Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Ukamaka Oruche, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC

Community & Health Systems
Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Phone: 317-278-0748
Nursing W411, Indianapolis


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


Dr. Ukamaka Oruche is an assistant professor of psychiatric-mental health nursing at the Indiana University School of Nursing (IUSON). Dr. Oruche received her BSN, MSN, and PhD degrees from IUSON. She brings over 15 years of clinical experience in psychiatric-mental health nursing to her research on adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders and their families. In her previous role as the clinical nurse manager for Midtown Primary Care at Eskenazi Health Midtown Mental Health in Indianapolis, Dr. Oruche led the development and implementation of mental health screenings at several primary care settings and a juvenile detention center. These integrated behavioral and medical care programs, which increased access to mental health care for residents of Marion County and beyond were the first of their kind in Indianapolis.

Dr. Oruche is currently developing and testing a mental health intervention to improve the mental health and quality of life of family members of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. The development of the intervention, called the FAmily Management Efficacy (FAME) intervention, is supported by the NIH-funded Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Young Investigator Award and the Center for Enhancing Quality of Life in Chronic Illness at Indiana University School of Nursing. Dr. Oruche has disseminated her work through publications and presentations at national and international venues.

Dr. Oruche's contributions to the health care of diverse and vulnerable populations have been recognized with the prestigious Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Health Research from the Indiana Public Health Association, the Lilian Yeager Distinguished Public Service Award from IUSON, the Excellence in Nursing Award from IUSON Alumni Association, the Diversity-Equity Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Services from the International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, and the 2015 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Translational Health Disparities Course Scholarship from NIH.  Dr. Oruche was a speaker for the 2014 TEDxIndianapolis during which she discussed her ideas on transforming and sustaining healthcare in southeastern Nigeria. For 12 years, she has co-directed a Providence Care Community Heath Initiative, a non-profit health-service project for the underserved populations in that area. On April 11th, 2016, she was appointed to the Indiana Mental and Behavioral Health Taskforce of the Governor's Healthcare Workforce Council. This taskforce will examine workforce priorities as well as generate recommendations for the Council to consider regarding mental health issues. Dr. Oruche currently serves on the Mental Health Workforce Advisory Group focused on creating Data & Policy Reports on mental health workforce for utilization by state and all stakeholders.

External Funding

Developing FAmily Management 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., 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] 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

Oruche, U. M., Down, S., Holloway, E., Draucker, C., & Aalsma, M. (2014). Barriers and facilitators to treatment participation by adolescents in a community mental health clinic. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 21(3), 241-248. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12076. PMID: 23682756

Media feature 


Providence Care Community Health Initiative