UW-Madison: Nursing program to end in La Crosse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Katharyn May, 608-263-9725, email@example.com; Chris Stauffer, 608-775-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON - As the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing re-engineers its curriculum, a mutual decision has been made to end a La Crosse-based offering of its nursing program that the school operated jointly with Gundersen Lutheran Health System.
The UW Western Campus Bachelor Program will not admit juniors this fall, but will continue the program and graduate the last class in May 2013.
"This has been a very successful seven-year partnership, and one that we are quite proud of," says Katharyn May, dean of the School of Nursing. "Our efforts have yielded some exceptionally talented nurses. The program partnership with Gundersen Lutheran has produced 133 graduates to date. Despite that success, however, our curriculum has evolved and today it makes better sense to consolidate our BS nursing education efforts back on the Madison campus."
"We are proud to say that about one-third of the program graduates are now nurses at Gundersen Lutheran," says Mary Lu Gerke, vice president of nursing systems at Gundersen Lutheran. This has been an excellent partnership, and the program has largely met its goals. As our needs and the needs of the School of Nursing have changed in recent years, it is now time for us to move on to the next phase of our partnership."
No jobs will be lost as a result of the consolidation, officials from the university and Gundersen Lutheran said.
Seventeen applicants to the program were informed this month that admissions to the La Crosse program are no longer being accepted.
"Because we are making some important changes in our undergraduate curriculum as we plan to move into our new facility in 2014, it has become challenging to keep the program offerings in Madison and La Crosse on a parallel track," May says, adding that the school is increasing its undergraduate capacity on the Madison campus.
That move will help accommodate qualified students who might have been admitted to the La Crosse site, May says.
May says that the proportion of applicants from Southwest Wisconsin who have requested the La Crosse site has been declining in recent years.
In addition, enrollment in other bachelor's-degree nursing programs in western Wisconsin has increased, increasing access for local students to degrees that lead to nursing careers.
This decision will also help the nursing school and Gundersen Lutheran to address an industry-wide priority: helping nurses who today hold associate degrees to attain bachelor's degrees.
"The focus of our partnership with Gundersen Lutheran may shift toward more collaborative research activities, and, in keeping with a growing national trend, supporting their nurses to advance their education," she adds.