Nursing Academic Adviser Essie Cockrell Retires After 17 Years of Service

09/20/2012 03:33 PM

BATON ROUGE – After 17 years of dedicated service, Essie Cockrell, academic adviser and recruiter for the LSU Health Science Center School of Nursing, or LSUHSC SON, housed in the LSU University College, has retired. During her tenure, LSU University College has had the esteemed honor of hosting Cockrell.


“My greatest joy is working with students who come into my office undecided about a major, and seeing their faces light up after exploring the amazing opportunities in the field of Nursing,” said Cockrell. “I’m passionate about Nursing and love watching Pre-Nursing students succeed in their careers.”


Cockrell helped to contribute to the competitive pool of more than 150 LSUHSC SON applicants, where only 100 positions are available each semester. Eighty percent of these applicants come directly from LSU students who have been advised through her office.


Paul Ivey, LSU executive director of the LSU University College, said that the loss of a School of Nursing academic advisor on the LSU campus is significant.


“More particularly, the loss of a dedicated professional such as Essie Cockrell will be difficult for this campus to truly appreciate, but the pre-nursing students who interacted with her on a regular basis can certainly attest to her value,” Ivey said. “Nevertheless, LSU University College will do its part in serving these students in the absence of this direct connection to the School of Nursing.”  


Among Cockrell’s many accomplishments during her time at LSU, include earning two master’s degrees: a Master of Science in human resource education and workforce development from LSU and a Master of Science in nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University. She also taught several courses in the LSU School of Social Work’s study abroad program.


As University College continues the dedicated path paved by Cockrell, LSU’s pre-nursing opportunities continue to go strong.  With 349 LSU students currently enrolled in pre-nursing and 638 LSU students enrolled in all pre-professional programs, University College is assisting in the demand for healthcare occupations. For students interested in pursuing pre-nursing, academic advising is available in LSU University College’s Center for Freshman Year, or UCFY, located at 150 Allen Hall.  LSU students with questions about pursing a nursing degree can schedule an appointment with Jennifer Smith online at  


Since 1933, LSU University College has served as the portal of entry for students enrolled at LSU.  Academic and personal success is the hallmark of a well-rounded student, and University College provides a foundation of support services for students beginning their academic careers at LSU.  University College has two enrollment divisions: The Center for Freshman Year and The Center for Advising and Counseling.  Additionally, University College offers retention-specific programs:  Student Support Serves, Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars and Summer Scholars.  These academic support programs focus on particular student populations and are a significant part of the role and mission of University College.


The healthcare field is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative industries in the country.  Every day, the need for trained and qualified healthcare professionals increases. LSU offers a pre-professional nursing program that prepares students to enter the professional nursing curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science in nursing at the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in New Orleans. Other pre-professional programs at LSU include cardiopulmonary science, medical technology, physician’s assistant, occupational therapy and dental hygiene.


For more information on LSU University College or pre-nursing, visit or follow the conversation at

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012