Cussen named chair of Manchester University Nursing Program

Jun 28, 2023, 11:33 AM by Anne Gregory
Samantha Cussen is the new chair of Manchester University’s growing Nursing Program.
Samantha CussenSamantha Cussen is the new chair of Manchester University’s growing Nursing Program.

Manchester offers a four-year traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) Second Degree for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another area.

“Dr. Cussen has demonstrated she possesses the knowledge and skills to effectively lead the department and further elevate the quality of the Nursing Program,” said W. Thomas Smith, dean of health sciences and pharmacy at Manchester. “I look forward to supporting her in her work and continuing to work closely with her.”

Cussen joined Manchester as an associate professor in 2022 and was named interim nursing chair in May 2023. Smith said it was immediately clear she was the right person to become permanent chair.

Cussen also worked as a consultant for Manchester in 2019 while the Nursing Program was in its planning phase. It graduated its first ABSN class in December 2022.

A transplant from Los Angeles, Calif., Cussen moved to Indiana in 2013. She brought with her several years of experience nursing education in both health care and academic settings.

Her experience as a registered nurse includes critical care, emergency care, vascular surgery, hospice and home care and HIV/AIDS care, and she was a travel nurse for several years.

She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Education from the University of Phoenix, her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Indiana State University and, most recently, earned an educational specialist degree from Liberty University.

MU is in the process of adding 32,000 square feet of space at Manchester University Fort Wayne that will include state-of-the-art lab, research and classroom spaces, as well as a nursing simulation and skills laboratory.

Learn more about nursing at Manchester.

The Indiana Hospital Association estimates the state would need to graduate 1,300 additional nurses per year until 2030 to meet the state's current health care needs.
For the media
• Dr. Cussen can be reached at
Dr. Smith can be reached at 
• About the Indiana nursing shortage:
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