In 1968, WSU graduated its first class of 16 nursing students. This year, as the program celebrates 50 years, the College of Nursing graduates approximately 150 pre-licensure nursing graduates, 150 associate degree to baccalaureate (RN to BS) graduates, and over 40 master’s and doctor of nursing practice graduates.
Founded on a commitment to dedicated partnerships and collaborative work throughout the region, the nursing program was launched in 1964 in response to requests from physicians at Winona Health Services. In 1987, WSU added its first graduate programs in nursing to fulfill workforce demands for nurses with advanced preparation in nursing practice, administration, and education. More recently, increasing demands for clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners in the region have driven the college to establish advanced practice nursing programs – including acute care nurse practitioner and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner programs.
2018 also marks the retirement of Dr. William McBreen, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. First joining the faculty at WSU in 2000, he became dean in 2008.
“As we look to the next 50 years,” said McBreen, “we will continue to respond to the needs of the region and devise solutions for the challenges that we will face. I have every confidence that we will figure it out, just as our nursing faculty members throughout the history of the program have successfully worked and collaborated to overcome all other challenges.”