I Define Success: Jennifer Nolan

Jennifer Nolan2

Distinguished Alumna, Jennifer Patterson Nolan was the first person in her family to go to college. Jennifer received her first degree, an associate in nursing, at Ivy Tech Community College Madison. While she went on to receive her bachelor’s and master’s degree, her first steps towards higher education weren’t easy.

“I had to pay for everything on my own,” she explained. “Attending Ivy Tech gave me the ability to pay for my own tuition while I worked and raised my son.”

Jennifer had aspired to be a nurse since she was a little girl and says her time at Ivy Tech helped her to become a nurse advocate. During her experience at Ivy Tech, Jennifer felt completely supported in her goals, but still able to be a mother. She applauds her Ivy Tech instructors for encouraging students to consider careers they may not have known about previously.

“The instructors really pushed us to learn what we loved about the nursing profession while we were in school,” she said. “They helped us to think long-term about what we wanted to do after graduation.”

Currently serving as the Manager of Clinical Operations at IU Health Saxony in the emergency room, Jennifer’s passion for advocacy and care is reflected in her emergency department, ranked highest in patient satisfaction among the entire IU Health system. In addition to her professional achievements, Jennifer remains connected to the College as a member of Ivy Tech Foundation’s League of Ivy Young Professionals Council. She participates in community service and educates others about the significance of the opioid crisis.


Ivy Tech Community College is proud to celebrate Jennifer’s success and achievements with the Distinguished Alumni Award. This annual award honors alumni for their commitment to the College and to their communities. The awardees are leaders in their professions who make significant contributions benefiting their community, state, or college.

The alumni recognized with this award represent the very best of what an Ivy Tech education makes possible. Alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are all encouraged to submit nominations online.

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