The 2013-15 Wisconsin Legislatures’ Biennial Budget required the UW System Board of Regents to invest $22.5 million to increase economic growth and build a stronger Wisconsin workforce. In late September, 2013, the UW System Office of Economic Opportunity announced the Economic Development Incentive Grant program and invited all UW institutions to submit applications (University of Wisconsin System, Office of Economic Development, 2013). Proposals were required to advance efforts in one or more of the following areas: economic development; development of educated and skilled workforce; and, improving affordability of postsecondary education.
Led by the UW-Eau Claire, College of Nursing and Health Sciences and application was developed that addressed all three of the goals of the Incentive Grant program with a focus of increasing the number of nurses qualified to teach at the baccalaureate and graduate level. The economic development criteria was met by the inclusion of the long-term goal to increase the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses available for employment by Wisconsin healthcare organizations. The educated and skilled workforce development criteria was addressed by increasing the number of doctorally prepared nurses. The criteria to improve affordability for postsecondary education was met by offering predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships.
The project, implemented at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and UW Oshkosh, consists of three arms: (1) predoctoral fellowships awarded in the amount of $43,000 each year in tuition, fees, and stipend to accelerate the completion of a nursing Ph.D. or DNP program; (2) postdoctoral fellowships in the amount of $60,000 plus fringe benefits annually to attract doctorally-prepared faculty to UW System nursing programs; and, (3) a loan repayment program to attract and retain new faculty during the 2013-2015 biennium. Employees hired under this agreement receive up to $50,000 for repayment of their student loans. All awards are in exchange for a commitment to teach three consecutive years within the state of Wisconsin. Additional funding provides for two education conferences, as well as a project director and the development and implementation of a marketing plan.
To learn more read Nurses for Wisconsin: A Collaborative Initiative to Enhance the Nurse Educator Workforce.
Young, L.K., Adams, J.L., Lundeen, S., May, K.A., Smith, R.L. Wendt, L.E. (2015). Nurses for Wisconsin: A Collaborative Initiative to Enhance the Nurse Educator Workforce. Journal of Professional Nursing. In press. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2015.11.002
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Site author: Jan Adams, Learning Resource Coordinator, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UW-Eau Claire