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UW-Green Bay Nursing program celebrates 30th anniversary with displays, events

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The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Professional Program in Nursing is celebrating its 30th year of offering registered nurses a baccalaureate degree completion program that allows them to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The UW-Green Bay RN to BSN program was approved by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin system in 1980. Prof. Agnes Janoscrat was named the first chairperson and Mimi Kubsch was hired to plan and implement the program. (Associate Prof. Kubsch has been the “face and hands” of the program for many years and remains on the faculty today.) Classes began in the fall of 1981.

The program received national accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission in 1987 and has been subsequently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. In 1995, in collaboration with University of Wisconsin Nursing programs in Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Eau Claire, the program began an online track for RNs across Wisconsin now known as BSN@HOME. This was followed by the development of the BSN-LINC track in 2000, through which RNs from across the U.S. can complete their BSN online from UW-Green Bay.

In 2007, funding was obtained to extend the program’s reach to northern areas of the state, resulting in classes offered in Rhinelander and Marinette. That same year, a 5-year federal grant was awarded to the five UW nursing programs to enhance technology in nursing education. The grant culminated in 2011 with an “E-Learning in Nursing” conference hosted by UW-Green Bay. Also in 2011, the Professional Program in Nursing graduated its 1,000th BSN-prepared nurse. Prof. Derryl Block, the current chairperson, leads a department of 11 faculty and staff members. The program has 36 Associate Degree campus partners from 24 states across the country.

Those visiting the Professional Program in Nursing office, located on the third floor of Rose Hall (Suite 325) on the UW-Green Bay campus, can view the History Wall, a recent addition detailing the program’s highlights. The program also is posting a retrospective video and asking alumni and friends for their memories. The piece, by student marketing assistant Ariel Weishoff, is online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-jWMRw3V4w.

As part of the 30th Anniversary celebration, alumni and students in the program have been invited to participate in an April webinar. Internationally recognized nursing scholar Jean Watson will present the webinar, “Caring Theory,” in honor of the program’s anniversary. Watson is Distinguished Professor of Nursing and holds an Endowed Chair in Caring Science at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Center Campus. She is founder of the original Center for Human Caring in Colorado and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Watson is a widely published author and recipient of several awards and honors. She holds six honorary doctoral degrees, including three international honorary doctorates.

For more information about the Professional Program in Nursing history or the 30th Anniversary activities, please email nursing@uwgb.edu.

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