A few years ago, the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum reported the state was facing a looming nursing shortage, due to an aging population and an aging workforce.
A recent collaboration announced seeks to close that nursing gap. A $2.3 million fund from United Healthcare’s United Health Foundation to Milwaukee Area Technical College, or MATC, stands to greatly increase the college's ability to educate nurses.
"As educators we're devoted to addressing the workforce needs of our community, so we were very intrigued when United Health approached us and asked us: What would it take for us to graduate an additional 100 nurses each year?" says Christine Mcgee, executive director of the MATC foundation.
"It really is more than just adding more classes, it's a lot more than that. It's recruiting the students, it's making sure that we have the clinical sites in the health systems," she continues. "Those are critical, and that really has been what's limited our capacity to a great extent in the past."
MATC is seeking to build stronger relationships with local health systems to create more opportunities for students to get clinical experience.
"It's a community effort. This is not just MATC, it's not just money from the United Health Foundation, but it's a community effort with the provider systems, we're all acting together," says Dustin Hinton, CEO of the Wisconsin and Michigan sector for United Healthcare.