Lieutenant Governor Visits UW-Green Bay’s Nursing Program

Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez joined Secretary-designee of the Department of Wisconsin Workforce Amy Pechacek and State Rep. Kristina Shelton for a campus visit on Monday, Feb. 6 to talk about nursing. In a meeting with Christine Vandenhouten, Director of Nursing Programs, Jenna Liphart-Rhoads, Assistant Professor of Nursing, they discussed the nursing shortage, UW-Green Bay’s nursing programs, and the Workforce Innovation Grant that nursing received in June 2022 (News Release). The grant creates stronger collaboration with academic and health care partners to strengthen the nursing workforce pipeline. Rodriguez, a nurse herself, was excited to hear the early positive outcomes of the grant and meet nursing students in the new prelicensure nursing program. That program will have its first graduates walk across the stage at the upcoming May Commencement. Chancellor Mike Alexander and Provost Kate Burns also met briefly with the Rodriguez during her visit.

Building for Tomorrow, news from Dean Susan Gallagher Lepak

Dear friends and alumni,
Student interest in nursing is at an all-time high but nationally nursing programs struggle to find nursing faculty to teach courses and cover clinical hours at health care settings.

Dean Susan Gallagher Lepak
Dean Susan Gallagher-Lepak, College of Health, Education and Social Welfare

Nursing programs nationwide turned away more than 80,000 qualified applicants in 2020 due to limited nursing faculty and clinical placements at health care settings.

We’re thrilled to have been awarded a grant, titled Expanding Nursing Clinical Instructor Capacity, as part of the Wisconsin Workforce Innovation Grant Program. Gov. Tony Evers shared in announcing the UW-Green Bay award in June that “prioritizing programs that help ensure a strong future for our health care workforce has never been more important.”

The grant has the potential to help the University grow its nursing enrollment and graduate more nurses by employing nurses from Northeast Wisconsin health care organizations as co-clinical instructors.

Your support is critical to supply Wisconsin with more qualified nurses. Let’s build the Nursing Scholarship Fund. Donate today!

Many nurses are interested in teaching but are often reluctant to transition to academia because of lower salaries. The grant provides funding for co-clinical instructors at health care organizations and a nursing faculty, Dr. Jenna Liphart-Rhoads, to coordinate the project and teach nursing courses.

It’s a win-win opportunity. The grant will help UW-Green Bay develop its final year of the program and potentially build future growth. A benefit for health care organizations to share their expert nurses, who must have a Master’s of Science in Nursing to participate, is direct exposure to soon-to-be graduated nurses. Improved communication will be another outcome, with feedback from practicing nurses about aligning clinical content and skills preparation with priorities of health care systems.

The grant began in fall semester with HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and Aurora BayCare Medical Center as initial health care partners. Additional partners will be added throughout the grant, which ends December 31, 2024.

Through this project, a sustainable model for co-clinical instruction will be developed to ensure a strong pipeline of new nurses into the workforce.

Dean Susan Gallagher-Lepak, RN, PhD
College of Health, Education and Social Welfare
Contact: 920-465-2034;

UW-Green Bay a preferred partner of Advocate Aurora

UW-Green Bay has been invited to join the Advocate Aurora Health (AAH) Preferred Partners Program. The program has nine partners. AAH has added two new educational partners, including UW-Green Bay.

This partnership creates opportunities and increases the total tuition reimbursement offered to employees. Full-time employees in a nursing bachelor, masters or doctorate program receive up to $7,200 per academic year for full-time enrollment, or $3,168 per year for part-time.

Wood Hall transformed into high impact learning spaces

UW-Green Bay’s nursing facilities have been in a state of transformation since 2019 as high impact skills labs for the traditional, four-year BSN program have been created. Much of the work now is complete, including a new look for the third floor of Wood Hall on the Green Bay campus.

Nursing assessment lab
The Nursing Skills Center includes three classrooms transformed into lab spaces on the third floor of Wood Hall on the Green Bay campus.

The Aurora BayCare Medical Center Nursing Skills Center includes Room 317, a six-bed skills lab with low to medium fidelity patient simulators where students practice using Electronic Medical Records software and automated medication dispensing system.

Room 324 is equipped with two mock hospital rooms with two-way mirrors for faculty observation of students as they provide care for a simulated patient assignment using two medium fidelity patient simulators.

Room 328 is an eight-station health assessment lab where students learn skills for comprehensive and focused health assessment. Adjacent to the labs is the Cloud Family Digital Learning Lab, where nursing students practice for the NCLEX exam.

Creation of a Home Care Simulation Lab will be the next project. A traditional classroom will be renovated to provide an immersive learning experience that simulates a home setting, and the challenges that carpet, residential furniture and small spaces can present in care.

Hopkinson is new director of MSN Program

Susan Hopkinson started as the new Chair of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program in June 2022 and is uniquely positioned for this role. She holds a doctorate in Nursing Science from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She served as Chief of the Center for Nursing Science and Clinical Inquiry (at Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii, and Womack Army Medical Center Fort Bragg, North Carolina) before starting at UW-Green Bay in August 2021.

Susan Hopkinson
Susan Hopkinson, Chair of Master of Science in Nursing

Her service in the Army spans 27 years, having retired in 2021 as a Colonel. Susan is active in research with publications on military nursing and clinical nursing care, is an associate editor for research in the journal Nursing and Health, and serves as a manuscript reviewer for several others including the American Journal of Nursing, MEDSURG Nursing, and the Journal of Clinical Nursing. She is chair-elect of the program planning committee for the Academy of Medical Surgical Nursing annual national conventions.

The offering of a graduate certificate in nursing leadership has been popular for aspiring and existing health care leaders. Students take four of the MSN courses for the certificate. Students can choose to continue after completion of the certificate for the MSN degree. Learn more about these programs at

Susan is a native of De Pere, Wisconsin, and has lived all across the United States from Virginia to Hawaii, as well as in Germany and Korea. Outside of her career, Susan enjoys scuba diving, martial arts, and spending time with family.

2011 E-Learning Conference Summary

Over eighty nursing professors and instructional designers attended the 5th annual (and final) WI TECNE conference entitled E-Learning: Design, Delivery, Innovation, and Evaluation that was held on April 7-8, 2011. The conference opened at Lambeau Field with a presentation on how technology and health are similar and different between nursing and the NFL, presented by Dr. Janet Reilly, the WI TECNE Year 4 and 5 campus leader at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Faculty from each of the four UW System campuses next presented on how they have used technology in e-learning over the past five years of the HRSA funded WI TECNE grant. Topics covered included using virtual gaming, problem-based learning, case scenario builder software and wikis in e-learning with nursing students. After a tailgate style dinner buffet, keynote speaker, Dr. Diane Skiba from the University of Colorado, addressed the group about new trends in technology in nursing education.

Friday’s WI TECNE session began at the Univeristy of Wisconsin, Green Bay campus with a presentation on sustainability and continuation of technology in nursing given by the WI TECNE Principal Investigator, Dr. Patti Brennan from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Evaluation results of the Year Five Scholars and the Khan Flexible Framework for E-Learning was hosted by Dr. Christine Vandenhouten from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. Dr. Eric Bauman and David Simkins, both from Madison, reviewed interface design strengths and areas for improvement for the five core nursing courses in the BSN@HOME program. Attendees also selected three break out sessions from a varitey of e-learning topics: student perspectives of online learning; faculty overload in e-learning; legal aspects of e-learning; the 2011 Horizon Report; virtual gaming; e-learning and Native American, African American and disabled students; and academic dishonesty in e-learning. Presenters hailed from universities and private companies in Washington D.C, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dr. Badrul Khan was the closing keynote speaker. He reviewed the Flexible Framework for E-Learning and its international applications.

Photographs from the WI TECNE Conference can be found on the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, Nursing Program’s FACEBOOK page in six albums. The link is:

Nursing Graduate Displays Research Findings in State Rotunda

Congratulations to Nursing graduate, Crystalmichelle Malakar who participated in the “Posters in the Rotunda” annual event on April 6 at the Wisconsin State Capital.  Students from University of Wisconsin campuses annually participate by showcasing examples of scholarship and interacting with legislators.  Crystal conducted research along with the team of Drs. Mimi Kubsch, Derryl Block, Susan Gallagher-Lepak and Chris Vandenhouten.  Crystal’s research project originated in Dr. Kubsch’s Nursing Research Course and developed into a survey of 500 plus RN’s, principally from Wisconsin, to document the level of political participation and the factors which influence political involvement.  Higher levels of psychological engagement (political interest, efficacy, and information) followed by greater resources (time and money & civic skills) were most predictive of political participation.  Dr. Vandenhouten served as the Principal Investigator for the research and accompanied Crystal to the capital.

E-Learning in Nursing Conference Hosted by UW-Green Bay

The UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Nursing is hosting the E-Learning in Nursing Conference April 7-8 as the culminating event of a five year Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to enhance educational technology in nursing courses.  The conference will begin at historic Lambeau Field, home of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers where participants will hear Dr. Janet Reilly, Assistant Professor of Nursing at UW-Green Bay offer a presentation on Technology in E-Learning and Health in Nursing and the NFL.  UW-Green Bay is one of five UW Nursing programs (also including Madison, Milwaukee, Eau Claire and Oshkosh) participating in the HRSA grant.  

Conference keynote speakers include Dr. Diane Skiba, Professor of Health Care Informatics at the University of Colorado in Denver; Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Professor in Nursing at UW-Madison and the Principal Investigator for the HRSA Grant; and Dr. Badrul Khan, President and Founder of McWeadon Education, a world renown  educator, author, speaker and consultant in the field of e-learning.  Dr. Skiba will present Emerging Technologies in Nursing Practice and E-Learning.  Dr. Brenan will offer Reflections and Sustainability of Technology Enhanced Nursing Education.  Dr. Badrul will conclude the conference speaking about International and Cultural Perspectives in E-Learning.  There will be an additional 16 presentations including reports of research and technologies developed over the five years of the grant.