DNP, Case Western Reserve University; MSN, Vanderbilt University

Research Interests

Psychiatric mental health; forensics; leadership; administration; private practice; curriculum for nursing education; mediation; psychotherapy; management; program development; evidence-based practice; QSEN initiatives


Dr. Kohal has taught nursing since 1969. Her specialty includes psychiatric/mental health nursing and forensic nursing. While at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1993, she started the alumna annual award for excellence in nursing, which continues to be awarded. She also started two courses which have been retained, “Experience in Crisis Intervention” and “Abuse in America.” Dr. Kohal started the first private practice in mid-central Illinois in 1979 as a nurse psychotherapist. She has presented her research at more than 65 different conferences both nationally and internationally. She was awarded the Best Practice Award for the in-patient treatment of schizophrenia by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and was nominated by APNA as a Presidential candidate in 2009. Dr. Kohal has worked in both the private and public sectors as a clinical nurse specialist and has developed expertise in case management, program design, and initiated a statewide neuroleptic algorithm for MDs to use in treating persons with schizophrenia. Currently, Dr. Kohal is associate dean at a School of Nursing with more than 300 nursing majors.