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MATC, Mount Mary Announce 'Nursing 1-2-1" Program to Address Regional Need for Bachelor's Prepared Nurses

June 6, 2017

In an effort to proactively meet the regional demand for additional bachelor’s prepared nurses, Mount Mary University and Milwaukee Area Technical College have joined forces to create a unique “Nursing 1-2-1” program.

This program gives high school graduates an opportunity to earn an associate degree in nursing, licensure as a registered nurse and then seamlessly move to completing a bachelor of science in nursing degree within four years. By leveraging the skills and expertise of both institutions, the Nursing 1-2-1 program offers lower cost per credit than regional competitors offering similar degrees.

Students take prerequisite and general studies courses in Year 1 of the program at Mount Mary; 2 years of study take place at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus to complete an associate degree in nursing and licensure as a registered nurse; and 1 final year takes place at Mount Mary to complete the bachelor of science in nursing degree. The program is open to high school graduates (women only) and students can begin the program starting in fall 2017.

Students entering the Nursing 1-2-1 program can enjoy the full range of benefits associated with both Mount Mary and MATC, including the option of living on the Mount Mary campus. A seamless curriculum and course schedule have been created across both institutions to ensure the completion of both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in four years.

“The new Nursing 1-2-1 program is an outstanding example of how our Creative Campus is providing innovative programming for the region; in this case, to address the impending nurse shortage,” said Mount Mary President Dr. Eileen Schwalbach. “This unique program combines the expertise and resources of Mount Mary University and MATC, including highly experienced and recognized faculty, advanced technology and a creative and collaborative learning environment with opportunities for first-hand leadership experience while in the program. I have no doubt it will provide students opportunities to be the kind of bold healthcare leaders that the community needs.”

“Students will have the opportunity to receive degrees from two high-quality educational institutions and build a strong foundation for their nursing careers,” said MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin. “I am excited about this bold and creative approach to providing first-rate education and training for future nurses and solving one of our state’s most significant workforce issues.”

This partnership is a one of several strategic steps that MATC is taking to respond to a critical employment need. In January 2017, MATC announced a $2.3 million grant from United Health Foundation that will enable the college to double the size of its registered nursing program over the next three years and help address the state’s nursing shortage.

As the healthcare industry reforms, particularly for underserved populations, nurses are increasingly required to advance in leadership positions for this redesign of care. Earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing will advance nurses who will work together as part of interdisciplinary teams of medical professionals.

The Wisconsin Center for Nursing projects that by 2040 the workforce shortage of RNs will reach nearly 43 percent if no changes are made to program capacities and infrastructure today. The WCN recommends expanding nursing program capacity to meet the projected demand for 7,500 additional graduates annually by 2020.


About Mount Mary University

Mount Mary University, founded in 1913 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, was Wisconsin’s first four-year, degree-granting Catholic institution for women. Located on an 80-acre campus in Milwaukee, the University offers more than 30 undergraduate majors for women and nine graduate programs for women and men. Mount Mary also emphasizes study abroad, service learning, and social justice initiatives. Its nearly 1,400 students enjoy small class sizes (average 14) and over 90 percent of full-time students receive financial aid or scholarships. Through academic offerings, research opportunities, access to real life industry experience, and community service, Mount Mary develops individuals to be leaders in their professions and their communities, serving as role models to inspire achievement in others. Visit Mount Mary at

About MATC
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and the most diverse two-year institution in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Approximately 40,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. The college offers 200 academic programs; nearly 400 transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees; and School of a Pre-College Education that assists people to complete high school, prepare for college or enter the workforce. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.