School of Nursing Mission and Philosophy


In accordance with the mission statement of Rasmussen University, the School of Nursing mission is to cultivate a learning environment that develops a skill set for critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment. The School of Nursing strives to educate students in the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to provide safe and competent nursing care in the diverse communities we serve.


The School of Nursing Philosophy is anchored in the belief that nursing education should prepare students to function safely and effectively in the role of the nurse. We believe that nursing education should provide students an opportunity to progress within a laddered curriculum in order to enhance the profession of nursing and to serve as a foundation for life-long learning.

Nurses should be prepared to provide ethical, holistic, and compassionate care to diverse populations in a variety of settings. These goals are accomplished by including the standards set forth by our governing bodies, as well as evidenced-based research provided by our colleagues, and the values and criteria promoted by our national nursing organizations into our curriculum.

School Leadership

Karin Polifko, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC

Vice President and Associate Chief Academic Officer for Nursing

Education: PhD, Old Dominion University; MSN, University of Pennsylvania; BSN, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Georgia Smith-Vest, DNP, RN

Regional Dean, Nursing

Education: DNP and MSN, University of Southern Indiana; BSN, Eastern Kentucky University


Assistant Vice President and Dean, Post-Licensure Nursing

Education: DNP, Rush University, Chicago; MS and BS, University of Wyoming; AS and ADN, Casper College

Mary “Micki” Englert, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE

Associate Dean, Post-Licensure Nursing

Education: DNP, University of North Florida; MSN and BSN, Thomas Jefferson University; BS, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Alexandra Torres, DNP, RN

Regional Dean, Nursing

Education: DNP, South University; MSN and MBA, University of Tampa; BSN, University of South Florida

Kelly McCullough, DNP, ARNP

Regional Dean, Nursing

Education: DNP, University of South Alabama; MS and BS, University of South Florida

Curtis Dush, MSN

Program Curriculum Chair, Nursing

Education: MSN and BSN, East Tennessee State University; AAS, Saint Louis Community College

Lisa Nikel, DNP

Program Curriculum Chair, Nursing

Education: DNP, University of South Alabama; MSN, University of South Florida; BSN, Cleveland State University

Deanna Wolfskeil, MSN, RN

Associate Director of Faculty Development, Nursing

Education: MS, Florida Atlantic University; BSN, Mississippi University for Women

Michelle Howard, MSN, RN, CNS, CHSE

National Simulation Director, Nursing

Education: MSN, Liberty University; BSN, Southwest Baptist University


Shelley Rayborn, DNP

Dean of Nursing, Bloomington, Hennepin/Anoka, Lake Elmo

Education: DNP, St. Catherine University; MSN, Metropolitan State University; BSN, University of Minnesota

Sharon Olglesby, MSN

Associate Dean of Nursing /Nurse Administrator, Eagan

Education: MSN, Spring Hill College; BSN, University of Wisconsin--Green Bay; AAS, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Kayla Howard, DNP

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Fargo/Moorhead

Education: DNP, Rasmussen University; MSN and BSN, Capella University; AAS, AA and AS, Minnesota State Community & Technical College

Tiffany Garrioch, MSN

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Mankato

Education: MSN, Capella University; BSN, Rasmussen University; BA, Hastings College; AAS, Rasmussen University

Kimberly Korneck, MSN

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, St. Cloud

Education: MSN, Walden University; AS, Excelsior College; AAS, St. Cloud Technical and Community College


Mary Kohler, PhD, RN

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Central Pasco

Education: PhD, University of South Florida; MS and BSN, Florida Atlantic University; AAS, Salem College

Lisa Johnson, MSN/Ed, RN

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Fort Myers

Education: MSN/Ed, Walden University; ADN, Rasmussen University; LPN, Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology

Karen Guty, DNP, RN

Area Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Ocala, North Orlando

Education: DNP and MSN, Duquesne University; BSN, Pennsylvania State University; BSEd, California University of Pennsylvania

Kara Walls, DNP

Area Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Tampa/Brandon

Education: DNP, University of North Florida; MS, University of Tennessee; BS, East Tennessee State University


Joseph Wagner, MSN, MBA

Program Coordinator/Nurse Administrator, Wausau

Education: MSN and MBA, University of Phoenix; BSN, University of Wisconsin

Ashley Otto, DNP

Associate Dean of Nursing /Nurse Administrator, Green Bay

Education: DNP, Grand Canyon University; MSN, University of Phoenix; BSN, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; AAS, Rasmussen University; AAS, University of Wisconsin Colleges


Jamie Magana, MSN

Dean of Nursing/Nurse Administrator, Topeka/Overland Park

Education: MSN, University of Kansas; BSN, Emporia State University

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