More than $420,000 in scholarship dollars from Aurora BayCare Medical Center aims to ‘inspire’ nursing for UW-Green Bay students

Ten UW-Green Bay nursing students to be awarded scholarships this week

Green Bay, Wis.— Aurora BayCare Medical Center is deepening its investment to address a dire nursing shortage in Northeast Wisconsin by providing support to prospective and current nursing students at UW-Green Bay.

The support from Aurora BayCare will be highlighted on Wednesday when ten UW-Green Bay nursing students receive scholarship dollars through the Aurora BayCare Inspire Nursing and Aurora BayCare Future Nurses scholarships. Aurora BayCare is projected to give more than $420,000 in scholarship dollars over the next four years to “inspire” nursing for UW-Green Bay students. The aid comes after an initial gift of support to help launch the University’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in 2019. Aurora BayCare’s total support to UW-Green Bay’s nursing students and program is projected to be more than $740,000.

“Providing this support at UW-Green Bay is just one way that we can invest in Wisconsin’s nursing workforce, and in the coming years, that investment will reflect in the excellent care nurses will provide for our community,” says Heather Schroeder, vice president and chief nurse officer for Aurora BayCare.

Ten students will be presented scholarships of either $2,500 or $5,000 per person at a scholarship event this week. The Aurora BayCare Scholarship reception will take place:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022
  • 4 to 5 p.m. (program begins promptly at 4 p.m.)
  • UW-Green Bay STEM Innovation Center, 2019 Technology Way on the UW-Green Bay campus

“We are grateful to Aurora BayCare for their support and belief in the ability for higher education to help our region solve the nursing shortage,” says UW-Green Bay chancellor Michael Alexander. “Since 50% of UW-Green Bay undergraduate students are the first in their family to attend college, Aurora BayCare is seeing the importance of providing access to a great education that empowers more people to enter careers that are needed in our region.  This is a great example of a private company partnering with a public university to benefit the people of Northeastern Wisconsin.”

The shortage of nurses nationally and in Wisconsin was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, insufficient numbers of new nurse graduates, higher than expected retirements and the growth of health care needs of the aging population add to the critical need for nurses. At the current replacement rate, it is estimated the shortage of registered nurses in Wisconsin will increase to nearly 20,000 (35 percent) by 2035.

UW-Green Bay’s traditional BSN program was started in 2019 in response to the demand for nurses in Wisconsin. Currently, five UW-System schools including UW-Green Bay, have nursing programs working to address the nursing shortage.

“With the launch of UW-Green Bay’s new prelicensure BSN program, and advances in the way we educate nursing students, community support from organizations like Aurora BayCare, along with individuals, has been essential to help transform existing classrooms to active learning spaces that engage students in clinical thinking, skill acquisition and simulation learning,” says Christine Vandenhouten, PhD, RN director of Nursing at UW-Green Bay. “Need-based scholarships like the Aurora BayCare Inspire and Future Nursing scholarships are important support and encouragement for students.”

Aurora BayCare’s commitment to UW-Green Bay has grown from letters of support of the BSN program to the UW System Board of Regents, to support for facilities, clinical rotations and opportunity to learn from health care professionals at Advocate Aurora Health’s new Simulation Center on its Green Bay hospital campus.

“As a practice-based profession, nursing students need opportunities to learn and repeat clinical skills in a safe, controlled environment prior to working with ill patients,” says Schroeder.  “We also know that when new nurses find familiar settings and experiences as they enter practice, they will contribute to health care teams more quickly and confidently.”

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About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit


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