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About the College

Since 1966, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s College of Nursing (CON) has been providing undergraduate and graduate nursing students with the expert knowledge, clinical practice skills and the critical thinking ability required of today’s healthcare industry.

The CON’s undergraduate and graduate programs offer a curriculum that incorporates evidence-based practice, cultural competence and hands-on clinical training with the latest technology and equipment.

College of Nursing faculty members are continually developing innovative ways to enhance the classroom experience.

The college’s graduates serve as nurse leaders nationally and internationally in diverse areas of nursing and healthcare. Record graduation rates and high scores on employer feedback surveys attest to the preparedness of UW Oshkosh nursing alumni.

The Undergraduate Nursing Program at UW Oshkosh has exceeded the national requirements for first time NCLEX attempts for the past 10 years. Here are the annual passing rates for the past four reporting years:

  • 2018  97.86%
  • 2017  96.88%
  • 2016  94.68%
  • 2015  96.45%

The College of Nursing Graduate Program has achieved a 100% pass rate on the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Exam since 2009.  A 100% pass rate was achieved on the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certification Exam Certification Exam in 2014 and 2015, and 93.75% pass rate in 2013.

The mission of the College of Nursing, consistent with the missions of the University of Wisconsin System and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is to assist students, faculty and staff to:


  • Develop their potential as individuals and citizens with respect for human dignity and cultural diversity, with a commitment to personal excellence.
  • Gain the foundation for graduate education in nursing
  • Develop advanced knowledge and skill to provide excellence in evidence-based practice, research and scholarship.
  • Acquire and disseminate the knowledge and abilities essential for assuming nursing responsibilities in a variety of settings, develop creativity, engage in lifelong learning, and think critically.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to enhance learning and improve health in the state of Wisconsin and beyond consistent with the UW Oshkosh mission.

Vision Statement: The College of Nursing will build upon its tradition of developing caring and scholarly leaders who positively impact contemporary and future health care.




AltruismAn unselfish concern for the welfare of others.

  • We strive to demonstrate an unselfish interest in others through caring, compassion, sensitivity and an openness to engage in helping relationships.

AutonomyThe right to self-determination.

  • We strive to provide information and explore options that require individuals to look deep within themselves to find the answers to manage their problems effectively.

Human DignityThe respectful awareness of the self-worth of each individual.

  • We strive to interact with others in a respectful, efficient, courteous, and prompt manor with the assurance of complete confidentiality.

IntegrityActing in accordance with an appropriate code of ethics and accepted standard of practice.

  • We strive to build trust by being approachable, honest, and accountable for our words and actions.

Social Justice Upholding moral, legal, and humanistic principals.

  • We strive to create relationships, structures, and resources for the equality of optimal access to needed information and services along with meaningful participation in decision-making.



The College of Nursing is accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) through their accreditation arm, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530,Washington, DC 20036 (202) 887-6791.

AACN is the national voice for America’s baccalaureate and higher-degree nursing education programs. AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s and graduate degree nursing education.  The programs also assist deans and directors to implement the standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate education, research and practice in nursing — the nation’s largest health care profession.


Wisconsin State Board of Nursing

The Wisconsin State Board of Nursing licenses and regulates nurses.  Their mission is to provide professional, quality services to members of occupations and professions regulated by the state in order to safeguard consumer health, safety and well-being.


Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).  Founded in 1895, NCA is one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States. It is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of excellence.

HLC accredits, and thereby grants membership to, educational institutions in the nineteen-state North Central region — Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. HLC is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

In 1966, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, formerly the Wisconsin State University Oshkosh, became the second public institution north of Madison and Milwaukee to instate a baccalaureate nursing program. The first nursing class had 30 students; 22 of them formed the first graduate class in 1970.

The College of Nursing quickly outgrew its original home in Pollock House, which contained the college’s offices, classrooms and a Nursing Arts Lab. The college relocated to the Nursing/Education building in fall 1970 and remains there today.

The first curriculum — comprised of 142 credits in eight semesters and two summer sessions — was uniquely organized around the nursing process, with an emphasis on the nurse-patient relationship and a focus on understanding the patient’s perception of illness and care.

In response to changes in the practice of nursing, the College of Nursing initiated a graduate program in 1974 and a BSN Completion Program for Registered Nurses in 1980. Student enrollment grew so rapidly that by 1973, enrollment was limited to 150 students per year. Due to the increased enrollment of registered nurses seeking a baccalaureate degree, the number increased to 180 in 1981.

Continually evolving to meet the advances in the healthcare industry, UW Oshkosh’s College of Nursing has since developed new and innovative program offerings, including collaborative RN to BSN completion programs, an Online Accelerated BSN program and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Advancements in technology have allowed the college to provide students with numerous opportunities to hone their nursing skills. Students learn crucial nursing skills with actual hospital equipment and supplies and practice on high-tech, computerized mannequins. The curriculum has evolved to incorporate evidence-based practice and cultural competence to prepare nurses for today’s global healthcare industry.