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UW-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences Undergoes Reorganization

RELEASED: Oct. 19, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has recently undergone a reorganization. The college now consists of two departments: the nursing department and the public health professions department.

The three former nursing departments (family health nursing, adult health nursing, and nursing systems) have been brought together into a single department of nursing offering multiple programs, including the bachelor of science in nursing program, the BSN@Home program and the graduate or master of science in nursing programs.

The bachelor of science in nursing program is available at UW-Eau Claire and the nursing department's Marshfield site in cooperation with St. Joseph's Hospital. The BSN@Home program is offered by UW-Eau Claire in partnership with other UW System institutions offering nursing programs. It allows non-baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to earn the B.S.N., using distance technology to deliver courses to multiple sites in Wisconsin. Access to the BSN@Home program is enhanced through the Chippewa Valley Nursing Alliance, a partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the Coulee Region Nursing Alliance, a partnership with Western Technical College in La Crosse. The partnerships allow students to enroll in nursing classes at the technical colleges while also taking general education classes at UW-Eau Claire. After earning an associate nursing degree through the technical colleges, graduates can work as registered nurses and enroll in the UW System's BSN@Home program to earn their baccalaureate nursing degree.

Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher, associate dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is serving as interim chair of the nursing department until a search for a permanent chair can be completed.

In other changes to the college structure, the environmental public health program is now the single program in the public health professions department. Two other programs — music therapy and health care administration — have moved to other university departments. The music therapy program has joined the department of music and theatre arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the health care administration program has moved to the management and marketing department in the College of Business.

As part of this reorganization, a new position has been added to enhance student services in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Sheila Smith, a professor of nursing who joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 1989, has accepted the position of assistant dean for prelicensure programs.

Smith's responsibilities will include providing oversight for waivers, substitutions, petitions and issues of academic standing; serving as the college representative to university committees that deal with student service issues and others that focus on the prelicensure baccalaureate programs; and providing guidance to classified staff in assurance of compliance with the requirements for student placement at clinical agencies.

She will assist the dean in providing leadership and direction to the dean's staff in planning and conducting program-related activities such as convocation, the annual awards banquet, scholarship awards, and preadmission and admission orientation for prelicensure nursing students. In addition, she will serve as the evaluation coordinator/director.

"I look forward to working with Dr. Smith in this capacity," said Dr. Elaine Wendt, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. "This will enable us to better serve all of our students."

In addition, Dr. Robin Beeman, associate professor of nursing, has had her title changed from coordinator of the Marshfield site to assistant dean-Marshfield site. The duties of the position have not changed.

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NW

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