Each year, Wisconsin Technical Colleges graduate nearly 800 individuals in the Associate Degree (A.D.) Nursing Program. Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, graduated nearly 45 individuals in its A.D. Nursing Program. A recently signed agreement between the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) will make the option of transferring into a bachelor's degree program more attractive.
The transfer agreement allows graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System Nursing Program to transfer, with junior standing, to any of five UW-System institutions, which offer a B.S. in Nursing.
"Nursing has just become more attractive than ever," said Ed Chin, WTCS State Director. "Not only are the wages in nursing on a steady climb, but you can now begin the registered nursing program at a technical college knowing you will have a very attractive continuing education option once you graduate."
"At Moraine Park, students wishing to pursue a career in nursing can follow various paths," stated Lucia Francis, dean of Health Occupations for the College. "Students can either enter the Associate Degree Nursing program directly, or they can complete the Practical Nursing Technical Diploma, become licensed practical nurses, continue with the Associate Degree Nursing program and upon graduation move forward into a B.S. in Nursing."
"Wisconsin is at the brink of a nursing shortage that will continue to intensify over the next five years," said Diane Peters, vice-president of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association. "The need for nurses will increase as our population ages," Peters said. "This articulation is the first step to provide seamless education from the entry-level health care employee to advanced degrees in the field."
Only institution-to-institution transfer agreements for nursing existed to this point, meaning there were particular UW-System schools that would accept various transfer credits from nursing students of particular WTCS colleges.
This agreement, recently signed by officials from the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, is the first system-to-system transfer arrangement. The two educational systems are expected to sign more program transfer agreements in the near future.
The program begins this fall, but WTCS Nursing graduates who received their associate degrees in May 1996 will be able to transfer up to 30 credits in nursing and up to 30 general education credits. Graduates who received their associate degrees prior to May 1996 will be evaluated on an individual basis. The program will be reviewed after three years at which time it could be modified.
The Associate Degree in Nursing is offered at all 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges. The five UW System schools which offer the B.S. in Nursing are UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Oshkosh.
The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin, which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System offers a variety of distance learning opportunities and is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin's business and industry community. The WTCS web site is located at www.witechcolleges.com.