UW Trustees Receive Update on Clinical Education Plan

November 18, 2010

The University of Wyoming moved one step closer toward implementing a clinical education plan today (Thursday), when the Board of Trustees approved a new degree program relevant to the plan's success.

The clinical education plan, defined as a priority in University Plan 3 (UP3), which serves as the framework for UW's advancement, would help guide decisions about which degree programs UW will offer in the future and which ones will remain available through the WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program. All decisions would be based on the most effective use of faculty, resources, student demands, statewide and regional health care needs and the availability of appropriate clinical teaching sites.

After hearing a summary of the plan Thursday from Provost Myron Allen and Joseph F. Steiner, dean of the UW College of Health Sciences, the trustees approved one of the plan's recommendations, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing.

"Given that no university is able to offer all of the many undergraduate and graduate programs in the health professions, we have to be selective in which programs we concentrate our efforts and resources," Steiner says. "This is not to say that Wyoming students do not have opportunities to pursue education in the disciplines we are unable to offer, because WICHE provides access to virtually all of the health professional programs.

"We have to answer three questions: Is there student demand, is there state demand for the graduates and can we provide a quality education? The clinical education plan attempts to answer all of those questions," he adds. "My intention is that this plan remains viable over time. It will be reviewed and updated biennially to remain current."

The clinical education plan contains four key elements:

  • An analysis of conceivable clinically-oriented graduate and professional degree programs, together with an assessment of benefits and costs;
  • A list of options to spur greater involvement of Laramie-area clinics;
  • A list of potential ways for more effective involvement by UW faculty members and academic professionals in statewide policy discussions related to health care; and
  • A plan for establishing the college's commitments to courses and degree programs offered off campus or via distance delivery.

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