University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Kathy Quirk

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Sep 29, 2010 
Nursing celebrates 45th anniversary
Photo by Photo by Alan Magayne-Roshak
Students with a patient simulator
A group of nursing students practice their skills with a patient simulator, one of several available in the Nursing Learning Resource Center. The 45th anniversary "mini" capital campaign will help improve this center.

The College of Nursing is celebrating its 45th anniversary with an eye toward the Big 5-0 in 2015.

College of Nursing alumni, faculty/staff, students and friends will mark the school’s 45th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 2. The day's activities include afternoon tours of Cunningham Hall with former and current faculty and staff and a reception, dinner and awards ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. in the Union Wisconsin Room.

Photo by Peter Jakubowski
Nursing students
A UWM nursing student working at St. Luke's Hospital. Nursing students go through clinical training where they work with real patients in a supervised setting.

As part of the festivities, the college will kick off a “mini-capital campaign” to raise money to improve and upgrade facilities to support the outstanding clinical teaching strategies the faculty and staff have already adopted, says Dean Sally Lundeen.

A key goal is to raise money to renovate the Nursing Learning Resource Center (NLRC), which provides a learning environment that supports much of the hands-on clinical education for beginning nursing students using equipment, simulated patients or “manikins,” and other technology. The campaign will focus on alumni and friends of the college – “nurses giving back to nurses,” Lundeen says. However, she adds, the college also is hoping for community support from those who recognize the importance of good health care.

“As the population ages, the nurses and advanced practitioners we’re preparing will be the ones taking care of us,” Lundeen says.

While the UWM College of Nursing is “fairly young” compared to other nursing education institutions, says Lundeen, it is building toward the 50th year with a strong foundation of research, teaching and community outreach.

The college research portfolio has grown significantly in the past decade, says Lundeen. The college has one of only two National Institutes of Health exploratory centers on campus, the Self-Management Science Center, and has numerous other funded research projects underway. Most recently, the college received funding from the Wisconsin Genomics Institute (WGI) for pioneering research that will look at ways to foster the involvement of culturally and racially diverse communities with genetics and genomics research.

A high percentage of the college’s faculty members have achieved the FAAN (Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing) designation. Over the past few years, four faculty members – Aaron Buseh, Julia Snethen, Beth Peterman and Elizabeth Devine – have been honored for their outstanding teaching by the campus and the UWM Alumni Association. Norma Lang, professor and former dean, received the first-ever President’s Award from the American Nurses Association this summer and will be honored as a “Living Legend” in November by the American Academy of Nursing.

Lundeen is equally proud of the college’s teaching success. The college has also pioneered online teaching. It was among the first in the country to offer an online doctoral program, for example, says Lundeen, and currently offers both the Ph.D. in Nursing and the DNP (doctorate in nursing practice) online.

UWM’s College of Nursing has also increased its ties with the international community in the past eight to 10 years, with more students studying abroad, ties with nursing programs in other countries and significant faculty involvement in research, particularly in the African nation of Malawi, according to Lundeen. Recently, faculty members consulted with a health care team from South Africa that is building the Mandela Children’s Center. The group told Lundeen that what they learned from College of Nursing faculty caused them to re-think their whole approach to the center and to children’s health care.

And, for more than 20 years, the College of Nursing has operated community nursing centers, which provide health care to underserved groups and learning/research opportunities for UWM students and faculty under the auspices of the UWM Institute for Urban Health Partnerships. Those deep and continuing connections with the urban healthcare community were, in fact, a factor in the success of the WGI grant application, notes Lundeen.

The 45th anniversary will celebrate this wonderful foundation, says Lundeen, and offer an opportunity to explore ways to invest in a new NLRC and support forward-looking strategic planning.

“By the 50th anniversary, we want to have taken this wonderful foundational work to the next level.”

For more information about the 45th anniversary events and the mini-capital campaign, go to the College of Nursing website - or call Wendy Welsh at 414-229-3797 or email For more information about the College of Nursing mini-capital campaign to upgrade the NLRC, call Jennifer Clearwater at 414-229-5617 or email