UW System videos to address nursing educator shortage

Nursing Student at UW-Oshkosh, January 2014 (WLUK/Mike Moon)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) - Seven videos were recently released to highlight teaching in the UW System nursing programs.

"The videos are a way of trying to get that idea out, what is it like to be in nursing education and the satisfaction of teaching nursing students, what are the realities, as well," explained the Dean of the College of Nursing at UW-Oskosh Leslie Neal-Boylan.

There is one video for each of six schools that have nursing majors, UW-Oshkosh included.

Neal-Boylan told FOX 11 the state is facing a serious nurse shortage.

"People are living longer, which is a wonderful thing, but we need nurses to take care of them," she explained.

The Wisconsin Center for Nursing has estimated there will be a shortage of 20,000 nurses in the state by the year 2035.

Neal-Boylan told us part of the problem is there aren't enough educators in the field.

"There's always a shortage of nursing faculty in general in the profession and we know Wisconsin in particular had a shortage," she said.

To help the, UW schools started "Nurses for Wisconsin" a little more than two years ago.

The program has used grant money to provide student loan forgiveness to prospective teachers.

"We have been able to educate several doctorate prepared faculty who will then, in return, need to teach for a certain period of time," Neal-Boylan explained.

But she told us it's still not enough. More nursing educators with doctorates are needed.

"That's where the videos came from," Neal-Boylan said.

Neal-Boylan told FOX 11 the videos give an accurate view of the job. She explained she hopes they bring in some qualified candidates.

"It's hard work, but I can't think of anything more rewarding, because you do make a tremendous difference," she said.

UW Green Bay is also part of Nurses for Wisconsin.

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