October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. It’s also a great month to announce the naming of the Wehrheim School of Nursing at Millersville University.

Current nursing students won’t have the opportunity to meet Liselotte R. Wehrheim, however, they will remember her name. The Council of Trustees at Millersville University approved the naming of the Wehrheim School of Nursing earlier this year. It becomes the first named school of nursing within PASSHE.

Wehrheim was the oldest known living alum of Millersville University when she died in 2019 at the age of 103, leaving the University $3.5 million. The gift added to the previously established Liselotte R. Wehrheim Scholarship in Nursing Endowment bringing it to $4.8 million. Wehrheim was a non-traditional student who graduated with her degree in nursing in 1974 at age 59. Her scholarship is for non-traditional students who have unusual or special circumstances affecting the completion of their education.

“Ms. Wehrheim’s transformational gift is already helping to prepare students for jobs in the growing healthcare industry,” says President Daniel A. Wubah. “We thought it was very appropriate to name our school of nursing after her. She will have a lasting impact on hundreds of our nursing students now and into the future.”

“Nursing is one of the few growth areas in the job market,” says Dr. Kelly Kuhns, Nursing Department Chair at Millersville. “Nurses got a lot of press during the pandemic. It is predicted that by 2025 there could be a half-million shortage of nurses. The job market for nursing is significant. Nurses don’t just work in hospitals; they work in prisons and schools, everywhere.”

Nurses with the additional knowledge and training that comes from a bachelor’s degree are especially in high demand. Kuhns stated that the national goal is to have 80% of bedside nurses hold a bachelor’s degree. Presently, about 59% of all nurses have a bachelor’s degree. About 40% of all nurses start their careers with an associates degree—that’s why programs like Millersville’s RN to BSN degree completion program are so important.

The fountains on campus have been dyed pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is also typically when Breast-A-Ville is held, however, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will not be held in 2021.

More information on the Wehrheim School of Nursing is available here.

Information on Millersville’s Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative is available here.

You can find the latest on Breast-A-Ville here.

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