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UW-Madison Accelerated Nursing Program Starts Taking Applications

People Changing Career To Nursing Can Earn Degree In Half The Time

Richard Hurd (CC BY 2.0)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is hoping to graduate more registered nurses to help address the nursing shortage predicted within the next two decades.

The existing bachelor of science in nursing program often fills up, so UW-Madison is now offering another option where students take the same courses, but graduate in half the time.

The accelerated nursing program offers the same courses but cuts a year off the traditional two-year degree. Traditionally, students going to college to become a nurse take general education requirements the first two years, then complete the nursing program the last two years.

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UW-Madison School of Nursing Dean Linda Scott says the accelerated nursing program is for those who already have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a different discipline. This, combined with taking courses during summer and winter breaks, allows students to complete the program in one year.

“They wanted nursing before but chose another route and then really found nursing is what they want to do,” Scott said.

Since September 1, the nursing school has been accepting applications for the accelerated degree program, which begins May 2018.

“As soon as we made the announcement of our accelerated program coming, we’ve had about 10 to 15 inquiries a week wanting to know when applications would be opening up,” Scott said. “So we think there will be a great deal of interest in this program.”

Thirty-two students will be admitted to the program.

Wisconsin is estimated to have a shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035, according to a 2013 report by the Wisconsin Center for Nursing. That study says most, 86 percent, of UW-Madison nursing graduates live and practice in the state.