Skip to content
Contact USI
Dalton Mills
USI President Ronald S. Rochon and Dalton Mills '23

Dalton Mills, an Infantry Officer in the Army National Guard, was chosen to give a reflection during the College of Nursing and Health Professions' Commencement ceremonies on May 6. He says he felt honored to represent the Class of 2023. He took the time to answer a few questions about his USI experience.

What was your major as a USI undergraduate?

Where are you from?
Evansville, Indiana. I attended Central High School.

What was your theme/message when you gave the reflection?
I feel the biggest theme was one of gratitude. The Class of 2023 knows the difficult situation facing the healthcare system and the strain it puts on its workers. Knowing this, the graduates still decided to pursue careers in healthcare to take care of their communities. 

Tell me about your ROTC experience at USI.
I served as an enlisted soldier in the National Guard and ROTC cadet while attending USI. While at USI, I attended Basic Combat Training, Advanced Camp and Airborne School during the summers. Additionally, I served as Battalion Operations Officer in charge of planning and assisting in the execution of all activities for USI, Rose Hulman Institute for Technology, Indiana State, University of Evansville, Vincennes University, and St. Mary of the Woods University. This past weekend, I was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and will be serving as an Infantry Officer in the Indiana National Guard.  

Why did you decide to attend USI?
I decided to attend USI because it had a respected nursing program, and it was an affordable school. 

What led you to a career in nursing? Did someone or something inspire you?
While attending Central High School, I participated in the Medical Professions Academy. Through the program I had the opportunity to shadow several wonderful nurses. These experiences are what drew me to the nursing profession. 

Tell me about what it has been like to be in the USI Nursing program.
The Nursing program at USI is very intense. We have more clinical hours than many similar programs, which prepares us to an extremely high level to enter the workforce. In addition to rigorous clinical experience, our coursework requires many hours of study to master. The combination of these two factors, in my opinion, produces quality new nurses. 

What are your plans following graduation?
I have accepted a position in the neuro intensive care unit at Gateway Hospital. My plan is to use this unit to continue to learn and refine my skills as a nurse while providing quality care to my patients. 

In your own words, why would you recommend USI’s Nursing program to others?
USI’s Nursing program will challenge anyone who is accepted. It will provide a fast-paced learning environment that will equip you to manage patient care. I fully believe graduates of USI’s Nursing program are some of the most prepared students to enter the workforce. I feel this is reflected in our NCLEX pass rates, which are consistently some of the highest in Indiana. 

Besides ROTC, were you involved with any groups or activities on campus?
While at USI, I participated in intramurals and the rock-climbing club. Additionally, I was a member and president of the Association of Nursing Students in 2022. 

Anything else you want to add?
I know that a large part of my success at USI was due to support from peers and faculty. I feel that without these individuals in my life, I would not be as happy and excited for the future. When I reflect on my career as a nursing student, Dr. Ostendorf, Dr. Schaar and Dr. Seibert stand out as educators who played major roles in the success of the 2023 class. Additionally, I would like to thank Major Allen for all of his dedication to maintain high standards in USI’s ROTC. 

Read More Articles in the Synapse Newsletter: