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New nursing campus serves students in accelerated master’s program

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The College of Nursing launched a new location in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, for students enrolled in the college’s accelerated master’s degree program.

The new location is a response to the national nursing shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the shortage is especially critical in Wisconsin. The workforce will need to grow by 24 percent to fulfill the 70,000 nursing jobs that will be open by 2024.

Donna McCarthy, interim dean of the College of Nursing, said the Direct Entry Masters of Science in Nursing Program was implemented several years ago and allows students with non-nursing bachelors to earn a master’s in Nursing.

“This program is the exact same program we offer on campus, with all didactic courses offered online, and clinical courses offered at several health care facilities in the region,” McCarthy said.

Students attending preclinical courses at the center in Pleasant Prairie are able to use a simulation center, very similar to what is on Marquette’s campus.

McCarthy described the program as ‘wildly successful.’ She added the shortage of nurses in Wisconsin indicated there was a need for this program in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.

All faculty affiliated with the program are hired by Marquette and must follow all the same policies as those based in Milwaukee.

Lori Libel, the director of academic innovation at the College of Nursing, is the director of the new Pleasant Prairie distance program.

Libel said in an email the distance learning site will only be used by students enrolled in the Direct Entry MSN program. She said the site will allow students to attend a skills lab and simulation clinical, as well as complete proctored exams.

There is currently one full-time clinical faculty and in the summer there will be an additional full-time clinical faculty member on site, Libel said. The campus is also staffed with admission specialist, academic advisor and student support specialist.

Libel said the program will see up to 24 students enroll for Spring 2017 and 40 in Fall 2017. The hope is for enrollment to continue rising semester after semester.

Braden Lamore, a freshman in the College of Nursing, believes the new program will help the nursing industry.

“The generation of nurses right now are all getting old and retiring so we’re going to need to fill the gap with a bunch of new nurses,” he said.

Lamore said there aren’t currently enough programs across the country to fill this ‘gap,’ but he believes that having another program will help. He also said he likes the idea of the Direct MPS program producing multi-talented nurses.

“If you get a degree in nursing while having credentials in another degree area that should be more beneficial because then you have more educated and well-rounded nurses,” he said.

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