Founding Member of Nursing Program Endows Scholarship
Berniece Wagner played an integral role in the UW-Eau Claire nursing program's
development during her 23 years on the faculty. Her devotion to UW-Eau Claire
students and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences is reflected in an estate
gift of more than $200,000, which will endow a scholarship fund that will generate
more than $9,000 annually for scholarships for nursing students.
"Berniece Wagner's estate gift will assist many students into the future,"
said Debra Jansen, acting associate dean of the College of Nursing and Health
Sciences. "The scholarship fund will enable students to focus more on their
studies, reducing their worries related to trying to afford the costs of their
many books, laboratory supplies and tuition."
Recipients of the scholarship must be admitted to the nursing program, have
at least a B+ average and demonstrate good motivation and commitment to the
nursing profession. Students will be able to apply for renewal of the scholarship
annually for up to three years and one year of graduate study.
"All of us in nursing at UW-Eau Claire have benefited from her work as
one of our founding faculty members," Jansen said. "Through this gift
her legacy will live on through the nursing students who are helped by it."
Wagner,was one of the first faculty members in what was then the School of
Nursing. She served as chair of the medical-surgical nursing department and
as the school's assistant and associate dean for student affairs. Wagner was
concerned about the country's shortage of nurses, compensation for their services,
working conditions and professional advancement. She helped develop the degree-completion
program (now known as the BSN@HOME program), the Marshfield site program and
the master's of nursing degree for UW-Eau Claire.
Before coming to UW-Eau Claire, she was an associate professor of nursing at
the University of Kansas. During her career, she also was an instructor of nursing
for the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, head nurse at St. Mary's
Hospital in Rochester, Minn., a staff nurse at the Nebraska Psychiatric Center,
Omaha, Neb., and director of nursing at Lutheran Community Hospital in Norfolk,
Wagner was a member of many organizations, including the American Nurses Association,
Wisconsin Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, Gerontological Society
of America and American Association for the History of Nursing.
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