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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh signed an agreement last week with UW-Platteville to offer a unique 3+1 dual bachelor degree program, providing UW-Platteville students with a pathway to earn a bachelor’s in nursing, while saving time and money.

The new program seeks to address the significant shortage of healthcare professionals in Wisconsin and the tri-state region of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, which is acutely felt in rural areas. It will provide a clear nursing professional pathway for UW-Platteville students, many of whom hail from a rural community and are more likely to remain in the region post-graduation.

Through the new program, UW-Platteville students can receive a bachelor’s in biology from UW-Platteville and a bachelor’s in nursing from UW Oshkosh in four years

UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt remarked on the UW System’s ability to identify a problem—in this case, the projected shortage of 20,000 nurses in Wisconsin by 2035—and work together to answer the call.

“Today is really the UW System at its best,” Chancellor Leavitt said on March 3. “This is why we are a system. Two different universities on different sides of the state, coming together to share programmatic talent and resources and make it easier for more well-prepared, caring healthcare leaders to respond to the region and Wisconsin’s needs.”

This new agreement follows the recently introduced Bachelor to Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing Pathway, through which students receive a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice from UW-Platteville and then, if eligible, are granted guaranteed admission to enter UW Oshkosh’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing – a 12-month hybrid nursing program.

The 3+1 dual bachelor’s degree program began during the 2022-23 academic year and is now available to students.

McKenna Meyer, a graduate of both UWO and UW-Platteville, shared her experiences in both programs at the ceremony.

“I graduated from UW-Platteville in 2015 with a biology degree in one hand and an increasing love of healthcare in the other,” she said.

Meyer enrolled in the UW Oshkosh Accelerated Nursing program in 2019. After graduating, she was accepted into UW-Madison’s Nurse Residency Program and currently works at the UW Health Level I Trauma Center.

“I couldn’t be happier that I was part of both the amazing teams at UW-Platteville and UW Oshkosh,” Meyer said. “They really helped me become the nurse I am today, but also the person I am today as well.”

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