Area Colleges Team Up to Take on Nursing Shortage

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and NWTC Launch NURSE 1-2-1 Degree Program

Green Bay, Wis. — With states like Wisconsin facing a shortage in qualified nurses to serve patients, leaders at two colleges in Northeast Wisconsin are tackling the issue with a sense of community urgency and student affordability in mind, developing an inventive new nursing education model that will welcome its first class in September.

NURSE 1-2-1, a new collaborative program developed by UW‑Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is launching this fall with an initial class of 24 students. The program brings together the region’s best nursing educators and teaching healthcare technologies to create a single, cost-effective nursing program to meet growing healthcare demands, both in the numbers entering the profession and the depth of their nursing education.

“This program represents a new way of thinking about how to address a community issue like the nursing shortage both here in Wisconsin and nationwide,” said Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Dean of UW‑Green Bay’s College of Health, Education and Social Welfare and one of the program’s creators. “Both institutions are excited about how quickly we’ve been able to mobilize this solution and what it means for the nursing workforce and healthcare overall in our region.”

Under the program, nursing students attend classes for Year 1 at UW‑Green Bay, Years 2 and 3 at NWTC (obtaining an Associate Degree in Nursing in the process) and return to classes at UWGB during Year 4 to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The result: A traditional campus-like college experience that allows students the flexibility to enter the workforce and begin caring for patients and earning an income while finishing their degree on campus or online in Year 4.

According to NWTC Dean and fellow NURSE 1-2-1 program creator Kay Tupala, the collaboration between NWTC and UW‑Green Bay is good for students, regional healthcare, community quality of life and the two colleges.NURSE 1-2-1 is a unique pathway for students pursuing a BSN degree. Students receiving their BSN through the program can expect to invest 50% less in tuition than their peers attending a traditional four-year BSN program. We’re bringing together teaching excellence and affordability in a way that hasn’t been done before and it’s very exciting for students and the community.”

Gallagher-Lepak and Tupala agree that leveraging the best from both campuses is smart educational planning. “The program brings together UW‑Green Bay and NWTC’s experienced nursing educators and state of the art technology, including human patient simulators, to create a world-class student experience,” Tupala noted.

The Fall 2016 NURSE 1-2-1 class is comprised of students from across the state of Wisconsin as well as out-of-state students, from Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and California.

Nationally and in Wisconsin, the nursing shortage (predicted to reach 20,000 nationally by 2035) is happening at the same time that the Institute of Medicine has recommended increasing the level of workforce preparedness for nurses. “In recent years, the Institute has been recommending an 80 percent BSN-prepared workforce in nursing across the U.S., given research that shows healthcare outcomes for patients improve when the nursing workforce is educated at the BSN level,” noted Gallagher-Lepak. “Healthcare organizations are following the Institute’s guidance and are looking to hire more nursing graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Put simply, we need more BSNs.” In 2013 the Health Resources Services Association reported that 55 percent of all RNs in the U.S. held a baccalaureate in nursing degree or higher.

Students interested in applying for the NURSE 1-2-1 Program can access website information at, phone (920) 465-2111 or e-mail Applications to UW‑Green Bay for Fall 2017 can be submitted starting September 1, 2016. Following acceptance to UW‑Green Bay, a NURSE 1-2-1 Program Intention form must be submitted between September 15 and October 30, 2016.

Gallagher-Lepak and Tupala note that NURSE 1-2-1 is not a common model, but could soon become a national model for obtaining a nursing degree, because of its cost effectiveness and utility of all available resources. The planning team from both organizations included UW‑Green Bay’s Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Jennifer Schwahn, and Jan Malchow and NWTC’s Kay Tupala, Brian Krogh, and Katie Gilson.

About the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,700 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit


Brown County Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Saturday

2016.01.16-MLK-event-posterThe 21st annual community celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, January 16 in the Student Center at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) Green Bay. UW-Green Bay is a sponsor and has representation on the Celebration Committee. This year’s theme is “My Dream for My Community,” and features live dance and musical performances, the inspiring words of Dr. King, a free lunch of delicious cuisine and the highlighted work of area students who competed in the annual MLK poster, essay and poetry contest. For more

Educator Lardinois to keynote Kwanzaa Saturday at UW-Green Bay

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, together with St. Norbert College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, will host a Community Kwanzaa Celebration at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Phoenix Room of the University Union at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

Keynote speaker for this year’s gathering is Margaret “Toni’ Lardinois, principal of Washington Middle School, Green Bay.

Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration based on the tradition of the African harvest festival, which emphasizes community and cultural pride. Attendees can enjoy music, African dancing and drumming, and food (the event at UW-Green Bay promises a taste of Caribbean cuisine) while learning about the holiday’s origins, rites and symbols.

This year’s highlighted Kwanzaa principle, or theme, is Ujima, or collective focus on building and maintaining communities.

The event is free and open to the public. Questions about Saturday’s event may be directed to the UW-Green Bay Office of Student Life at (920) 465-2720, or diversity director Justin Mallett at


Registration remains open for first-ever Business Success Summit

There’s still time to register for the first-ever Business Success Summit, a daylong event being held Wednesday, Nov. 19 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 17-23. As we’ve mentioned here before, the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay is partnering with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and several other organizations to present the summit, which will be held at NWTC. It will feature more than 100 Northeastern Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners. Compelling keynote speakers and separate tracks for attendees looking to “launch,” “grow” or “thrive” in the business world are just some of the highlights of this event. For more information, check out our news release.

SBDC a partner in June 3 peer-to-peer demo event

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay is partnering with the NWTC Entrepreneur Resource Center to present a peer learning demonstration event Tuesday, June 3. The PeerSpectives® roundtable demonstration is a trial session, slated for 7-9:30 a.m., designed to immerse participants in the peer-to-peer roundtable process. The roundtables enhance leadership abilities and improve decision-making for leaders, rather than leaving business owners and entrepreneurs to make decisions — and often take unnecessary risks — in isolation. During the June 3 session, held at NWTC, participants will be immersed in the roundtable process, gaining a deeper understanding of how these confidential and highly focused meetings can help individuals confront their most urgent and important business challenges. Ryan Kauth, director of the SBDC at UW-Green Bay, is a certified PeerSpectives® facilitator. He co-facilitates a Chief Financial Officer roundtable and a small business owners roundtable in conjunction with the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce. For more.

Brown County community, UW-Green Bay to celebrate Martin Luther King Saturday at NWTC

Community members from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin will gather to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 17th annual community celebration of his birth Saturday, Jan. 14 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, 2740 W. Mason St.

The celebration, which runs from 10:30 a.m. until noon, with a light luncheon to follow, will feature music, dancing and reflections on King’s message — as well as how it affects our lives today. Organizers also will distribute awards for the annual K-12 poster and essay contest, which asks area students to reflect on the program’s theme — for 2012, it’s “Reflecting back, looking forward.”

NWTC, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Proctor & Gamble are major sponsors for the event, which is organized by a community committee that also includes members from St. Norbert College and elsewhere. The celebration is free and open to the public.

Saturday’s MLK event will feature UW-Green Bay students, faculty and administrators, joining the celebration in various roles. Julia Wallace, UW-Green Bay Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will deliver brief remarks and help present poster and essay contest awards during the event. UW-Green Bay student Erin S. Zimmerman will sing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” and the UW-Green Bay-and community-based Nia dancers and drummers also will perform. Education Prof. James Coates will continue his tradition of reciting King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which is among the program’s many highlights.

For more information on the event, visit, check out “Brown County MLK” on Facebook or follow @BrownCountyMLK on Twitter.

‘Wave’ of retirements at NWTC

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports there will soon be an “exodus” of faculty and staff at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. NWTC, which taps financial support both from local property taxes and state funding, is facing a $7.5 million total deficit under Gov. Walker’s proposed budget. College President Jeff Rafn told the paper, “This is going to be a significant change for us. It also will be an opportunity to not fill positions. We’ll need to look at that as we move forward.” Read the article here.