OSHKOSH - "Here is the EKG if you can follow up on that," said nurse practitioner Vicki Ray to a fellow staff member at Fox Cities Community Health Center.
On Saturday, Ray will earn her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.
"I'm very excited to be part of the first graduating class," she said.
She is one of four people to earn the first doctoral degrees ever conferred by UW-Oshkosh.
"The first Nurse Practitioner program in the state of Wisconsin was at UW-Oshkosh, so to have the first DNP graduates walk across the stage is just continuing our history and our legacy," said Rosemary Smith, Dean of the College of Nursing at UW-Oshkosh.
With their new degrees the four soon-to-be doctors will help streamline and improve patient care, but the people that will benefit the most are those with the greatest need.
"This is more of a community clinic, I see all kinds of patients and all kinds of work I feel I will be able to help assist with improving," said Ray.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is the only doctorate degree currently offered at UW-Oshkosh. Ray and the other three graduates already have master's degrees and are working nurse practitioners. Numbers show there is a growing need for more highly trained nurse practitioners nationwide. In 2006, just 20 nurse practitioners attained a doctorate in Nursing Practice. By 2011 the number has grown to 182. Smith says the complexity of healthcare is driving more nurses to seek more advanced training.
"The people earning their DNP, in addition to making a difference in clinical practice, will be touching the future though what they do for future students who come into the practice arena and need quality role models," said Smith.
"This is beneficial for nursing and I think this is something we need in nursing and we need to be recognized," adds Ray.
A program that will be in the spotlight come Saturday.
For the second year in a row, St. Norbert College could house overflow of homeless people from the St. John the Evangelist shelter in Green Bay.
A memorial fund has been created for a Grand Chute firefighter killed in a weekend car crash.
Appleton police executed a search warrant Thursday in connection with a fatal nightclub shooting.
Capital Credit Union is offering to match donations made to Salvation Army red kettles in the Fox Valley on Friday.
With just two weeks until Christmas, the Postal Service says it's heading into its busiest times. But are folks still sending letters of holiday cheer?
The cold weather this week has people thinking of the area's homeless population.