STEVENS POINT (WAOW)- UW Stevens Point joined forces with area technical colleges in attempts to create more nurses in Wisconsin.
University officials said their new program helps make it easier for students to join the nursing field after studies showed more than 10 thousand nurses will be leaving the work force by 2020.
“In central and northern Wisconsin the need for nurses is very great,” said Rebecca Sommer the head of the School of Healthcare at UWSP.
The four school partnership held it’s collaborative agreement ceremony on Wednesday,
UWSP along with North Central Technical College, Mid-State Technical College and Nicolet College partnered up all in an effort to make a nursing degree more accessible.
“We have heard from local and regional healthcare providers that they have hundreds of job openings for nurses,” said Sommer.
Program leaders said those numbers will only increase as many of the current nursing workforce are baby boomers and will soon retire.
The regional colleges create registered nurses within two years, after that students have the choice of earning a bachelor’s degree at UWSP.
“Technical colleges produce many highly technically trained nurses and we can add on to that,” Sommer said.
Students explained to News 9 the importance of a nursing education and being a nurse themselves.
“I wanted to become a nurse to help people in the community and see what’s out there and educate people on how to take better care of themselves,” said Katie Kruger a nursing student at UWSP.
Program leaders said this path is attractive to local students which allows them to stay close to home so they can work and earn their degree.
This alternative program is more cost effective than a tradition four year degree.
At the regional schools students pay technical college rates.