Kent State College of Nursing Student Receives ONA Leadership Award

Elan Caruso, a 2016 graduate of the College of Nursing, recently received the Ohio Nurses Association Summit and Portage District Senior Leadership Award for $1,000. Elan Caruso, a 2016 graduate of Kent State College of Nursing from Youngstown, OH, recently received the Ohio Nurses Association Summit & Portage District's Senior Leadership Award for $1,000 from The Foundation of the Ohio Nurses Association. This award illustrates Caruso’s dedication to working on a team and her willingness to go above and beyond to help her patients and coworkers.  She was nominated by Tracey Motter, DNP, RN, assistant dean of undergraduate programs at Kent State College of Nursing.

Each year, Summit and Portage counties present one award to a sophomore, junior, or senior in a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, or a returning registered nurse (RN) working toward an advanced nursing degree. Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at Hiram College, Kent State University, or The University of Akron, have a permanent residence in Ohio and maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. The award is renewable for a second year through a competitive application process.

From a young age, Caruso knew she wanted to be a nurse and has had many experiences that have reinforced that decision.

“Every time I get a smile, thank you, or a hand squeeze, that does it for me,” Caruso said. “Just knowing I can make this time a little more comfortable for the patient and his or her family is what I love about this profession.”

Since graduation, Caruso has accepted a position on a medical-surgical floor at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in Youngstown, OH. She hopes to one day be stationed in the ICU because she enjoys being quick on her feet and spending time with her patients and their families.

Caruso serves as a board member for Sigma Theta Tau International Delta Xi Chapter, an honor society of nursing. She also serves on The Next Generation Leaders Task Force, an international committee within Sigma Theta Tau, which discusses methods for improving the honor society and the benefits for its members.

As a student, Caruso was a Student Leadership Intern for Delta Xi. She was also an active member of Kent State student organizations, Students for Professional Nursing and Diversity in Nursing Association, where she served as secretary.

About Kent State University’s College of Nursing

In existence for nearly 50 years, the College of Nursing at Kent State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in the nation with more than 12,000 alumni worldwide. As part of Kent State’s eight-campus system, the college provides more than 2,000 nursing students courses of study at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. To learn more about nursing programs at Kent State, please visit  

POSTED: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 2:49pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 8, 2017 - 10:17am
Mariah Gibbons