MADISON — University of Wisconsin System nursing students will have a new opportunity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic while earning valuable experience and a tuition credit, System President Tommy Thompson announced this week.

Through the winter break, the system’s roughly 4,000 nursing students will be able to earn experience and a $500 tuition credit for agreeing to work in hospitals and other health care settings and to help administer vaccines, including anticipated vaccines that combat COVID-19.

Many nursing students are already working in health care. But the tuition credit will offer a new incentive at a time when health care workers are in high demand and as vaccine production is anticipated to accelerate, Thompson said.

“The UW System continues to look for ways to help the state during the pandemic, and this proposal is another example of the Wisconsin Idea in action,” Thompson said in a news release. “We have worked closely with Wisconsin’s health care providers and nursing homes to identify this need and are glad we can help.”