130+ UWO nursing students earn tuition credit for vaccination work


UWO Flickr — UWO nursing student Alexis Dietsche of Loyal, Wisconsin, prepares and administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccine center at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton on May 12.

More than 130 students from the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) have provided COVID-19 vaccinations and earned a $500 tuition credit while also receiving valuable real-world experience.

The opportunity—which is available for nursing and pharmacy students throughout the UW System—has been extended through Aug. 31 as the push to vaccinate as many Americans as possible continues into the summer.

The UWO nursing students are among more than 1,000 UW System students helping with vaccinations, and in turn earning tuition credit, UW System President Tommy Thompson said today. The students also are getting what is likely once-in-a-generation experience working on the front lines of the massive nationwide vaccination effort.

“When our communities needed them, our students stepped up to help us beat back the pandemic,” Thompson said. “I am so very proud of them, and I am very grateful to the excellent nursing and pharmacy faculty, staff, and deans who helped make this possible.”

The UW System previously provided a tuition credit to nursing and healthcare students who assisted in hospitals, clinics and other medical provider locations. When vaccines arrived, the UW System extended the tuition credit to nursing and pharmacy students giving vaccinations while universities also set up community vaccination clinics.

Overall, 1,042 nursing and pharmacy students System-wide participated in the initiative through May 22. The UWO students alone have administered more than 3,200 vaccine doses.

“We in the College of Nursing are thrilled about this opportunity for our bright students to be able to help out in the community and earn some tuition credit while doing so,” said CON Dean Judith Westphal. “The extension through the summer just increases the number of students who’ll be able to get involved and contribute to continuing the success we’ve seen in battling the pandemic.”

The tuition credit will be funded through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

“Extending this credit over the summer will mean more valuable experience for our students and bringing our communities and our campuses closer to pre-pandemic life,” Thompson said. “When there is a problem, the University of Wisconsin will help find a solution.”

The summer $500 tuition credit will be provided to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be enrolled in a nursing or pharmacy program at a UW System campus during the 2021 summer session or fall 2021 semester.
  • Must work a minimum of 16 hours, or two days, as a COVID-19 vaccinator between May 23, 2021, and Aug. 31, 2021.
  • Must have a current professional or nursing license with authorization to provide vaccination service, or coordinate with a faculty supervisor if not currently licensed.