Wausau: School of Nursing Highlights The Efforts to Address Wisconsin’s Future Nursing Needs

UW-Madison State Relations–August 17, 2018–Last week, Dean Linda Scott traveled to Wausau to discuss Wisconsin’s future nursing needs. The Rotary Club of Wausau invited Dean Scott to their lunch meeting to discuss workforce trends in nursing and factors affecting health care needs around the state. It was a great opportunity for Dean Scott to share information and gather insights about needs for addressing the health care shortage throughout the state.

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Dean Linda Scott shows members of the Rotary Club of Wausau how many Badger Nurses reinvest in Wisconsin. 57% of Badger Nurses practice in communities across our state with 5,705 UW Nursing alumni living in Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin’s aging population presents unique health care challenges and Dean Scott detailed how UW-Nursing can help local communities address these challenges. Rural areas of Wisconsin are aging more rapidly so UW-Madison Nursing developed the CARE program to help Wisconsin communities work with elderly patients by training health care professionals and direct care staff to work with older adults.
Dean Scott outlines the growing nursing shortage facing Wisconsin before discussing proposals that can help alleviate the shortage. The nursing supply to demand gap is predicted to be 27,000 by 2040. Our state cannot meet these demands without an increase in nursing student enrollment. Currently, 50-80% of qualified students are denied admission to UW-Madison’s nursing school because of capacity issues.
Dean Linda Scott answers questions from a Rotary Club of Wausau member after her presentation on preparing for the future of care for nursing in Wisconsin. Many questions focused on how rural Wisconsin will meet nursing demands in rural areas with fewer resources to address challenges. Dean Scott told Rotary members about the dementia friendly toolkit from the CARE program to help train healthcare staff around the state to address the growing demand for assistance with dementia patients.

Dean Linda Scott and DNP Program Director Pay McGranahan discuss future legislative initiatives to help address the nursing shortage facing Wisconsin with Rep. Pay Snyder of Schofield.

Contact Jen Garret for more information at 608-263-5160 or jegarrett@wisc.edu