Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Community & Health Systems
Associate Professor

Contact Information

Phone: 317-278-0748
Nursing W411, Indianapolis


PhD, Indiana University
MSN, Indiana University
BSN, Indiana University


Dr. Ukamaka Oruche is an Associate Professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing. A nationally recognized expert in psychiatric nursing, Dr. Oruche has made sustained and exemplary contributions to our understanding of the challenges experienced by families of adolescents with Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Her cutting-edge research ensures that the mental health needs of family caregivers are given full clinical consideration. Her work has been particularly significant as it reveals for the first time the stress that this population experiences from interactions with multiple child service systems. Dr. Oruche has developed a family-based group intervention to assist caregivers in their interactions with these systems. Dr. Oruche facilitated an interdisciplinary team in the development of the state of Indiana’s largest integrated primary and behavioral health program. This program has both increased access to mental health services for underserved populations and has become a model for integrating primary and behavioral health care in Indiana. Dr. Oruche’s work with underserved populations has had an international impact. She is the founder of Providence Community Health Initiative, which has conducted weekly clinics for diabetes, hypertension, and malaria in southern Nigeria since 2004. Her contributions to clinical practice and research have resulted in expanded scope and reach through leadership on boards that influence mental health policy in Indiana, US, and globally. Her service portfolio includes appointments to: Indiana Mental and Behavioral Health Taskforce of the Governor Pence Healthcare Workforce Council; Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid - CMS - Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC); and Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission - by Governor Eric Halcomb.

Dr. Oruche's contributions to the health care of diverse and vulnerable populations have been recognized with several awards and honors: Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Health Research from the Indiana Public Health Association; Diversity-Equity Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Services from the International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses; and featured speaker at the 2014 TEDxIndianapolis. Dr. Oruche is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; and Co-Chair of the academy's Psychiatric, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Expert Panel.

External Funding

Developing Familagement Efficacy (FAME) intervention for African American families of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Young Investigator Award, KL2 Program

Funded by National Institute of Health (NIH) KL2TR001006 and UL1TR001108 (A. Shekhar, PI).

Selected Publications


Oruche, U. M., Robb, S., Draucker, Claire B., Aalsma, M., Pescosolido, B., Chacko, A., Ofner, S., & Bakoyannis, G., Brown-Pordgoski, B. (2018). Pilot randomized trial of a family management efficacy intervention for caregivers of African American adolescents with disruptive behaviors. Child & Youth Forum, 47(6), 803-827.

Oruche, U. M., Draucker, C., Robb, S., Aalsma, M., Pescosolido, B., & Brown-Pordgoski, B. (2017). Developing a multiple caregiver group for caregivers of adolescents with disruptive behaviors.  Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 31(6), 596-601

Oruche, U. M., Ross, S. E., Carpenter, J., & Renberger, J., (2016). Identifying genetic variants in adolescents with oppositional defiant disorders and/or conduct disorders: A brief report. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 29(3), 154-157.

Al-khattab, H., Oruche, U.M., Perkins, D., & Draucker, C. (2016). How African American adolescents manage depression: being with others. Journal of American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 22(5), 387-400.

Oruche, U. M., & Carpenter, J., S. Renberger, J., & Ross, S. E. (2016). Raising the level of nursing involvement in the national precision medicine initiative: An example. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 29(2), 85-88. doi: 10.1111/jcap.12141

Oruche, U.M., Draucker, C., Al-Khattab, H., Cravens, H., Lowry, B., & Lindsey, L. (2015). The challenges and needs of primary caregivers of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. Journal of Family Nursing. Advance online publication, 21(1), 149-167. doi: 10.1177/1074840714562027. PMID: 25504213

Oruche, U.M., Draucker, C., Al-Khattab, H., Knopf, A., & Mazurczyk, J. (2014). Interventions for family members of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 27(3), 99-108. doi: 10.1111/jcap.12078. PMCID: PMC4199581

Media feature 

For The Love of Country: Providence Care in Nigeria The Pulse of Indiana Nursing, e-Volume 4: August 2018

Episode #1: IU School of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

IU School of Nursing: Learn how Dr. Oruche became interested in mental health of families of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders

TEDxIndianapolis 2014 - Next generation: The key to sustainable healthcare?                    

TEDxIndianapolis 2014 -  The visionaries next door

Providence Care Community Health Initiative