers and clients converge on Matthew 25 Medical/Dental Clinic on East Jefferson Blvd. for the Annual Healthy Cities Health Fair. Services provided included blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, PSA for men, vision and hearing screenings, flu shots, haircuts, and more. Each client participating in the health fair received a winter coat and a warm meal. This year, 211 clients were served. Each year, it takes approximately 300 volunteers working 4 hour shifts to staff this event. The volunteers include professionals and nursing students from IPFW and University of Saint Francis. IPFW was also well represented by the Anthropology, Dental, Radiology, and Human Services departments.

The Healthy Cities Health Fair is a yearly event that was originated in 1990 by Linda Graham, a former professor in the nursing department. Graham identified the need for yearly health screenings for the uninsured and under-insured members of the community. Graham enlisted the help of her friends in the health professions to come together to provide many health screenings that would normally not be accessible to this population. The health fair outgrew several venues over the years, and finally has found a new home at Matthew 25 in 2012. Healthy Cities continues every year in loving memory of Linda Graham, since her death in 2008.

Health Screenings for Migrant Workers

After almost a year of planning, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Students from the Department of Nursing and Spanish students from the Department of International Languages and Culture Studies at IPFW traveled to Atlanta, Indiana to provide health screenings for migrant workers at Beck’s Hybrid Seeds. The Health Clinic was organized by Nurse Practitioner and IPFW faculty member Heather Krull. Spanish Professor Jens Clegg assisted in the planning of the event. Prior to the event, Professor Clegg’s Spanish class translated pamphlets designed by the NP students into Spanish. The pamphlets provided health promotion information on hypertension, tobacco cessation, repetitive work injuries, and health care resources. These pamphlets were provided to the migrant workers during their examinations. Multiple health conditions were identified during the examinations including: hypertension, oral abscesses, musculoskeletal injuries, tobacco abuse, and obesity. Referrals were then made for care. The day-long clinic with four exam rooms served 42 migrant workers and gave great practical experience to both the Spanish and NP students.

All students had the opportunity to interact with the migrant workers providing translation, physical examinations, medical advice, education on medical information, and information on medical resources available in the community.

Community Partnership Lac Du Flambeau Reservation

While many professionals such as engineers, farmers, and architects “size up” a community in order to design buildings or prepare the ground for harvest, community health nurses also gather information about the health of communities using a systematic process. Nurses with expertise in community and public health nursing are skilled investigators who gather health data in order to help community residents address their health concerns.

Nine IPFW senior-level baccalaureate nursing students under the leadership of faculty Denise Jordan and LeAnn Mayer from the Department of Nursing, spent their fall break working in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. They were participating in a community assessment of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and the members of the Ojibwa Tribe who reside there.

Just as nurses assess and evaluate the needs of individuals, community health nursing students have learned how to assess communities and formulate community diagnoses. Over fall break, their work and the work of our IPFW photographers provided important guidance to tribal members, assisting them with the resolution of health problems on the reservation.

Advice from a former BS in Nursing student


For me, starting college was an exciting but scary experience. As a poor high school student, my goal was to place all of my strength into succeeding every way I could and knew best! Thankfully, I had an awesome support system through IPFW. I enrolled in the first year experience (FYE) program which did help to make the transition better and smoother. Through that program I was able to meet struggling students such as myself and professors that I grew close knit relationships. I felt at peace with the reassurance that I wasn’t alone and could call on ANYONE to help. I did run into some struggle when applying for the nursing program. I had some difficulties passing the TEAS test, mainly because I am not a big fan of standardized test. What brought me through was the dedication of myself and the professors to help me succeed. I met with Greg Anderson regularly to review test questions and to work on my struggle areas. I never once felt alone at IPFW and I never felt like it was going to be impossible. The staff always led me in the right direction and never steered me away. If I felt alone, it was simply because I didn’t reach out to grab a lending hand. I say that to say this, if you are struggling with anything, do not be afraid to ask for help.


Well, I finally made it into the program and the light did seem closer. The nursing program brought battles of their own, but I pushed through, exhausted all of my options, and once again searched for help. I am certain that IPFW prepared me for the real world of nursing. The hands on experience in the labs, clinical sites, and classroom all helped in the transition into my first year of nursing. I am still proud of the decision I made to pursue a degree from IPFW and you should be too.


I just want to leave you with a few more words: Do not give up! You have to know within yourself that what your doing is no simple task and truthfully you will want to give up; that’s mainly because you have a huge goal to reach! Best of luck to all and remember, “If you haven’t felt like quitting, it’s because your dream isn’t big enough.”


Bernadette Davis RN, BSN
December 2014 graduate

Parkview Nurses In Pursuit of Magnet Recognition

Layout 1What is Magnet?

The Magnet Recognition Program® is a national accreditation sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The accreditation recognizes excellence in nursing clinical outcomes, patient experience and nursing engagement. At present, there are approximately 422 Magnet organizations in the United States or about 7% of all US hospitals and 4 International organizations.

Why Magnet?

Parkview Health intends to be among the best in the country and that means performing in the top decile. Magnet status fits that goal for nursing. The ANCC has provided Magnet status as platform for change within the nursing profession. ANCC seeks to elevate the practice of nursing through measurement of empirical outcomes across 49 standards and the four domains of transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice and new knowledge, innovations, and improvements. Achieving Magnet status will demonstrate that Parkview outperforms the mean in greater than 50% these standards over greater than 50% of our departments across the health system.

Does Magnet status pertain only to nursing?

While the accreditation is predominantly a nursing recognition, the requirements for collaboration and teamwork with medical staff, clinical and non-clinical co-workers make this a recognition for the system as a whole. Without a real partnership across all departments and settings, achieving Magnet status would not be possible.

IPFW and Parkview…A partnership

IPFW and Parkview Health have an long-standing relationship and shared goal of continuing to provide the best educational opportunities and clinical sites for students. That partnership extends to programming and academic assistance in meeting the requirements of RN to BS attainment, research, and nursing residency programs. These programs seek to advance the practice of nursing and the engagement of nurses in their practice.  The support of the nursing faculty and university have been key to our success in achieving these goals.

The IPFW Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic

By Deborah Baresic WHNP-BC and Linda Finke RN, PhD


The IPFW Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic, affiliated with the College of Health and Human Services and the Department of Nursing, has continued its 10-year tradition of providing women’s health care to the underserved of Fort Wayne. We are federally funded from Title X. We provide services on a sliding scale or free for those who cannot pay. We also bill insurance and accept Medicaid. We have over 1000 patients and in the last fiscal year had 2331 patient encounters.

What We Do

Our services include yearly exams, screening for cervical and breast cancer, and sexually transmitted infections (STI). We prescribe all types of birth control, tests and treatments for STI’s, see patients for problem visits, and do pregnancy testing. Our goal is to help women be as healthy as possible and to plan when to bring children into their family. A healthy planned pregnancy helps to decrease maternal and infant mortality. We also do screening and referral for primary health care problems such as high blood pressure, cervical and breast cancer, and other health problems. We are a nurse managed clinic. Our staff includes an Executive Director, a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, a registered nurse and 2 medical assistants.

Where We Are Located

We are located at Lafayette and Pontiac in the Lafayette Street Medical Building in the underserved area of Fort Wayne. In the last fiscal year, 83% of our patients were 100% or below the federal poverty level and paid nothing for their services.  33% of our patients are Hispanic and 2 of our staff are bilingual which really helps with communication. We also have a Health insurance Navigator, again grant funded, to assist patients and their families find affordable health insurance.

What We Hope to Accomplish

One of our main goals this year has been to increase the knowledge in our community about the prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV) and the importance of vaccination. This is a critical issue as 80% of people will be exposed to HPV in their lifetime which increases the risk of cervical, penile, and anal cancers. The vaccination gives boys and girls significant immunity to the virus. We are sponsoring many activities on campus and in the community related to this. We have partnered with the IPFW Center for Healthy Living, Dean of Students, Student Life, the College of Health and Human Services, and the Allen County Department of Health to hold education sessions and immunizations on the IPFW campus. We have also partnered with the YWCA and the Public Housing Authority to hold community events. Allen County has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted disease in the state of Indiana. We do testing and treatment as well as education to prevent the spread of these infections. We also do HIV testing.

The IPFW Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic provides an important service for low-income women.  We are located where our patients live and we provide culturally sensitive health care. Many of our patients have no other place to receive care and we are proud of the exceptional services we provide.

Are You Ready for Grad School?

Books. 3D render

Graduate school can be a great way to advance your career and increase expertise in your field. Perhaps you have been considering it for some time but weren’t quite ready to take the leap. It’s important that you feel prepared for the challenge of earning this new degree when deciding to begin graduate school. There are several benefits to earning a graduate degree, including career growth, salary increase and personal success.

Here are some things to consider when making the decision to apply for graduate school:

1. What goals do you hope to accomplish with a graduate degree?

By now, you’ve probably given some thought to what program you’re interested in and the schools that offer it. Have you also considered any goals you could accomplish once you’ve earned your degree? If you haven’t, take some time to think about how it can positively impact your career and what you hope to gain from it.

2. Does the program align with your career goals?

If your goal is to be in a supervisory position, make sure that the program you’re looking at will provide you with the expertise and knowledge to fulfill those qualifications. You should be sure that the material you are learning will prepare you to meet your goals and help you move up in your career.

3. Are you willing to commute to campus or do you prefer online learning?

Determining early in the process whether you prefer online only or are willing to commute for class can play a major role in where you decide to apply. Online programs are becoming more and more prevalent, as institutions aim to make their programs more accessible for working adults. Keep in mind, however, that depending on your discipline and the program you intend on pursing, online programs may not be doable.

4. How will it will affect your work and home life?

When planning for graduate school, taking into consideration how you will balance your work and home responsibilities while keeping up with your graduate work, is a major key to success. Making sure that you are able to make time for classes and homework, while not overworking yourself is crucial, not only to your studies, but also for your health and well-being.

5.  How do you plan on paying for it?

Cost is an important factor to consider when thinking about graduate school. You’ll want to apply for financial aid and research any scholarship opportunities that may apply to you. Another important detail to consider is whether or not you are willing to take out loans to pay for graduate school, as that can influence where you apply and if you decide to go full-time or part-time.

Whether you are looking to take your career in a new direction or simply looking move into a higher paying position, graduate school can be the platform to help you do it. Begin your search at IPFW and find out what opportunities await you.

Dress For Success


Soon after the start of the Fall semester the Social Committee of the IPFW Nursing Department brought a new idea to the faculty. The Woman’s Bureau of Fort Wayne has sponsored a national Dress for Success program since May, 2013. This program is on a mission to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. It educates or trains women for the job market. It assists the women in writing resumes and letters of intent and introduces them to the process of job interviews. “I don’t have any proper clothes for a job interview” was the most common problem that women in the program voiced. Part of this highly effective program is the Dress for Success store. The Social Committee asked that the faculty and staff to donate gently used professional clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry to the program. It was the perfect time; summer clothes were being exchanged for fall clothes in the closets. The adage, “if it hasn’t been worn in a year, give it away,” was used to motivate people to give. Giving to others can be a boost in morale.

The Committee collected clothing on hangers and it was graciously accepted by the Woman’s Bureau at 2417 Fairfield Avenue; within a week, the Nursing Department received a letter of recognition and thanks. Giving to others provides a feeling of self-satisfaction and pride. When cleaning out your closets or tossing old clothes, remember the women in need of “professional clothing”. These women could be graduates of IPFW who just need a step up to present themselves in the best manner. Women who look professional concurrently think professionally and their confidence is boosted.

Dress for Success
2417 Fairfield Avenue
Fort Wayne, IN

The Newly Streamlined RN to B.S. Program

By Cheryl Rockwell

IPFW’s newly streamlined RN to B.S. program prepares registered nurses, in a little over one year to hold a Bachelor of Science degree. Courses in the three Ps – Physiology, Pharmacology, and Physical Assessment are specifically tailored with clinically relevant and useful knowledge for the practicing RN. From informatics and evidence-based practice to leadership and transcultural health within a global context, cutting edge information prepares nursesfor 21st century practice. The opening module is a seminar for RNs, which will help orient returning students to the online learning environment. The entire nursing coursework is 36 credit hours, delivered over 8 weeks/course; most courses are 7 weeks long with a week off between them. “Our faculty designed the Streamlined RN to B.S. program to help the region’s nursing community get the degrees the health industry wants. Many nurses are balancing the need to return for a baccalaureate degree with the demands of their work. Our program combines the reputable rigor of a Purdue degree with the flexibility these working nurses need,” said Chancellor Vicky Carwein. Those interested in learning more or applying for admission should contact the program’s advisor,
Leah Schweikhardt by phone, 260-481-6115 or email, schwll01@ipfw.edu.

Q&A with IPFW Nursing Advisors


Have you been considering a nursing degree? Perhaps the 4 year Bachelor of Science? At IPFW, our nursing program offers just that! Our nursing advisors, Sydney Miracle and Jo Bauman, have teamed up to answer some of the most common questions students have about our Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing program.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: This program can be completed in 4 years based on full-time attendance. This includes pre-nursing course work. A student may go part-time if needed, which would extend the time needed to complete the program.

Q:  What is the pre-nursing course work?
A: 10 courses (consisting of 33 credit hours) that a student will take their Freshman year in college: ENG W131, PSY 12000, COM 11400, BIOL 20300, CHM 10400, ENG W233, BIOL 20400, FNN 30300, BIOL 22000 and SOC S161 (or ANTH E105).

Q: I am a transfer student. How will this affect my admission to the Nursing program?
A: For program admission, all 33 pre-nursing credit hours must be completed. First priority consideration for program admission is given to students who have completed 15 or more of the 33 pre-nursing credit hours at IPFW or at other Purdue University or Indiana University campuses. Six credit hours of a required science course (FNN 30300, BIOL 20300, BIOL 20400, BIOL 22000, PCTX 20100, CHM 10400, CHM 11100 or CHM 11200) must be taken at IPFW or at other Purdue University or Indiana University campuses for admission consideration. The remaining pre-nursing credit hours would need to come as transfer credits.

Q:  Other than the pre-nursing course work are there other requirements for application?
A: The semester a student applies to the nursing program they will take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scholastic aptitude assessment pre-admission examination. Applicants will also need to write an essay; they will be given the topic and criteria.

Q: What are my options if I am not accepted to the Nursing program?
A: You may reapply during the next application period. You should meet with your academic advisor to review your options.

Q: I’ve been out of school for some time. Will I be able to enroll in the program?
A: Yes. Many returning adult students are anxious about returning to school and find that other classmates may be in the same situation and can provide valuable support. Students have many free academic support services available to them. These services can be found on the website.

Q: Is assistance available to guide me in choosing courses throughout the program and in answering questions I have about the program?
A: Yes. Our experienced academic advisors and faculty members are available to you and are 100 percent committed to your success in the program. Visit our website for contact information.

Q: Where do I obtain the application to apply to the program?
A: Application for admission to the B.S. program is available through an academic advisor. Deadlines for applying are July 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester

Q: What are the fees and other expenses associated with the program?
A: Other expenses for Nursing students include uniforms and a name badge, CPR training, physical exams and immunizations, liability insurance, and Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) testing fees. See the “Frequently Asked Questions” page of the Department of Nursing website for a complete list.

If you still have questions, or would like to contact someone about applying to the Nursing Program at IPFW, visit our website or give us a call at 260-481-6816.

Faculty-Student Mentoring Program


IPFW Nursing Faculty as a whole possess hundreds of years of nursing experience. We hope to leave a legacy– imparting not only knowledge about coursework and academic progression, also about our practice specialization. We are accomplished nurse scholars and our individual and collective work elevates the Department’s reputation, enrollment, programs, and creative work.

Brightly colored posters, lining the Department walls, illustrate the practice areas that DON Faculty have identified as their areas of expertise. A companion poster matches the expertise to the named nursing professor, so it is easy to see which faculty might be a good match with a student’s interests.

Faculty also have office signs which read, “Ask me about…” These signs are our way of inviting students to make an appointment and spend a little time getting to know the faculty member’s professional interests. Faculty are eager to mentor students in the practice discipline, sharing their time and talents. Faculty mentors are available by appointment, and students are encouraged to make an appointment, stop in, ask questions, and seek guidance about specialty practice areas.

In our online courses, students seek faculty expertise and guidance through online office hours. Online students in the neighborhood? Feel free to stop by for a face-to-face visit with our faculty experts. You won’t be disappointed.