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Professional Program inNursing

Category Archive: Uncategorized

UWGB 2016 Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award to Maribeth Hetherington

Jan Malchow, Manager of Student Outreach & Alumni Relations (l) and Dr. Christine Vandenhouten, Chairperson of Nursing (r) present Maritbeth Hetherington (c) with the 2016 Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award at Door County Medical Center, Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Maribeth Hetherington, recently retired Chief Change Officer and former Interim Director of Clinic Operations at Door County Medical Center (Sturgeon Bay, WI), has been named the 2016 recipient of the UW-Green Bay Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award. Hetherington was a 1986 graduate of the university’s BSN completion program.   She developed and implemented a restructured supervisory leadership model during her tenure at DCMC and was featured early this year in the American Healthcare Leader Magazine article on “Schooling Healthcare” which described her innovative leadership methods designed to empower employees.

Prior to her time at DCMC, Hetherington served as Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer for ThedaCare, Inc. (Appleton, WI) where her role as the executive leader of a new inpatient care delivery model was recognized in an international publication. The model was featured in the Shingo Award Winning book “On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry” by John Toussiant, M.D. and Roger A. Gerard, PhD with Emily Adams.

Hetherington had a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a student at UW-Green Bay and was a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She reflected on her time at UW-Green Bay mentioning the flexibility of the program for a working nurse and mother of small children; the high quality of the professors; and the recognition she received for her prior learning which netted her 6 credits toward her degree.

Hetherington was presented the Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award at a recognition gathering at Door County Medical Center on October 20 by UW-Green Bay Chairperson of Nursing, Dr. Christine Vandenhouten and Manager of Student Outreach and Alumni Relations, Jan Malchow.

Looking back over her career, Hetherington summarized by saying, “I have had the pleasure of working in many diverse and rewarding roles as a nurse in a long and successful career, and have been grateful for the opportunities the nursing profession has offered me in my life. UWGB was integral in my journey and I will forever be thankful for having the opportunity to complete my BSN there.”


UW-Green Bay HIMT Grad Boosts Career

When Melissa Metz graduated from the UW Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and Technology (HIMT) program through UW-Green Bay in May, she was already two months into her ideal job. As a healthcare business analyst for Marshfield Clinic Information Systems (MCIS), Melissa uses her health information management (HIM) and health IT experience and knowledge every day.

healthcare business analyst“I expected to be working with numbers every day, but there’s so much more to my job,” Melissa says. MCIS provides electronic health record (EHR) products and services to all types of healthcare organizations, including Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, a leading provider of healthcare services. In her position, Melissa works with clients and MCIS’s development team to get new EHR systems up and running.

UW HIMT students usually choose a specialization in HIM or health IT, but Melissa completed both tracks of study. HIM track courses focused on the business side of EHRs and patient information, and health IT courses gave her the skills to build software.

She says specializing in both areas boosted her career.

“MCIS is the only healthcare software organization in my area, so health IT jobs are competitive. I think it was my thorough understanding of HIM and health IT that got me the healthcare business analyst job over many other applicants.”

Before discovering her career in HIMT, Melissa earned a dairy farming certificate from UW-Madison and became a large dairy herd manager. After a few years, she felt drained from the long work hours and craved more interaction with people, so she stepped back and assessed which parts of the job she enjoyed. “I really liked dealing with the online records, which is the reason I looked into the HIMT degree,” Melissa says.

Going back to school on campus was not an option since Melissa had a job and two young daughters at home. The online HIMT program through UW-Green Bay allowed her to earn a bachelor’s degree and make a career change while still keeping up with things she enjoyed in her free time such as spending time with family, gardening, and running. Originally, Melissa intended to just do the health IT track, but since taking online courses fit so well in her life, she decided to spend a little more time taking the four classes needed to complete the HIM track.

Melissa uses what she learned in her courses on database management, hospital and clinic workflows, and project management daily. “At work, it’s my responsibility to manage projects and see them through. I’m so happy I had practice developing projects and timelines in my courses.”

The final course, the capstone experience, was the most beneficial course Melissa took. She was able to tailor the semester-long capstone project to her interests and gain real work experience before graduation. Unlike most capstone experiences, Melissa completed hers online. She set up a database for nurses to track the progress of patients at a geriatric facility.

The project helped steer her in the right direction—toward a blended HIM and health IT career that she’s passionate about and toward the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification exam, which she passed in August.

“I get to see the whole EHR process unfold right before my eyes as well as how we can learn and improve health care. This kind of work is what makes me tick.”

For more information on the HIMT Program, see our website at:

BSN@HOME Program Earns National Award

On October 17, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) will award the BSN@Home program the 2016 Celebration of Excellence Award for Mature Program. UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing and online education and serves more than 400 institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The Mature Program award recognizes established credit or noncredit programs that have demonstrated sustained innovation.

BSN@Home is an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree-completion program that provides a flexible distance learning option for registered nurses (RNs) with a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing. The BSN@HOME Program is a collaboration of UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Extension.  Over the last two decades, 1,804 graduates have earned their BSN degrees through this program.  Each year, UW-Green Bay has had the highest enrollment among UW partners.

At launch, the primary goal of the BSN@Home program was to help address the shortage of BSN-prepared nurses predicted by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing. As the program matured, its goal became even more relevant. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a baccalaureate degree by 2020. This recommendation is based on evidence showing improved outcomes for patients cared for by nurses with higher education levels.

“According to the Wisconsin Center for Nursing 2014 RN Workforce Survey, a significant number of RNs still need to earn their BSN degrees for the state to achieve the national goals. A more educated nursing workforce equates with better patient outcomes,” says UW-Green Bay Dean, Susan Gallagher-Lepak, longtime chair of the BSN@HOME Steering Committee.

“When the program originally launched twenty years ago, many people thought a quality nursing program could not be taught from a distance; however, this innovative program has since become an enduring part of UW System,” says Sylvia Forbes, BSN@Home Program coordinator from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “The BSN@Home program has built partnerships with agencies and technical colleges throughout the state and we will continue to provide this quality program in an attempt to remove barriers to earning the BSN degree.”

Chris Vandenhouten, Chair of Nursing at UW-Green Bay said, “Patients, employers and the profession benefit when nurses advance their education. BSN@Home is an effective way for associate degree prepared nurses to complete a BSN degree. UW-Green Bay has been a strong partner in this collaboration and with online nursing education.”

For more information about the BSN@Home program, please visit

Shawano Co., WI Public Health Nurse Position

Shawano County, Wisconsin is looking to fill an open Public Health Nurse position.  The position reports to the Health Officer/Director and provides professional public health nursing services in home, clinic, and community health settings.  Services include assessment, care and referral, policy development and assurance.  Promotes health and provides health education in areas of chronic illness, communicable diseases, nutrition, safety, tobacco control and wellness; coordinates various health care programs including maternal and child health, immunizations, women’s health, lead poisoning prevention, oral health, school health, preparedness and other programs.

Hours:  This is a full-time, exempt position working 37.5 per week, typically Monday thru Friday, normally 8:00-4:30 p.m.   

Wage:  Wage rate is $39,721 – $41,983 annually  DOQ.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please complete the job application available through the Shawano County website ( and return to the Department of Administration no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2016.   A resume and letter of interest must be included with application along with proof of nursing credentials.

Dr. Christine Vandenhouten Named Chair of Nursing

Dr. Christine Vandenhouten has been named the Chair of the Professional Programs in Nursing, starting her new position on July 1, 2016.  She has been on the UW-Green Bay Nursing faculty since 2008 following 17 years as an Associate Professor at Bellin College.  She also served in a variety of staff positions in Public Health, Perioperative Nursing and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Her professsional interests include Professional Nursing Assessment and Program Evaluation in Higher Education and Population Programs; Political Involvement/Civic Engagement of Nurses and Health Professionals; Credentialing and Certification in Nursing; Interprofessional Education, Research Methods; Design and Survey Development; and Health Policy.

Dr. Vandenhouten earned her BSN from Marian College, MSN from UW-Oshkosh, and her PhD in Nursing at Marquette University with an emphasis on Nursing Education and Vulnerable Populations.  She has been active faculty member in the RN to BSN programs, MSN in Leadership & Management in Health Systems, and is the Academic Director of the new MS in Health & Wellness Management which launches this fall.  Dr. Vandenhouten has also lead the Nursing & Health Travel Course to Cuernavaca, Mexico for a number of years.

The Professional Programs in Nursing welcome Dr. Vandenhouten in this new role and look forward to her leadership in the future of our nursing and health studies programs.

Dr. Gallagher-Lepak new Dean of Health, Education and Social Welfare

Dr. Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Chair of the Professional Programs in Nursing since 2012, has been promoted to the Dean of the new College of Health, Education and Social Welfare, effective July 1, 2016.  Professor Gallagher-Lepak has served on the faculty of the Nursing programs at UW-Green Bay since 2003.  She earned her BSN from Marquette University, MSN from UW-Milwaukee, and PhD in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison. She has over 25 years of clinical practice and scholarship in E-learning, clinical reasoning, nursing diagnosis and other clinical issues including pharmacology in rehabilitation case management and depression.

UW-Green Bay recently re-organized into a four academic college model.  The Professional Programs in Nursing, Education and Social Work are under the new College of Health, Education and Social Welfare. Dr. Gallagher -Lepak retains her Professorship in Nursing, but is excited by the possibility of growing all of the programs in the new college.  Congratulations to Dean Gallagher-Lepak!

UW-Green Bay Launches New Master of Science in Health & Wellness Management

Dr. Christine Vandenhouten is pleased to announce UW-Green Bay, in conjunction with UW-Extension, UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Superior is launching the new online Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management (MSHWM) program starting with Fall Semester of 2016. The program has been approved by the Higher Learning Commission and has started accepting applications.

The MSHWM curriculum focuses on program budgeting, legal and policy issues, strategic planning, change management, systems thinking, marketing, and communication. The program is designed for working health care professionals and aims to strengthen and expand knowledge of corporate wellness and health promotion issues. The master’s degree is ideal for students with bachelor’s degrees in community health, health education, kinesiology, exercise science, nutrition, health promotion, recreation management, and human resources.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for the health and wellness industry from 2014 to 2024 is 13%, higher than most other fields. Opportunities for qualified health and wellness management professionals exist in virtually every sector of the workforce: service industries, manufacturing, community agencies, the insurance industry, healthcare systems, educational institutions, and more. The MSHWM degree prepares people for positions as corporate wellness administrator, director of fitness/wellness, wellness program manager, community health and wellness director, health management consultant, and health promotions adviser.

Dr. Vandenhouten, Chair of the Professional Programs in Nursing, serves as the MSHWM Academic Director at UW-Green Bay. She reports, “We are excited to offer this innovative new program and look forward to having our first students apply and start this September.”

For more information about the program visit  our website, call 920-465-2826 (or 877-895-3276), or email .


Call for Nominations for 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award – Due August 31, 2016

The UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Nursing is issuing a Call for Nominations for the 2016 Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award.  The award is given annually to a UW-Green Bay nursing graduate (BSN or MSN).  Criteria upon which nominees are evaluated include:

  • Service or leadership enhancing the profession of nursing and/or community
  • Achievements demonstrating a high level of professionalism and modeling values of the nursing profession (e.g. caring, altruism, social justice)
  • Distinguished scholarly achievement (e.g., presentations, articles, etc.) and/or serving as a mentor/trainer in the field of nursing

Letters of nomination (including self-nomination) should not exceed two pages and be submitted in digital format to by August 31, 2016. Nominations are reviewed by a selection committee.  The award recipient will be notified by September 15, 2016. The following nominee information must be included: First and Last Name; Last Name at Graduation; Year of Graduation; Current email address; Mailing Address (Street, City, State, Zip); Phone; Current Employer and Position Title. Also include the name and email address of the person submitting the nomination and a current photo of the nominee.

Alumni Award recipients will receive official recognition on the UW-Green Bay nursing website and in the Alumni Newsletter, an award certificate and engraved pen.

For more information, contact Mr. Jan Malchow, Manager of Student Outreach at 920-465-2722 or .

Sheboygan County (WI) Public Health Supervisor Open Position

The Sheboygan County Health & Human Services Department has an opening for a dynamic, results oriented professional to oversee the department’s public health communicable disease and emergency preparedness programs and related community services.  This is a full time exempt position and has an annual starting salary of $59,822 to $89,734 based on prior experience and qualifications.


A public health nurse, in addition to being licensed as a registered nurse under ch. 441, Stats., shall have one of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a nursing program approved by the board of nursing under s. 441.01 (3), Stats., and ch. N 1, or accredited by the national professional nursing education accrediting organization. The program shall include preparation in public health nursing or community health nursing.
  • A master’s degree from a nursing program accredited by the national professional nursing education accrediting organization. The program shall include preparation in public health nursing or community health nursing. Three (3) years of leading community initiatives and/or facilitating teams focused on public health issues. Experience in Performance Management, Community Health Improvement Planning, Communicable Disease follow-up, Human Health Hazard Investigations and Foodborne/Waterborne outbreaks preferred.
  • Supervisory experience desired.
  • Graduate work in public health preferred.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 P.M. on Monday, July 11th, 2016.

Please reference: JOB POSTING #2016 – 42; Health and Human Services Supervisor Public Health position when submitting your application for employment which is located on the Sheboygan County shared drive/Sheboygan County/Human Resources/Forms/Internal Application for Employment.


508 New York Avenue


Wanted: Nursing Instructors

UW-Green Bay, New Video Campaign Helping to Meet Region and State’s Urgent Demand for Nursing Educators and Nurses

Dr. Susan Gallagher-Lepak gets nervous when she looks into her crystal ball and sees where the nursing profession and regional healthcare needs are headed. The picture isn’t particularly pretty.

“The nurse and nursing faculty workforce shortage ahead have the potential to impact both the quality and availability of healthcare in communities across our region,” says Dr. Gallagher-Lepak, a nursing educator herself and chairperson of the Nursing Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Not having enough nurses to meet future regional demand for healthcare service is one thing. Not having enough teachers to teach nurses and in turn fill that gap is a double whammy. According to the Wisconsin Center for Nursing, Wisconsin could see a shortage of at least 20,000 nurses by 2035—that’s only 20 years away. The lack of nurse educators contributes to the nurse shortage in Northeast Wisconsin and across the state and country. Dr. Gallagher-Lepak is working with fellow nursing educators across the state on efforts to change that trend.

Nurses for Wisconsin, a partnership between University of Wisconsin System nursing programs at UW-Green Bay, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point put to work a $3.2 million Economic Development Incentive Grant program a few years ago to address the nurse educator shortage and recruit faculty. The grant supported fellowship and education loan forgiveness programs to encourage nurses to pursue doctoral degrees or postdoctoral training and assume nurse educator positions in Wisconsin. In turn, these nurse educators will teach for three years in a Wisconsin nursing program with the hope they will remain in the state as nurse educators.

“The demand for nursing services continues to grow as we move to a greater focus on preventive care, as well as handle healthcare needs of an aging population,” Dr. Gallagher-Lepak notes. “UW-System nursing programs have worked hard over the last decade to grow the number of graduates from nursing programs in the state. We need more nurse educators to continue this effort and continue to increase the number of student seats in nursing programs.”

While the partnership is gaining traction (33 Wisconsin nurses obtained their doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) or their PHD in nursing since the program kicked off in 2013), the effort is only a start to solving the problem of the nursing faculty shortage, not only in the UW System but across the state and nation.

The partnership this week launched a series of videos focused on the urgent demand for nurse educators within the University of Wisconsin System, including Why Consider UW-Green Bay for a Degree in Nursing Education.

Partners like Dr. Gallagher-Lepak and others hope the video series will get the word out about the shortage and attract candidates to the award-winning programs in the UW System.

Faculty members, clinical staff and students share their personal experiences and highlight unique aspects of their specific nursing programs. The videos also emphasize the growing demand for nurse educators and encourage nurses to consider this option as a career path.

“Marketing campaigns, like our video series, at the national level that focus on our quality UW System nursing programs and the students and faculty in the colleges and schools of nursing are necessary to compete for the highly sought-after faculty candidates,” said Dr. Linda K. Young, Dean of the UW-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences and principal investigator on the proposal that led to the UW System grant.

The Professional Program in Nursing at UW-Green Bay provides an opportunity for Registered Nurses (RNs) holding an associate degree or diploma in nursing to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). For more information go to