Jessica Koopman is a nursing student at Mid-State Technical College. She's one semester shy of earning her associate degree, but more classes might be in her future.
"Bumping up to a bachelor's and being able to do even more for my patients and myself and possibly even bumping up to a master's to be able to become an educator… would be the ultimate goal," said Koopman.
That goal is about to become a little more convenient for nurses.
UW-Stevens Point will offer a bachelor's degree for RNs with an associate degree.
"It really does broaden their perspective in their field, and it affords them probably more opportunities for career advancement," said Carole Paulson, UWSP nursing program director.
MSTC officials said research shows students at technical colleges often seek more education after they get their associate degree.
"More than 80 percent said they planned to continue on in higher education," said Ann Krause-Hanson, vice president of academic affairs at MSTC.
The new nursing degree at UWSP will offer face-to-face and online classes. UW-Stevens Point leaders said the change will help nurses in central Wisconsin.
"It really allows registered nurses to continue their education to the baccalaureate level in a very convenient way. They can continue working and pace it to their needs," said Paulson.
And students said convenience is necessary.
"The more opportunities I have, the more flexibility it offers me, the easier it is for me to attend school," said Koopman.