Alpha Tau Delta

Faculty Updates


Professor John Blakeman had his article “Using Shampoo to Explore Qualitative Research with Undergraduate Students” accepted by the Journal of Nursing Education.  The article is currently in press.

Dr. Sheryl Samuelson and graduating senior Taylor Dixon presented a poster at the 22nd Annual Nursing Research Conference in Springfield, IL on March 28, 2016. The poster was titled: “Benner’s Novice to Expert in the Undergraduate Evidence-Based Practice Curriculum”.

Professor Charlotte Bivens attended the HPSN World 2016 conference in Tampa, Florida in February.  She gave a presentation entitled “Senior Simulation Experience: Preparing Graduating Students for Practice”.  The focus was on the use of the NU 375 course Senior Simulation Experience to enhance students’ confidence and competence in clinical situations they may not encounter during their usual clinical experiences.

Promotions and Recognition

Congratulations are in order for Barb Connelley who received her Doctorate in Nursing Philosophy from University of Phoenix and was promoted to Assistant Professor.

Professor Vicki Caldwell obtained Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in June, 2015. Vicki is now licensed with the state as an Advanced Practice Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist. In January, 2016, Vicki was admitted to Millikin’s Doctor of Nursing Program, Track II.

The following Millikin Faculty have been accepted into doctoral programs for the Fall 2016:  John Blakeman (Illinois State University), Gina Canny (Nova Southeastern University), and Dawn Sarginson (Nova Southeastern University); and Jamie Nickell (Bradley University).

New Faculty/Retirements

Millikin University  welcomes Dr. Elizabeth Gephart, Dr. Amy Yeates, Professor Julie Standefer, and Professor Brenna Clark as they join the School of Nursing faculty.

The  School of Nursing hosted a retirement reception May 17, 20616  to honor the following retirees: Associate Professor Emeritus Isabel Ososki (36 years service) , Professor Emeritus, Dr. Kathy Booker (21 years service), and Associate Professor Emeritus, Dr. Karla Luxner (17 years service). Each of the retirees were awarded Emeritus standing and were recognized at the final University faculty meeting.

Legacy of The Lamp/Alumnus of the Year Ceremony

On Friday October, 2, 2016, as part of the Millikin University Homecoming events, the School of Nursing hosted the Legacy of the Lamp Ceremony, at which junior nursing students received a lamp in the tradition of Florence Nightengale, to recognize their successful achievement of passing their first clinical course, NU 202. The SON also recognized Tanya Andricks, the 2015 Alumnus of the year. Tanya gave an incredibly inspiring speech. A reception was given immediately prior to the ceremony to recognize the students and the Alumnus of the Year.


Tonya Andricks, RN, BSN, MHA, graduate of the class of 1995, was selected as the 2015 School of Nursing Alumnus of the year.

Tanya graduated from Millikin University’s School of Nursing in 1995 and immediately went to work at Decatur Memorial Hospital in the emergency department. After several years as a clinician Tanya pursued her interest in nursing administration in the role of Director of Maternal Child Nursing Services at DMH.

Tanya’s passion for community health prompted a role change in 2003 to Administrative Director of Home Health Services for DMH. While in this role Tanya developed an inpatient hospice program and a heart failure telemonitoring program.

In 2013 Tanya left DMH and accepted the role of Executive Director at Community Health Improvement Center (CHIC) a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). As a FQHC, CHIC provides comprehensive health services to the medically underserved patients of Macon County.

Tanya enjoys time with her family, husband Tim and four children ranging in age from five to eighteen years. She is active in her church and enjoys teaching Sunday school. Tanya also enjoys a volunteering as a member of the DMH foundation Board.




NU 400 Parent-Child Nursing Clinical Experience with Saints Flight

NU400-Parent-Child Nursing students have the opportunity to have their Pediatric clinical at St. John’s Children’s Hospital, in Springfield, IL. During the clinical rotation, students explore another area that nurses can advance to: Flight Nursing. The flight nurses from Saints Flight, a helicopter transport service, take time to talk with our students, giving them information about Flight nursing, and how they could become a flight nurse. Of course they always include a tour of the helicopter out on the landing pad!





The Millikin University and Decatur Memorial Nurse Anesthesia Program


The 2015-2016 year has been a busy time in the Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP). In December, the last MSN class graduated from the Nurse Anesthesia Track. During the School of Nursing’s Graduate Celebration ceremony, faculty, family, and friends of the fifteen graduating class members gathered to celebrate their successful completion of the rigorous course of study. Zach Ragains was awarded the Betty Horton Award for Leadership, and Lisa Cross was presented the Ethel Lebkeucher Award for Clinical Excellence. Since graduation, the 2015 Graduates have taken their National Certification Examination, launched their nurse anesthesia careers, and returned to their individual lives. Todd LaDage’s MSN project, investigating nurse anesthetists’ perceptions regarding the electronic anesthesia information management system (AIMS), has been published on the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. The December 2015 graduation also holds historical implications by completing the transition from the master’s degree to doctorate degree for entry into practice.

Beginning with the December 2016 graduates, all students will earn the Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) degree. The SON and Nurse Anesthesia Program hosted a joint accreditation visit by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Council of Accreditation for Nurse Anesthesia (COA). Many hours of preparation were completed by the faculty and staff to prepare for the visits. Thank you to all individuals who were involved in making the process successful. The final accreditation decision by each organization will occur fall 2016. The sophomore and Junior classes have been fully entrenched in didactic coursework. The junior’s will begin clinical courses in June. The senior class members have been engaged in their DNP Projects and clinical experiences. Rotations to affiliation sites began in February. The admission process for the next cohort (beginning in January 2017) is underway. The application deadline was July 1 and interviews will be conducted in the fall of 2016.

2015 Celebration for the Clinical Excellence Award and Dinner


Millikin University School of Nursing Celebrates Nurse's Week

Millikin University's School of Nursing celebrated National Nurses Week with several events on campus May 6-12.The events throughout the week included a presentation from Dr. Mary Jane Linton, Millikin professor of nursing, who spoke on the history of nursing in Decatur, Ill., on May 11. To read the full story, go to:





Sigma Theta Tau International Nu Pi Chapter Induction Ceremony

On Saturday April 16, 2016, inductees, parents, family, friends and faculty attended the Spring Induction Ceremony of the Nu Pi-at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International at the Decatur Club.  The at-Large Chapter Induction of forty-seven new members included twelve from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, twenty from St. John’s School of Nursing in Springfield, Illinois, twelve from Millikin University School of Nursing Decatur, Illinois, and three community leaders.  Members are selected based on their superior achievement in nursing, leadership qualities, high professional standards and importance and creativity of their work.

The guest speaker for the induction was Professor John Blakeman, Faculty at Millikin University School of Nursing and Outcomes Improvement nurse at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois. The title of his presentation was “On Change”.

A short business meeting was held in which out-going officers were recognized and new officers were introduced.  Following the ceremony, pictures of the inductees were taken and the new members had an opportunity to talk with one another.  The site of the induction ceremony rotates between the three participating schools of nursing.  Next year the ceremony will be held in Springfield, Illinois and hosted by St. John’s School of Nursing. 


Student Nurse Political Action Day

April 12, 2016- Student Political Action Day (SNPAD)

There were 51 students in attendance from Millikin at this year’s SNPAD. These were students from the NU400, Parent-Child Nursing, NU410, Mental Health Nursing and the NU534 Mental Health Nursing II (Master Entry Nursing Program) Two students entered a poster and won 1st place (Jigna Suthar and Roi Tacud).    

This year’s Student Nurse Action Day Topic was “Lessons in Leadership…Advocacy in Action”.  SNPAD is sponsored every year by the American Nurses Association-Illinois. We gathered in Springfield, IL for a conference at the Prairie Capital Convention Center where there were keynote speakers presenting “Lessons in Leadership…Advocacy in Action”. Several vendors representing higher learning institutions along with NCLEX review vendors were available to talk with students. After the morning session, there was a legislative briefing held, updating all in attendance as to the important bills and issues that are being presented in the House and the Senate. After this information, we were  encouraged to join the march down to the steps of the state capital and then talk with our legislators/senators or observe the house or senate in action.





NU 481 Students Report on Evidence

Students in NU 481: Issues in Nursing Research and Management spent their semester combing through research articles and other sources of evidence.  Students in the course developed an evidence-based practice question at the beginning of the semester and then were tasked with answering that question by developing an integrative review.  This integrative review included a critical appraisal of the included evidence and important implications for nursing.  Reviews were presented in both written and poster format.  The posters were presented on Monday, May 16, 2016, in Richards Treat University Center at Millikin University, with numerous faculty in attendance.  Awards were given for the top posters as judged by the faculty.  Award winners included: 1st place: Jose Conway; 2nd place: Brandon Mandernach and Mary Tenney; 3rd place: Cass Kingery and Katie Strompolis; Honorable mention: Megan Seyfert and Haley Rediger






Join Us for Homecoming 2016!

For a full list of Millikin Homecoming events, go to:

School of Nursing Legacy of the Lamp
3 p.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1360 W. Main St.
School of Nursing reunion and Alumnus of the Year celebration honoring Dianna Heyer ’94.