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MPTC Receives Forward Careers Grant to Expand Nursing Programs

MPTC Nursing Student

Moraine Park was named a sub-recipient of the Nursing, Equity, Expansion, and Training (NEXT) program funding by Forward Careers, Inc., qualifying the college for a $683,387 grant to cover salary, fringe, and benefits of two full-time faculty positions– Nursing and Nursing Assistant.

In May of 2023, Forward Careers, Inc. was awarded a $2.4 million Nursing Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support training programs and to diversify the pipeline of nursing professionals while advancing equity and creating pathways for workers to fill these jobs and improve the nation’s healthcare system.

The NEXT program will be implemented over the next five years as a collaborative initiative between Forward Careers, MPTC, and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO), and will help to provide healthcare career pathways for 165 future nurses. The program will tackle the need for more nurses and other health care related occupations through a multi-facet approach based on innovative strategies and training activities that have proven to be successful, and participants will be assessed and placed into one of three tracks that lead to skills training and employment, while receiving career planning services, supportive services, and job placement assistance.

For occupational skills training, MPTC and UWO are finalizing plans for a 1+2+1 program, which will allow students the opportunity to receive both an Associate Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing over the course of 4 years. This partnership will give students the option to enter the nursing workforce sooner and at a lower cost, while at the same time completing their bachelor’s degree. Details surrounding the 1+2+1 program are expected to be finalized by the start of the fall 2023 semester.

“We are incredibly excited to be a recipient of the Forward Careers NEXT grant,” Barb Jascor, Dean of Health and Human Services at Moraine Park, said. “This opportunity brings technical college and universities together and allows our communities to recognize the value of collaborative educational partners.”

The 2023 Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Report indicates a critical shortage of nurses in Wisconsin, with registered nurse vacancy rates in the double digits for the first time since 2007. Current labor market data expects a deficit of 20,000 nurses in Wisconsin by 2040.

Additional details about the Nursing Expansion Grant can be viewed at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20230511-0. 

May 25th, 2023by Kristina Haensgen