UWM at Waukesha graduates first four-year nursing class

The first group of nursing students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha will graduate Sunday, May 21. These 29 students were able to complete their Bachelor of Science in nursing at the Waukesha campus under a program started in fall 2021.

The program provides students in Waukesha and surrounding communities with easy access to a four-year nursing program.

Having the program available in the area makes it more affordable and accessible for students without having to transfer to the Milwaukee campus. Students at the Waukesha campus have access to active learning spaces, clinical simulation and clinical placements in Waukesha, Washington and other nearby counties.

The students also had access to the brand-new clinical simulation lab at the Milwaukee campus. Nursing was the first four-year bachelor’s degree program at the Waukesha campus since the integration of the two campuses in 2018. (A four-year psychology degree program was added in 2023.)

Graduating UWM at Waukesha nursing student Madison Aubry, who lives in Jackson, started at UWM at Washington County and transferred to the Waukesha campus because its similar layout and comfortable commute made it easy to complete her degree.

“I chose nursing because it’s a career that provides so many opportunities to care for people in different way,” she said. “Nursing is great because you are continually learning, and I think that’s special in a career choice.”

And Aubry liked the idea of being a pioneer. “I thought it was cool that it was the first program, and it would be great to be a part of the first class.”

Another May nursing graduate, Hannah Hays, lives close to the campus and appreciated the small class sizes and the connections to local clinical sites. “The atmosphere there is so welcoming and has all the resources you need to be successful,” she said. “You get individualized attention, and everyone in the program over the past few years has become like family.”

Kim Litwack, dean of the UWM College of Nursing, noted the advantages that the program provides.

“Expanding into Waukesha not only allowed UWM to admit more qualified students into a high demand major, but to help respond to the need for nurses,” she said. “As we know, almost 90% of our students remain in the state after graduation. These students are workforce ready and needed by our health care partners.”

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