print header

College to lead multi-million dollar project to increase number of nurse educators

 

 Linda Young
Dean Linda Young

An initiative to increase the number of nurses in Wisconsin — led by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in collaboration with UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW Oshkosh —has received funding through a newly created UW System incentive grant program.
 
The nursing initiative was awarded $3.2 million to increase the number of nursing faculty and support nursing enrollments at the four participating UW System campuses and to mitigate projections for unprecedented shortages of registered nurses in Wisconsin.

An initiative to increase the number of nurses in Wisconsin — led by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in collaboration with UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW Oshkosh —has received funding through a newly created UW System incentive grant program.

The nursing initiative was awarded $3.2 million to increase the number of nursing faculty and support nursing enrollments at the four participating UW System campuses and to mitigate projections for unprecedented shortages of registered nurses in Wisconsin.

Through the incentive grant program, the UW System will invest $22.5 million over the next two years to support projects aimed at increasing economic growth and building a stronger Wisconsin workforce. The UW System Board of Regents Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee selected 12 projects for funding through the incentive grant program after reviewing 56 proposals from UW institutions throughout the state. The grant for the collaborative nursing initiative was the largest awarded.

Currently, the shortage of nursing educators in Wisconsin greatly limits the number of students who can be accepted into nursing programs in the state, said Dr. Linda Young, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UW-Eau Claire.
"UW System nursing programs have the leadership, academic programs and curriculum necessary to graduate more highly qualified nurses," Young said. "But a shortage of nursing educators prevents us from enrolling more nursing students in our programs. This collaborative initiative will help us increase the number of registered nurses in Wisconsin by expanding our ability to enroll more nursing students in existing programs."

According to Young, in 2012-13, 50-80 percent of qualified undergraduate students who applied to nursing schools at the four UW System institutions were denied admission primarily because there was not enough qualified nursing faculty to teach them.

Demand for nurses is expected to increase in Wisconsin at the same time that many nurses in the state are approaching their retirement years. Young added, that the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development predicts that by 2035 Wisconsin will experience a 36 percent shortfall in the available nursing workforce. "To meet anticipated workforce needs, strategies for increasing the number of nursing faculty need to be dramatic and immediate," Young said.

The newly funded project will encourage new nurses to immediately pursue their doctoral degrees and encourage established nurses to enroll in nursing doctoral programs full-time. Fellowships, loan forgiveness programs and nursing faculty summits are among the strategies that will be used to accomplish the project's goals. Nurses who receive the fellowships and participate in the loan forgiveness program will make three-year teaching commitments to UW nursing schools, which will enable those programs to enroll more nursing students.

Graduating more nurses will help strengthen the state economy, Young said, noting that 86 percent of nursing graduates continue to live and work in Wisconsin. Ensuring an adequate number of nurses to meet the health care needs of all Wisconsin residents also will help strengthen the state's workforce in all sectors, she stated.

UW-Eau Claire nursing, responsible mining initiatives awarded UW System
incentive grants

UW-Eau Claire News Release
November 6, 2013

Grant helps UW-Schools fight nursing faculty shortage
WQOW, Channel 18 News, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
November 7, 2013

 

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.