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

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

Community & Health Systems
Associate Professor and Director of Global Programs

Contact Information

Phone: 317-278-0748
Nursing W411, Indianapolis


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


Dr. Oruche is Associate Professor of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and the Director of Global Programs at Indiana University School of Nursing. Dr. Oruche’s research ensures that the mental health needs of family caregivers receive full clinical consideration. Her work, which focuses on the intersection of mental health and health disparities in underserved populations, has been significant in revealing the stress these populations experience from interactions with multiple child service systems. Dr. Oruche is developing an NIH-funded parent-provider intervention to assist caregivers in their interactions with mental health systems.

Dr. Oruche’s work with underserved populations has had both a local and global impact. She is the founder of Providence Community Health Initiative and its parent organization, Village CHI Inc., which has conducted weekly clinics for diabetes, hypertension, and malaria in southern Nigeria since 2004. Additionally, her contributions to clinical practice and research have resulted in expanded scope and reach through leadership on boards that influence mental health policy at the state, national, and international levels. Her service portfolio includes appointments to the Indiana Mental and Behavioral Health Taskforce of the Governor Pence Healthcare Workforce Council; Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC); and the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission by Governor Eric Holcomb.

Dr. Oruche has been a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing since 2017. As a fellow, she has served as Chair of the academy's Psychiatric, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Expert Panel (2019-2020) and been appointed to the academy’s Edge Runner National Advisory Council. She is also President-Elect for the International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses. Dr. Oruche’s contributions have been recognized with honors and awards, including the COVID 19 Courage Award in Innovation by the American Academy of Nursing (2020) and the Hospital and Health Care Hero’s Award from US News and World Report (2020), as well as Indianapolis Business Journal (2021).

External Funding

NIMHD R21 award ($433,125) Modification and evaluation of the DECIDE intervention to improve parent-provider interactions in low-income parents of adolescents with disruptive impulse control, and conduct disorders. --R21MD015150

Selected Publications

Knopf, A., Budhwani, H., Logie, C. H., Oruche, U. M., Wyatt, E., & Draucker, C. B. (2021). Nursing position statements on racism following the murder of George Floyd and other black Americans. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AID Care.

Obichi, C.C, Anieche, J. E., Osuala, E. O., & Oruche, U. M. (2021). The role and practice of clinical nurse specialist in Nigeria. In J. Fulton & V. Holly (Eds), Clinical Nurse Specialist Role and Practice: An International Perspective (pp. 225-232). International Council of Nursing.

Oruche, U. M., Hone, A., Liu, J., Otey, T., Okwy, I., & Commodore-Mensah, Y. (2020). Community engagement to improve the management of non-communicable diseases: Experiences from medical service trips in southeastern Nigeria. Engage, 1(3), 87-101.

Tamika, Z. & Oruche, U. M. (2020, June 29). How racism in US health system hinders care and costs lives of African Americans. [Editorial]. (2020, June) The Conversation.

Afuseh, E., Pike, C., & Oruche, U. M. (2020). Individualized approach to primary prevention of substance use disorder: Age-related risks. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 15(58).

Media Features

Managing Children’s Mental Health: A Pediatric Hospital Imperative. (2021, March 6) Webinar: Managing Children’s Mental Health: A Pediatric Hospital Imperative | U.S. News Live | US News

Ensuring kids with behavioral issues aren’t left behind in the pandemic. (2020, October 30)

COVID 19 Courage Award in Innovation (2020, October 30)

Governor’s Press Conference. (2020, May 27). Advise for caregivers and parents watching over kids during the COVID 19 pandemic now and as we head into the summer [Video].

WISH TV News Report. (2020, May 27). Children face more trauma during coronavirus pandemic, Indiana leaders note

Oruche, U. M. (2020, April 27). Impact of COVID 19 on mental health and substance use [Interview]. RadioNow100.9. 

Be Well Indiana. (2020, April 21). Parenting children with behavioral challenges [Video].

IU School of Nursing. (2016, March 1). Meet Dr. Ukamaka Oruche; Learn how Dr. Oruche became interested in mental health of families of adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders [Video]. Retrieved from:

TEDxIndianapolis. (2014, November 14).  Oruche, U. M. (n.d.). Next generation: The key to sustainable healthcare? [Video]. Retrieved from: