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Alumni Mentor Program


Mentorship can change your career. We're connecting successful alumni with those who are just getting started to ensure every UIC-educated nurse has the tools to lead.

When the UIC College of Nursing surveyed alumni in January 2017, we were happy to see that nearly 40 percent said they would be interested in a mentorship program. So we got right on it.

Launched in July 2019, the UIC College of Nursing Alumni Mentor Program’s purpose is to connect mid-career and seasoned alumni with early-career alumni. Mentors will share advice and information about areas of practice, navigating career paths, building networks, increasing self-confidence, honing leadership skills and other issues relevant to career advancement.

Why join?

It's simple. Mentored employees have been found to receive higher compensation, more promotions and feel more committed to their careers. On the flip side, mentors get a boost, too, reporting greater job satisfaction and commitment to their organization.

Not sure you're ready to be a strong mentor or mentee? Check out our tips and suggestions to make it a successful relationship.

JOIN Alumni Mentor Program

Nicole Jacksetich

“This program could not have come at a better time for me. I was starting to feel burned out after four years as a bedside nurse. Susan lent an empathic ear, provided insightful perspective, and challenged me as I considered the next steps in my nursing career. She is a kind and inspiring leader, and I am thankful to have her as a mentor. I hope UIC Nursing continues to provide this program because, in my opinion, no one inspires nurses as much as other nurses.”

Nicole Jacksetich, BSN ’15, RN  |  Speaking about her mentor, Susan Okuno-Jones, MS '06, VP/CNO at AMITA Health

READ: Reflections on AMP’s first full year

Alumni Mentor Program Taskforce Heading link

  • Beena Peters, DNP ’17, MS ’94, Taskforce chair, chief nursing officer, Cook County Health
  • David Barishman, BSN ’94, director of patient care services, UI Health
  • Yolanda Coleman, PhD ’12, system assistant CNO, Sinai Health System
  • Melinda Cooling, MS ’03, DNP ’10, director of advanced practice, OSF HealthCare
  • Jamie Ghafari, MS ’11, director of patient care services, pediatrics and pediatric intensive care, UI Health
  • Alina Kraynak, DNP ’17, MS ’15, women’s health consultant, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Lynn Lenker, MS ’95, system CNIO, SSM Health
  • Susan Okuno-Jones, MS ’06, DNP ’10, vice president and chief nursing officer, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Sarah Overton, BSN ’10, MS ’17, chief nursing officer and vice president of ambulatory nursing, OSF HealthCare
  • Janice Phillips, PhD ’93, director of nursing research and health equity, Rush University
  • Brian Stahulak, BSN ’97, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, Lurie Children’s Hospital