Nursing Degree Approved for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Aaron Krish
akris821@uwsp.edu

A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing has been approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents for the Stevens Point cam­pus and is set to begin classes starting in the fall of 2013.

Like most majors, the nursing degree will consist of roughly 60 cred­its. Some of the courses offered are clinical courses, meaning that stu­dents will work in actual clinical set­tings to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be a registered nurse.

“Since this is a clinical program of study, students, once they’ve met graduation requirements, sit for a state licensing exam,” said Director of Nursing Carole Paulson. “Once they pass this exam, they can legally practice nursing.”

Paulson explained that the degree program has been in development since 2007, and a high level of interest has been generated by many students and various technical schools in the area, including Mid-State Technical College.

“Students in the associate degree nursing programs at these locations can continue on to the bachelor’s level without missing a beat. Further, they can work and go to school part-time on a schedule that meets their needs,” Paulson said.

Unlike the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsn-Eau Claire, who have full nursing programs granting baccalaureate degrees, Stevens Point is offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) comple­tion program. Prospective students are required to be licensed Registered Nurses (RN) holding the associate or diploma degree in nursing.

Current nursing faculty will be teaching courses within the degree, and additional faculty members will be recruited to offer more courses when the program starts.

The School of Healthcare Professions hopes to offer cours­es face-to-face, in addition to tak­ing hybrid or online courses. The university is also working closely with the Partnership for Thriving Communities Initiative.

“This is a move by UWSP to become more connected to the com­munity and its needs, to become a rel­evant link in approaching solutions to community issues and improving the lives of individuals,” Paulson said.

The BSN completion program will help RNs in the area raise their education and skills to a baccalaure­ate level and help enhance the quality of healthcare given to patients in the area.

The nursing degree is still news to many students who are currently pursuing a degree in pre-nursing. Students Kera Schill and Alyssa Richlen expressed their thoughts on the new program.

“I didn’t hear about this at first. This is new news and it makes me happy. I think it is good for the cam­pus and will help bring more stu­dents to Stevens Point,” Schill said.

Similarly, Richlen explained that she is glad it will open up more opportunities to students. Nursing can be a competitive field, and it is at times difficult to be accepted into a good program.

“We are all very excited to be approved to implement the BSN Completion program for RNs and are hard at work to make this happen,” Paulson said.

For more information on the nurs­ing program visit www.bsnathome. com or email Dr. Mary Moss, Director of Nursing at MSTC, at mary.moss@ mstc.edu.personally and profession­ally.