(NEWS RELEASE) -The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Marshfield will be the new home of UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Nursing Program with more classroom, lab and meeting space.

The College of Nursing has been housed at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield since 1987. UW-Eau Claire nursing students will continue to do their clinical work at Marshfield Clinic Health System and will complete classroom instruction through UW-Eau Claire at their new location at UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield, beginning in fall 2021.

Nursing students will have a more academic environment with all the resources of a university campus, including study spaces and university library access. Being in a university setting also provides nursing students opportunities to get involved in student organizations, intramural activities, other aspects of campus life and student support services.

“We are serving students first. It serves UW-Eau Claire well, it serves UW-Stevens Point well, it serves Marshfield Clinic Health System well,” said Michelle Boernke, campus executive, UWSP at Marshfield. 

The UW-Eau Claire’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Nursing Program will relocate to the Helen Conner Laird building lower level, with more classroom and conference room space, good visibility and enhanced technology, facilities and resources. With the additional space, UW-Eau Claire will be able to expand its Clinical Learning Center (skills lab) and simulation areas.  

The UW-Eau Claire nursing program has 80 students, 10 faculty and two support staff members. They will have more collaboration space, distance education facilities and an auditorium at UWSP at Marshfield.

Many students attend UWSP campuses for their pre-nursing courses, said Dr. Rachel Merkel, associate professor and director of the UW-Eau Claire College of Nursing-Marshfield Site. Having the program on the Marshfield campus will provide an additional, more streamlined opportunity for advising future students.

“This makes good use of an existing community resource and campus space that is readily available. We look forward to the opportunities this brings for our students and program,” Dr. Merkel said. “Additionally, we deeply appreciate and look forward to our continued work with the Marshfield Clinic Health System, which has been instrumental in supporting the UW-Eau Claire BSN program at Marshfield.”  

More than 750 nurses have earned their bachelor of science in nursing from UW-Eau Claire through the Marshfield Site, she noted.

“We’re excited to continue the fabulous agreement between Marshfield Clinic and UW-Eau Claire, added Dr. Linda Young, Dean of the  College of Nursing and Health Sciences, UW-Eau Claire. “But let me be perfectly clear: We are not moving our college to the campus,” she said. “Courses will still be coming from the main campus in Eau Claire. The program was physically housed at Marshfield Clinic and, due to a renovation project, the program now needs to move to UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield. This is really just a smarter use of available facilities.”

Marshfield campus students will enjoy the convenience, familiarity and affordability of starting their pre-nursing courses at the UW-Stevens Point at Marshfield and transferring to the UW-Eau Claire nursing program on the same Marshfield campus.

Students who transfer from other institutions for the final two years of the UW-Eau Claire nursing program will find additional resources, easy parking and a student housing option nearby.

“This transition is a win for everyone involved,” said Dr. Matthew Jansen, director of the Division of Education at Marshfield Clinic Health System. “The students will have a nicer facility on a college campus, it helps us with recruiting the next generation of health care workers, and the city of Marshfield benefits from having both universities in the community.”

The two UWs already work together, with UW-Eau Claire students and faculty having regular COVID-19 screening tests at UWSP at Marshfield campus.

“UW-Stevens Point is pleased to strengthen our working relationships with UW-Eau Claire and Marshfield Clinic Health System to meet health care worker needs in our region and to enhance the student experience on our Marshfield campus,” said Chancellor Thomas Gibson, UW-Stevens Point.