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;