In a ceremony today, officials from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh signed an agreement to offer a unique 3+1 dual bachelor degree program, providing UW-Platteville students with a pathway to earn a bachelor’s in nursing, while saving time and money. Through the new program, UW-Platteville students can receive a Bachelor of Science in biology from UW-Platteville and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from UW Oshkosh in four years, while remaining on the UW-Platteville campus.
The new program hopes to address the significant shortage of healthcare professionals in Wisconsin and the tri-state region of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, which is acutely felt in rural areas. It will provide a clear nursing professional pathway for UW-Platteville students, many of whom hail from a rural community and are more likely to remain in the region post-graduation.
“By using state resources appropriately and collaborating with each other, we are serving the healthcare industry,” said UW-Platteville Interim Chancellor Dr. Tammy Evetovich in the signing ceremony in Boebel Hall. “We recognize the shortage of healthcare professionals, especially in our rural areas. These pathways are a way to address the geographic disparities in the tri-state region.”
UW Oshkosh Chancellor Dr. Andrew Leavitt remarked on the UW System’s ability to identify a problem — in this case, the projected shortage of 20,000 nurses in Wisconsin by 2035 — and work together to answer the call.
“Today is really the UW System at its best,” said Chancellor Leavitt. “This is why we are a system. Two different universities on different sides of the state, coming together to share programmatic talent and resources and make it easier for more well-prepared, caring healthcare leaders to respond to the region and Wisconsin’s needs.”
This new agreement follows the recently introduced Bachelor to Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing Pathway, through which students receive a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice from UW-Platteville and then, if eligible, are granted guaranteed admission to enter UW Oshkosh’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing – a 12-month hybrid nursing program.
“During times of limited state resources and enrollment challenges, when it seems the word of the day is competition, we have been quite active in pursuing another, what we think is a more productive angle, and that is collaboration,” said Dr. Wayne Weber, interim provost at UW-Platteville. “Nursing programs are expensive, difficult to develop and manage, and yet, as indicated, there is a dire need for nurses. What better way to increase nursing opportunities in this area but to collaborate with our friends at UW Oshkosh who already have an excellent and renowned nursing program in place.”
The 3+1 dual bachelor’s degree program began during the 2022-2023 academic year and is now available to students.
McKenna Meyer, a graduate of UW-Platteville and UW Oshkosh, shared her experiences in both programs at the ceremony.
“I graduated from UW-Platteville in 2015 with a biology degree in one hand and an increasing love of healthcare in the other,” she said.
Meyer enrolled in the UW Oshkosh Accelerated Nursing program in 2019. After graduating, she was accepted into UW-Madison’s Nurse Residency Program and currently works at the UW Health Level I Trauma Center.
“I couldn’t be happier that I was part of both the amazing teams at UW-Platteville and UW Oshkosh,” said Meyer. “They really helped me become the nurse I am today, but also the person I am today as well.”
For more information, visit www.uwplatt.edu/program/accelerated-bachelor-science-nursing.
Written by Alison Parkins