School of Nursing 25th Anniversary Virtual Celebration
The MSOE School of Nursing (SON) was established in 1995 with the enrollment of its first students in 1996. The school is proud to carry on the tradition of more than 100 years of excellence in nursing education, professional leadership and holistic care demonstrated by graduates of the Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing (MCGHSN). Join us as we commemorate 25 years with a virtual celebration honoring the program’s history and celebrating the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners that make the program extraordinary.
Congratulations to the winners of the SON 25th anniversary raffle baskets!
- Alumni Basket: Clover Barnes
- Seasonal Basket: Martha Libster
- Coffee Basket: Liz Jensen
- Relaxation Basket –Barbara Burmeister
- Kids Basket –Jane Taufner
All proceeds from the raffle supported the Nursing Student Scholarship Fund.
Take a look inside the Ruehlow Nursing Complex. In fall 2013, the brand-new $3 million, 25,000-square-foot Ruehlow Nursing Complex opened in MSOE’s Campus Center. As new programs were offered and enrollment grew, so did the Ruehlow Nursing Complex with a 2,200-square-foot expansion added in 2020.
The Ruehlow Nursing Complex was made possible thanks to the generous support of Dr. Kathy Ruehlow ’72 and Gerald Ruehlow ’69. Kathy is an MSOE Regent, MCGHSN alumna and president of the Ruehlow Family Foundation. Gerald served as the president of Generac Power Systems Inc. and also was a Distinguished Alumnus. He passed in 2004.
State-of-the-art technology enable students to take a trip to the operating room without leaving campus. The Anatomage Table, located in Diercks Hall, is a fully segmented, real human 3D anatomy system that allows for exploration and learning of human anatomy. The life-sized, touch screen experience is displayed in an operatory bed form to enable students to visualize anatomy exactly as they would on a cadaver.
Outstanding Alumni Awards
MSOE School of Nursing alumni are making positive impacts in communities throughout Wisconsin, across the country and around the globe.
OUTSTANDING NURSING ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Dr. Margie Weiss is a 1972 graduate from Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing, prior to MSOE enfolding the program into the MSOE College of Nursing. Upon graduation, she served as a staff nurse in ICU and CCU at Milwaukee General Hospital (before it was replaced by Froedtert). From 1975-1987 Margie worked in a variety of nursing roles as she pursued a BSN and MSN from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Most notably, she worked in the first out-patient dialysis center in the Fox Valley and served as the unit’s manager for the first walk-in clinic in the Fox Cities in 1987. Dr. Weiss, husband Jim, and 4 children transitioned to Minnesota where she earned a PHD in Nursing with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. She was the first PHD nursing student from U of MN to attend the Carlson School of Business. While pursuing her PHD, she served as a part-time instructor for Inverness Community College as a nursing instructor. Returning to the Fox River Valley, Margie served as Executive Director of Occupational Health Systems of Wisconsin, providing health, wellness and screening services to business and industry. She went on to serve as CEO for the Neuroscience Group as they transitioned from a hospital-based practice to a free-standing Neuroscience center. Dr. Weiss went on to start Weiss Health Group, serving as a facilitator for business-based health and wellness best practice exchange. She helped to foster online nursing education, serving as adjunct faculty for Marian College and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing. Community engagement has always been a priority. Margie served on multiple boards and foundations, including Fox Valley Technical College, ST. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Fox cities Chamber of Commerce. She was recognized as the Fox Cities 2000 Athena Award Businesswoman of the year. Dr. Weiss currently serves on the St. Joseph Food Program and Menasha Corporation Foundation boards. Margie enjoys biking, golfing and boating with her husband. They spend lots of time cheering on their 12 grandchildren at sporting events, school concerts and swimming lessons.
MSOE ESSENTIAL FRONTLINE WORKER ALUMNI AWARD
Casey DeLao has loved her experience at MSOE so much that she has graduated with not one, not two, but three degrees from MSOE. She first discovered her love of science and caring for others when earning her first bachelor’s degree in zoology and practicing as a zookeeper for seven years. Casey then realized how much she wanted to expand her knowledge and career, so entered the world of nursing through MSOE’s accelerated bachelor of nursing program, graduating in 2016. She quickly set her sights on developing her leadership skills, enrolling in two master’s programs at MSOE, completing her Master’s in Nursing along with her Master’s in Business Administration, graduating in 2021. Casey was thrilled to be invited to complete her MBA capstone in China, as part of MSOE’s Doing Business in China program. It was this experience that introduced Casey to the value of servant leadership, something she would call upon during the year of 2020. It was during this time Casey was promoted to Assistant Nurse Manager at Froedtert Hospital. While taking on this role, she led her staff through the pandemic, becoming the first unit at Froedtert to admit patients infected with the Covid-19 virus. Casey quickly learned the power of vulnerability, sharing in these experiences with her staff, and using her servant leadership to care for these patients with her team. She continues this work with her staff today, while developing new leaders in healthcare. Casey has presented at conferences on the power of servant leadership, mentors new leaders through the Froedtert Women in Leadership Business Resource Group, and participates in the American Nurses Association Mentor program, as both a mentor and mentee. In her free time, Casey loves to enjoy the beautiful parks and events in Milwaukee, with her husband, Richard, and their two sons.
A member of the MSOE School of Nursing’s Class of 2008, Ashley Hass graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing. She is a public health nurse and the emergency preparedness coordinator for the Village of Greendale Health Department. Ashley admits she chose MSOE, not only for the “high-tech” nursing labs, but also for the low instructor/student ratio and the amount of hands-on clinical experience available through MSOE’s nursing program.
After graduation, she began working in critical care at a local hospital and gained invaluable knowledge, skills, and experiences. In 2017, she made a transition to focus on promoting, protecting, and improving the health of a community in the very village she grew up in. Little did she know, a few short years after her transition into public health we would be facing the very thing we’d hope to avoid…..a global pandemic. Ashley’s training in emergency preparedness empowered her to lead the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She coordinated COVID testing events and programs within the community, with businesses, and with the local school district. She organized staff and volunteers to operationalize community vaccine clinics that resulted in over 5,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered and collaborated with the Wisconsin National Guard for testing and vaccination support. Ironically, while demonstrating the process of COVID-19 specimen collection on herself during a virtual COVID-19 testing training, she ended up testing positive. Ashley found herself feeling the very emotions and concerns that had already been expressed to her; thus, she gained a new understanding just how hard it is to grasp and communicate public health guidance to those that might have been exposed. Ashley is dedicated to finding innovative ways to educate and inform those she works with, and the larger community as a whole, and she does it while bringing her sense of humor and ability to connect with others on a personal level to everything she does.
Rhiannan Maurer graduated from MSOE in 2015 and received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a Minor in Psychology. As a nontraditional student, Rhiannan admits she was humbled to be accepted and enrolled in the MSOE nursing program. While a student, she was placed in the Medical-Respiratory Intensive Care Unit at St. Luke's Hospital for her final clinical rotation. This unit provides care to critically ill patients who have a high acuity and complex medical history or acute medical problem. She applied for a full-time position in the St. Luke’s MRICU and was offered a job as a graduate nurse prior to graduation. Shortly thereafter, with confidence, she passed her state boards and became a Registered Nurse. Rhiannan has worked in the ICU for six years and has been certified as a Critical Care Registered Nurse. She is involved in Shared Governance, hospital work groups, and trains new staff on a regular basis. In March 2020, the MRICU transitioned into the COVID ICU. Patients that were critically ill were transferred from smaller hospitals to this unit for further management. Physicians, RNs, and respiratory therapists collaborated to implement a treatment plan for a pandemic that the world knew so little about. Rhiannan claims that MSOE didn’t just teach her the pathophysiology behind diseases, the pharmacology behind medications, and technical skills for her career: she was given the tools to practice critical thinking, the confidence to trouble shoot and problem solve, and the resilience to overcome hardships. Rhiannan was nominated by her peers and received the Nurse of the Year award from St. Luke's Hospital in May 2021. Says Rhiannan: “I would not have had that achievement without the education MSOE provided or the confidence it gave me to achieve my goals.” She goes on to say: “It would also not have been possible without the unbelievably brave and selfless coworkers and management in MRICU, along with emotional support from my husband and family.”
Quinn Niemczyk is a 2020 graduate of MSOE's nursing program. She started her career working in labor and delivery, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continued, Quinn sought an opportunity to be closer to the front lines. In February 2021, Quinn began working as a public health nurse and immunization coordinator with the City of Franklin Health Department. She coordinated with surrounding municipalities organizing region-wide COVID-19 vaccine clinics that served thousands of community members. Remembering her robust clinical experiences at MSOE, Quinn communicated with MSOE School of Nursing faculty to involve nursing students in administering the groundbreaking vaccinations. In addition to her role in immunization services, Quinn provides guidance and education to individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. She has become passionate about data collection and analysis and keeps track of the City of Franklin's statistics regarding COVID-19 immunization rates and positive case counts. Her long-term goal is to be a nursing professor and use her experience in public health to help guide students to academic success and a fulfilling career. In her free time, Quinn enjoys reading, cheering for the Brewers, and traveling to Disney World.
From the Archives
Coming soon! Walk-through history and watch the MSOE School of Nursing transform over the years.
History of the MSOE School of Nursing
MSOE opened the School of Nursing in 1995 after a merger with the Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing (MCGHSN).
The MCGHSN (originally named the Milwaukee County Training School of Nursing) was officially established in 1888 and its first class of 13 students graduated in 1889. Due to changes in nursing education in the 1980s and 1990s, the Milwaukee County Board mandated closure of the program and the County Hospital in 1995.
The MCGHSN faculty elected to continue the school’s long tradition of excellence in nursing education. Led by Director Patricia Haselbeck, the MCGHSN searched for a local university to affiliate with in order to develop a new baccalaureate program in nursing. Dr. Hermann Viets, MSOE’s president at the time, believed a new nursing program would complement the biomedical engineering program, the university’s emphasis on technology and extensive laboratory experiences. Recognizing his vision, the MSOE Board of Regents agreed to take over the county program.
Guided by the leadership of Haselbeck and Dr. Mary Louise Brown, the first MSOE SON chairperson, the MCGHSN faculty developed the current baccalaureate program. Today the MSOE SON has progressed from teaching hygiene and nursing arts to educating students about the use of state-of-the-art technology and evidence-based practice of nursing science. It continues to provide excellent nursing education that meets the needs of future generations.
Grand Opening of New Lab Expansion in Ruehlow Nursing Complex
On October 26th, the School of Nursing was able to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new lab expansion in the Ruehlow Nursing Complex. Thanks to the continued generosity of Kathy Ruehlow, the lab expansion opened officially in September 2020 to provide increased opportunities for students to practice their skills, clinical judgement, and critical thinking. Besides increased study areas, the expansion is inclusive of two new lab spaces.
The first is a practice lab where students can practice the skills learned in class, including IV insertion, hanging secondary lines, tracheostomy care, wound care, and care of central lines. Students eventually check off on these skills to demonstrate competence. This new space allows the four other labs in the School of Nursing to be used as initially intended, classroom settings for students to learn the how and the why of skill performance, watch an instructor perform the skill and then work with the instructor in first practice. Students can then go to the new practice lab to continue to practice, increasing competence and confidence.
The second space in the lab expansion is a new simulation room. Anyone who has toured MSOE knows that we already have four beautiful simulation rooms. The new simulation space is intended to be more versatile, increasing the variety of settings that we can simulate. Health care is changing rapidly and along with these changes, the settings in which health care takes place is also changing. Our students need to be ready. This new space could simulate an Emergency Department where students must triage, prioritize, and use clinical judgement and critical thinking in the care of clients. It could simulate a community disaster, exam clinic or home setting.
We are excited to have this beautiful new space for educating our students. This addition, along with the creativity and innovation of our excellent faculty and staff, will allow us to meet the mission and vision of the School of Nursing. We are thankful to Kathy Ruehlow for her continued support and dedication to the School of Nursing, its faculty, staff, and students.
- The first class of 11 School of Nursing students graduated from MSOE with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- The program received initial accreditation from the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It was reaccredited in 2004 and 2014.
- Milwaukee County General Hospital Alumni Association merged with the MSOE Alumni Association.
- Accelerated Second-Degree BSN tracks were launched.
- The Ruehlow Nursing Complex was completed, and the School of Nursing moved from the Science Building to the Campus Center.
- MSN Health Care Systems Management program was launched (today known as the MSN Leadership Management track).
- Gerontology certificated was launched.
- MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track was launched in partnership with Rogers Behavioral Health.
- Direct Entry MSN programs were launched.
- Gerontology minor was launched.
- Grand opening of the Kathleen and Gerald Ruehlow Nursing Complex expansion, which includes an additional 2,200 square feet of classroom, labs, and simulation areas to accommodate the growing program offerings.