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New Dean Seon-Yoon Chung is leading the way as students, faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s College of Nursing prepare for a new academic year. In this third Q&A from our back-to-school series, learn why Chung is excited about innovations in telehealth and distance education.

Look for more stories about what’s to come in 2022-23 throughout August.

Seon-Yoon Chung

What’s new in your college for the upcoming academic year?

We are pleased to welcome six new tenure track faculty–Chris Giberson, Maria Graf, Erika Janssen, Lindsay Morgan, Nahal Rahmanpanah and Jessica Tomasiewicz, as well as a new simulation and skills lab director–Marianna Madariaga–this academic year. Madariaga joins us from Wyoming and brings with her vast experience in simulation in healthcare. Our six new faculty members have been actively teaching our students, and we are excited for their dedication to serve as tenure track faculty. We look forward to having rich discussions and celebrating additional ideas and perspectives shared by our colleagues.

Wendy Bauer has assumed the role of research and evaluation director, following Heather Englund who has energetically led evaluation and research efforts in the college through the pandemic. Bauer will continue to support our faculty, staff and students in their pursuit of scholarly activities, contributing directly to the college’s mission to empower students and faculty to meet the healthcare needs of a dynamic and diverse society through nursing research.

I am honored to join the UWO College of Nursing myself, following Interim Dean Bonnie Nickasch who has done a remarkable job securing stability and exciting opportunities amid years of pandemic and transition in the college leadership, with strong support from within and beyond the college.

As another example of what is new in the upcoming academic year, we will be launching a new 3+1 collaborative dual degree program with UW-Platteville in which eligible students will receive a bachelor’s degree in biology from Platteville and a bachelor’s in nursing from UWO through our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in a total of four years.

This collaborative program is designed to address geographic disparities in access for students in the Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa’s tri-state region to pursue the nursing profession by providing a unique 3+1 dual bachelor degree program, saving students time and money. We look forward to our continued contribution to our society by nurturing competent and compassionate nurse leaders, and I will be working diligently to build upon our legacy of excellence in the c0llege with everyone.

What are you personally looking forward to the most about the fall semester?

Personally, I am looking forward to meeting all the students, faculty, staff and friends of the college and learning about the needs and the ways in which we can further innovate and contribute to our community. I look forward to leveraging the collective expertise of our faculty and staff to create synergistic effects. I look forward to exploring creative experiential learning opportunities, including simulation, civic engagement and student research, as well as supporting our faculty and staff in furthering the advancement of our students.

What advice would you give to incoming first-year students about how to succeed at UWO?

Anecdotal feedback from students shows me our program is rigorous and well-organized, that faculty and staff genuinely care about the students and are invested in their success. We are here to support your success and welcome you into our profession—so do not hesitate to reach out!

Share something you learned over summer break.

I personally learned more about both virtual/augmented reality and the metaverse, along with their implications on healthcare and education. The opportunities that come with advancement in technology– the potential increase in access to healthcare and education through telehealth and distance learning, for example, is invigorating. What about additional collaborative opportunities beyond physical boundaries? The world is ever-changing. Observing the changes in the world we live in and preparing our students to launch a successful career and be leaders in the field through uncharted paths are what we do in academe. Generating new knowledge and providing care based on up-to-date evidence is what we do as professional healthcare providers. The more I learn, I find there is more to learn!

Since I started July 1, I have been meeting our faculty and staff and I have learned they are also continuing to learn about the Next Generation National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) released by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to prepare our students to demonstrate clinical judgement in providing care. NCSBN’s test plans are updated every three years to reflect current practice. Also on our learning docket are the new standards released by National Task Force for Quality Nurse Practitioner Education and new Essential Competencies for Professional Nursing Education released by American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). We practice what we preach!

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