Barbara Ihrke: School of Nursing Spotlight

By: Dezaray Barr

Barbara Ihrke, photo obtained from
Barbara Ihrke, photo obtained from

Dr. Barbara Ihrke graduated in 1993 from Indiana Wesleyan University with a M.S. in Community Health Nursing, after obtaining her B.S. in 1977 from Crown College in Minnesota. After obtaining her B.S., she worked as a missionary nurse in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1980-1991. While there, she taught in a school of nursing and participated in primary health care projects.

While at Indiana Wesleyan University as a master’s student, Ihrke’s favorite classes were Community Health Nursing taught by Dr. Carol Clark and Epidemiology taught by Dr. Susan Stranahan.

“There was a great group of missionary nurses here,” Ihrke said. “That really was a great community of nurses studying the same material with a real heart for the world.”

Although Ihrke grew up in Minnesota, she spent eleven years oversees in Africa before coming to Indiana Wesleyan University to obtain her Master’s.

After obtaining her M.S., Ihrke received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2002.

Ihrke has taught full time at IWU since 1994, and she is currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs of the School of Nursing. According to her faculty bio, her areas of expertise include transcultural nursing, tropical health, gerontology, and nursing informatics.

Last Saturday, January 14, 2017, Ihrke traveled with a group of IWU sophomores who will be studying abroad this semester in Haiti where she will be teaching Transcultural Nursing. She said her favorite thing about this trip is being able to teach the IWU students, but also the students at the nursing school in La Gonave, Haiti.

“I’ve seen over the years how God has really worked at the university,” Ihrke said. “I really like working here.”


Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *