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Taylor University Names Dean for New School of Nursing

  • Published:
Dr. Karen Elsea in front of a wall

Taylor University is pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Elsea will serve as the inaugural dean for the School of Nursing. Pending accreditation approval, student enrollment is projected to begin in the 2024 fall semester.

“With 35 years of nursing experience and a strong commitment to the Christian faith, Dr. Elsea is an excellent choice for Dean of the School of Nursing,” said Taylor’s Provost Dr. Jewerl Maxwell. “We are excited to put our new nursing program in such capable hands.”

Elsea received her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. A lifelong Hoosier, she has spent her entire career in Indiana, including the last 14 years at the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing. Her most recent roles have included Undergraduate Program Director and faculty member.

Prior to joining higher education, Elsea’s clinical experience included management and staff nurse positions in orthopedics, medical-surgical, and home health. In her role at the University of Indianapolis, she played a critical role in course and simulation development as well as assessment and evaluation. She recently worked with fellow team members to create a curriculum for a nursing minor in primary care that received the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Innovations in Professional Nursing Award for private universities.  

Elsea most enjoys teaching nursing leadership and helping students prepare to transition into clinical practice. Drawing upon her extensive experience, Elsea will lead Taylor through the accreditation process and plan curriculum.

“I have a great respect for Taylor’s academic rigor, but most importantly I am excited to work with students that are committed to growth in their Christian walk,” said Elsea. “I am excited to be joining a university where faith and education are exhibited on a daily basis in real and tangible ways.”

Elsea is currently a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Organization for Nurse Leaders. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 33 years and together teach the high school Sunday School class in their local church. They are the parents of four children—the youngest of whom is following in her mother’s footsteps and will be graduating with her nursing degree this May.  

About Taylor University

For 177 years, Taylor University has combined rigorous academics with the Christian faith and remains the oldest nondenominational school in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). For nearly three decades, Taylor has been ranked a top Midwest College by U.S. News & World Report. The University’s graduation rate is the fourth highest nationally among peer institutions, and ninety-eight percent of Taylor’s graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. With a strong legacy of service and global opportunities, Taylor also ranks sixth nationally for study abroad internships and travel opportunities.