Longtime nursing faculty member Susan Kruger passes away

Dr. Susan Kruger, 92 — of Holdrege, formerly of Hesston, and Wichita — died March 23. Kruger was a longtime professor in the School of Nursing at Wichita State.

Kruger earned a BA in biology at Tabor College in Hillsboro. She received graduate degrees in nursing and a specialist degree in marriage and family counseling from WSU. Her doctorate in education and child development was earned from Kansas State University. Kruger began her professional career as staff nurse, supervisor, and instructor in Saskatchewan, Canada. She was director of a medical clinic in Congo, Africa, and an instructor at Wesley School of Nursing in Wichita.

Kruger began teaching at WSU in 1974 and played an integral part in the growth and development of the School of Nursing. She held various positions, including professor, chair of the Department of Nursing — which later became the School of Nursing under her leadership — and assistant dean of the College of Health Professions. While acting as chair, the School of Nursing received a federal grant to support disadvantaged students, the graduate program almost doubled in size, and the family nurse practitioner program began. Kruger also was responsible for the Nursing Alumni Society and successful grants to purchase interactive video and multimedia technologies.

Her area of clinical practice and teaching was pediatric nursing and counseling families with young children, particularly disabled children. Parenting was a topic of particular interest to Kruger. She was a certified family therapist, and her research interests were primarily on issues related to young families.

In 1993, Kruger received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the WSU Nursing Alumni Society. Kruger retired faculty emeritus from WSU in 1995 and the Susan Kruger Scholarship, an endowed fund created by the School of Nursing faculty and alumni, was named in her honor. She is also a Plaza of Heroines honoree.