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Student Profiles and Case Studies


Erick Gohdes

Erick J. Gohdes

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Hometown:  Wausau, WI

I am involved in the Oshkosh Student Nurses Association and Men in Nursing


It was right before I started college, I didn’t want to apply for any schools until I felt I had a real sense of direction for my life.  I remember seeing an advertisement that read “Man Up…And Be a Nurse.”  The statement was subtle, yet powerful to me, so much so that I began to explore nursing as a possible career path.  I guess I find it interesting so many nurses tell me that they felt “called into nursing.”  Personally, I just don’t feel that’s how it was for me. I’m proud to say that I choose nursing.  I choose it for what it represents and how it aligns with my values.  Nurses hold a tremendous influence over their patients and communities alike, and that requires a great sense of maturity, knowledge and responsibility, and I’m intrigued by that.  I also shadowed several nurses and talked with students who were already studying nursing.  Long story short, I was impressed by what I found.  I looked up to those individuals highly, but I had developed a whole a new-found respect for them after seeing what they do on a daily basis as nurses.

I chose UW Oshkosh College of Nursing because it is a very well-respected school in the state of Wisconsin.  They are a researched based institution and structure their curriculum based upon evidence that has yielded the greatest results for students’ learning.  They are diverse in both gender and ethnicity, and they offer many opportunities to get involved both on campus and in the community.  It’s rare to find nursing students outside of the Oshkosh program who can understand you when you talk about topics such as QSEN, IHI, or IOM.  I feel blessed to have spent my time at Oshkosh.

After graduation, my hope is to continue my education though avenues provided by my future career in the Navy.  I’m currently looking into CRNA School or possibly becoming a NP; the Navy has competitive programs for each of these.  If everything works out, I’ve seriously considered making a career of the Navy.  Above all, it really excites me to see all the possibilities and opportunities that I have with nursing.  It’s like a springboard into almost any area of healthcare, nursing is a great foundation.  Either way, I think it’s important for nurses to continually seek ways to advance their education.




Heidi Hansen

Heidi Hansen

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown:  Oshkosh, WI

I am involved in the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Yoga Alliance, Himalayan International Institute, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

I am also a College of Nursing Clinical Student Leader


I started my professional career as a museum curator. I had a lot of responsibility, outlets for creativity and a great big office. But, parenting a child with a chronic medical condition re focused my priorities. I set my professional aspirations aside and familiarized myself with hospitals, pediatric specialty clinics and advocacy. Throughout all of my family’s health challenges, the people who have unwaveringly provided us with caring, compassion and empowerment have been nurses. I’ve learned, first hand, the positive impact nurses can have on people in their moments of greatest vulnerability and need.

I chose nursing because compassion became the most valuable currency in my life.
It’s time to “pay it forward."

I also chose the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing because it has a reputation of excellence. I wanted a well-rounded experience built upon a foundation of knowledge, skill, technology and caring. I was also attracted to this particular college because it offers the Natural Alternative Complementary Healthcare Program. I have been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation for a decade, and have witnessed and experienced the benefits of alternative and complementary therapies. I’m delighted to be a part of a learning community that values these healing methodologies too.

I am thoroughly impressed with the community building efforts of the administrative team and faculty. Incoming sophomores are invited to a welcoming ceremony that makes them feel that they are part of a nursing family. Instructors are available to help students work their way through the rigorous curriculum. Students are supported and encouraged to do their best work in classrooms, labs and clinical settings.

My post graduation goals include a position in hospice care, international humanitarian nursing, and graduate school.  I also intend to throw a great big party.


Jonathan Beck

Jonathan Beck


Jonathan Beck

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)




I remember as a young boy, sitting at the front door of our apartment, waiting for my mom to come home. She worked the night shift at a busy Emergency Room in Fort Atkinson. Before she was able to drop her stethoscope on the table, I would inundate her with questions and pleas to hear stories about her night. As she checked over my math homework, she would tell stories of a hectic night, where MVC's and trauma lived side by side with practical jokes and great friends. I saw who my mom was, what she did, and the impact she had on peoples lives. She's who I wanted to be, so nursing it was.

After suffering a C1-C2 compression fracture when I was six years old, the drive to and from Children's Hospital in Milwaukee became a very familiar one. It took a year working as an RN to fully appreciate what the nurses caring for me during this time actually did. I didn't get to see the RN advocate for and then titrate a versed and fentanyl drip to keep me sedated and pain free post op, or the nurse keeping my MAP >75 with a delicate balance of cystaloids and albumin, thank you, to the RN monitored my lab work day and night,  I never appreciated the the countless hours of physical assessments that were done or the RN who noticed a pressure sore forming on my back and took action, to the nurse who did neuro checks Q1 hour throughout the night and the nurse helped me walk up a flight stairs five days after surgery, thank you. These nurses were instrumental in my decision to enter the nursing profession.

The University of Oshkosh College of Nursing had and continues to have a phenomenal reputation throughout the state of Wisconsin. Before committing to UWO, I visited the campus, and toured the nursing building. After spending just a few minutes talking with Becky Clevland I was sold. Becky's infectious personality and her dreams of success for every student at UWO were shared by many of my future professors. It is professors like Professor Brent MacWilliams, Jen Basler, Dr. Shelly Lancaster, Dr. Chappy, and Jeanne Hiatt that help students fall in love with the nursing profession.

After graduating from Oshkosh I moved to Milwaukee, with an enthusiasm brought about by a diploma and a new relationship. I canvased the greater Milwaukee area with my resume, two months into my search I didn't have an interview to show for it. For weeks I fell asleep to the words, " We're very sorry, but we've decided to pursue other candidates." After what seemed like an eternity, a young manager on 4SW at Froedtert Hospital decided to take a chance on a new grad. After eight months working on 4SW, an internal medicine unit, I decided it was time to test the ICU waters. I sent out applications to all four of the ICU's at Froedtert Hospital, and heard back from the Surgical ICU. Since February I have been on orientation in the SICU.

I met my best friend Allison on the rock climbing wall at UWO, and we're set to be married on December 31st, 2011. We hope to make Wisconsin our home, and keep busy being auntie and uncle to our seven nieces and nephews.

I hope to head back to school in the next two years, to pursue a DNP degree in Acute Critical Care.




Shannon Hulett


Shannon Hulett

Clinical Nurse Leader

Hometown:  Galesville, WI


I selected the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) emphasis because it enables me to have my masters and stay in the acute care, hospital setting.  The CNL role is interesting to me because in addition to improving patient outcomes by increasing quality care and safety, I can also impact the chaos that happens in health care for health care workers by reviewing processes and deciding which ones needed to be redesigned.  I can assess problems and find ways to work more efficiently.  In addition, coordination of patient care has always interested me.  This role allows me to work with disciplines across the system and across units and departments to have lateral integration to decrease fragmentation for patients.

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Odette Koffi


Odette Koffi

BSN completion option

Hometown: Appleton, WI  since 1999

Non-traditional student from Africa

Organizations involved in:  The American Nurse Association(ANA) and Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology, Inc (APIC)

Moved to France and then to New York
Received her ADN in Appleton, WI in 2004
Married with 2 children

My dream job is to be a public health nurse on Indian Health Services reservation in New Mexico.  I chose nursing as a profession because I like to help others in need.  The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing has the highest score of school performance and graduates.  I like the BSN completion program because it gave me a second chance to advance my nursing career.  Oshkosh helps me obtain my goals by making classes available that I can take at my own pace.  Taking this next step in my career will make me a better nurse and competitive for the job market.

Advisor Nancy Ahrens states, "Odette contributes to the overall learning of the other students enriching the conversations and answering culturally related questions."



Wendy Van Nuland


Wendy Van Nuland

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown:  Kimberly, WI

Organizations:  Sigma Theta Tau- Eta Pi chapter; Kennedy Fellowship recipient; Student Leadership team; founded the Nursing and Allied Health Occupations Club at UW Fox Valley

Nursing provides a unique opportunity to develop therapeutic relationships with patients while mastering the advanced technology used to treat a variety of health conditions. I cannot think of another profession that combines caring and technology the way nursing does.  When I visited other nursing schools, the admissions representatives focused on the credentials of the faculty and on their new buildings.

When I visited UW Oshkosh’s College of Nursing, the conversation focused on the accomplishments of the students.  It was clear that student success was the core of the program.  Our Skills Lab sessions have been instrumental in preparing me to care for patients.  The ability to practice my skills in a non-threatening environment has increased my confidence, and the faculty and staff truly spend the time it takes to help each student succeed.  I intend to remain in the Fox Valley area.  Areas of practice that most interest me include wound care, mental health, and community health.


Michelle Yang

Michelle Yang

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown:  Two Rivers, WI


There were many influential experiences in my life that led me to choose Nursing as a profession: my strong desire to impact health care, my mom's words of encouragement, and my interactions with practicing nurses.  My personal goals to help positively impact the healthcare experience for those with and without access to health care originates in my childhood.  My mom's nurturing hand and conscientiousness of others has molded me into someone who always wants to give back.  I did not consider nursing as a profession until my mom, a practicing nursing assistant at the time, inspired me through her stories of working with nurses.


While in college I was fortunate enough to find a work-study position in the nursing learning lab and also volunteered at Mercy Medical Center.  While working on campus in the learning lab I found myself surrounded by intelligent and caring nursing professors who genuinely wanted their students to succeed.  I saw nurses in practice through my volunteer work at Mercy Medical Center and gained a better understanding of the nursing profession.  This combination of learning opportunities helped inspire me to be a nurse.  Choosing nursing as a profession is an honor, as I can help impact those in need.  These experiences helped me grow to be the proud student nurse I am today.

I chose the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing because of the impressive professors and the exceptional learning tools in the learning lab.  In addition, the outstanding reputation of the nursing program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh can be seen with the high pass rate on the NCLEX.

Advantages of the College of Nursing include excellent one-on-one attention with professors inside and outside of class.  I believe the professors do a great job explaining course material within a student's thinking realm. Another big advantage of the nursing program is that we are able to check out devices such as blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes to practice at home.  The College of Nursing facilitates student success and prepares us to be accomplished nurses in our future. 

Upon successful completion of the College of Nursing I hope to have a firm grasp on the type of specialty nursing I will purse.  My clinical rotations throughout the next few semesters as a student nurse will assist me in making this decision.



Jonathan Junk

Jonathan Junk

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown: Francis Creek, WI

I am involved in Oshkosh Student Nursing Association and Habitat for Humanity.



When I was growing up I was in and out of the hospital every summer for about 5 years in a row. Since then I haven’t visited the hospital as frequently but I do end up there once in a while. During my many hospital visits, I met a lot of different nurses. I know what I liked and disliked from my experiences. So I am going into this profession because I want to change every person’s hospital experience for the better.

I chose the UW Oshkosh because I heard many good things about it. I heard that UWO puts out some of the most competent nurses and that the nursing program prepares you extremely well for NCLEX. So well in fact, that I believe they have a 97% passing rate for all nurses making itout of the program.

I really like the one on one attention you can get. The instructors all know you, as long as you make an effort to know them. If you have a problem, the instructors will help you out the best they can and will respond to your emails within 1-2 days.

My goal upon graduation is to get a job in a hospital and make a difference in someone’s life.



Amerfi Rodriguez                           

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown:  Castillo, Dominican Republic


I come from an undeveloped country, and I have had the opportunity to see those that suffer in pain and are dying because they do not have the means to buy medicine or even see a doctor.  By being a nurse, I will be prepared to teach people how to prevent disease so they will have the opportunity to enjoy a better life. When they are dying, I will be able to ease their suffering and make their last days as meaningful and as happy as possible.

The College of Nursing has a high-standard curriculum that encourages me and my fellow students to work hard for our preparation as professional nurses.

One of the advantages of the College of Nursing is that its curriculum includes the most current evidence-based practice, which enhances my knowledge and will help me to become a competent nurse. I have the opportunity to practice my nursing skills one-on-one with my laboratory instructors, which helps me gain confidence as a future nurse.  I admire and love my nursing professors for their knowledge and for their care for their students.  They always explain complex skills and lecture materials in an easy way to understand, and they are always available to help students to succeed in our journey.  I like it when my professors use models to explain the material; I think it is an excellent tool to prepare us.  This semester (Junior I) I had the opportunity to participate in a simulation learning laboratory, which I thought was a great experience; it enhanced the critical thinking skills I need to solve health care problems, and I was able to receive positive feedback from my professors.



Amanda Bodjanac

Amanda Bodjanac

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown:  Green Bay, WI

Oshkosh Student Nursing Association:  President (2010-2011)

Health and Wellness Chair (2009-2010)


A life changing misfortune at the age of 16 that put me in the hospital has empowered me to choose nursing as a lifetime career. From that accident I learned that the power of one individual can transform the life of another. I had an amazing nurse, and I could sense her genuine concern for me as her patient and see how much she loved her career.

I believe that being in a nursing capacity on a daily basis, would put me in a position to show much needed kindness to all people. I thrive on the opportunity to add value and appreciation towards the people I encounter on day to day basis.

UW-Oshkosh College of Nursing has an outstanding reputation for nursing. They pride themselves in accepting only the most accomplished students into their program.  I found this challenge for excellence to be appealing. Also, the surrounding community offers tremendous clinical opportunities from several reputable area hospitals.

The support from the professors is wonderful. They are experienced in the nursing profession, easily accessible and focus on meeting your individual needs. Although the program is challenging, I am confident that I am becoming skillful in my technique so that I will be prepared and qualified to compete in the job market in the near future.




Julie Felix

Master of Science — Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Hometown:  Oshkosh, WI

I chose UW Oshkosh for my graduate work because I saw the passion for providing outstanding nursing education in the leadership faculty when I was enrolled in UW Oshkosh's Accelerated Online Nursing program.  I was impressed with the high standards set for the program.  I also appreciate how willing UWO is to accommodate part-time students like myself who are working almost full time while attending school.  Classes are scheduled on only one or two days per week, which makes completing the course of study much more feasible.





Alicia Cook


Alisha Cook

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Hometown: Lena, WI

Oshkosh Student Nursing Association

Nursing is in my Blood. It is who I am.  I grew up on a dairy farm where caring and nurturing animals/ others comes naturally.  Both my mother and sister are registered nurses.  They have made a wonderful impression on me, an impression that I would like to give another person someday.  The nursing profession as a whole gives me a wide range of versatility where I can have room to grow in any area of the health care field that suits me.  My mother and sister both graduated from Oshkosh and have only but strong feelings of support for the nursing program.  They felt that the program prepared them to be the best they could be and they are appreciative of it.  When I went to apply to schools that had the nursing major, the University of Oshkosh was the only school that came to my mind to apply to.

I love the support given to students and the feeling that you can succeed if you just put yourself into it.

I would like to graduate with nursing honors.  Upon completion, I want to feel confident that I have given my best effort into being the best nurse possible because my future patients deserve the best.



Megan Smith

Accelerated Online Bachelor's to BSN Option

Hometown:  Markesan, WI


I have always been interested in the medical field, and actually began college with the intention of going to medical school.  After working for two summers with UW-Oshkosh’s family nurse practitioner students, I realized that nurse practitioners could do much of what I wanted to do as a physician without going through medical school.  Shortly after this discovery, I decided to finish my biology degree and then pursue UW-Oshkosh’s Online Accelerated Bachelor’s to BSN program as my first step to becoming a nurse practitioner.  Upon starting nursing school, I wasn’t feeling confident in my choice to be a nurse, but after clinical s began, it soon became clear that nursing was definitely the right choice for me!  I absolutely love the variety, flexibility, creativity, and the constant opportunities to learn that the field of nursing presents.

UW-Oshkosh’s Accelerated Online Bachelor’s to BSN program was perfect for what I needed.  My husband is in medical school, and we knew we only had two years of living in Kansas City before we would have to relocate when he began rotations.  Because of the nature of his program and my desire to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing, I needed a program in which I would receive a BSN in one year.  UW-Oshkosh fit the bill!  In addition to offering the degree I needed in the time frame that I needed it in, knowing that UW-Oshkosh has one of the top-ranked and most well-respected nursing programs in the nation, made the decision to apply a very easy one.

Oshkosh’s Accel program has been phenomenal!  The online aspect of the program gives enough flexibility that I was able to still have a life while being in school.  The instructors for the program are incredible to work with and make themselves as approachable and accessible as possible.  The school did a fantastic job finding clinical sites for me.  One of my favorite things about this program is the way that clinical s are arranged: a one-on-one pre-ceptorship.  This has proven to be invaluable in preparing me for being a “real nurse” by building a trusting relationship with my preceptor until she began to feel that I could do things on my own and let me take over caring for patients.  I always knew she was right there if I needed her, but I was able to work independently with as many patients as I felt comfortable with.  One of my preceptors told me that she thought I was more helpful than some of the new graduates the hospital had just employed.  Another preceptor told me that she hadn’t wanted to have a nursing student at first because her experience had always been that the students were in the way and didn’t really do anything, but that she was impressed with how the school had trained us and that the program allowed us to jump right in do something.  As a result of UW-Oshkosh’s excellent student preparation, communication with clinical preceptors, and innovative approach to the clinical aspect of nursing school, I feel more than prepared to confidently begin working as a new nurse.

Upon graduating from UW-Oshkosh’s College of Nursing, I plan on applying to a nurse practitioner program and working at a hospital to gain experience as a nurse while taking classes.  UW-Oshkosh has more than prepared me for working as a nurse, my first step to becoming a nurse practitioner.  In addition to providing excellent training, UW-Oshkosh has an outstanding reputation as a nursing school, a quality that will go a long way on an application to any graduate program.  The Accel program’s staff and professors have a joy to work with and have been instrumental in preparing me to pursue further education in the field of nursing.





Lynn Molzahn

Accelerated Online Bachelor's to BSN Option

Hometown:  Fargo, ND

A North Dakota resident, Lynn Molzahn dreamed of obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and becoming a registered nurse. In May 2008, Lynn was admitted to UW Oshkosh’s Accelerated Nursing Option.  

With Lynn residing in a relatively isolated area of the country, the College of Nursing accelerated program staff was faced with the challenges of securing a clinical site, coordinating clinical rotations, assuring timely communication with the North Dakota State Board of Nursing and orientating adjunct faculty to this unique nursing program.

The search for clinical sites began in Fargo, where Lynn resided with his wife. Although Lynn worked as a CNA at one of the main health systems in Fargo, they were unable to accommodate him for his clinical rotations while in the accelerated BSN program, as were other local hospitals in Fargo.  Lynn remained patient, never expressing doubt or concern, an attribute to his military background.

Seeking a site for his clinical rotation, Lynn offered to relocate to Bismarck, North Dakota. Although it was 200 miles away, he and his wife were willing to make it work if a site could be arranged.  Upon speaking with with the nurse educator at a hospital in Bismarck, Lynn was approved to complete his first pre-cepted clinical, with commitment to further clinicals hinging upon how well the first clinical proceeded.  He was set to begin clinical s as scheduled with the rest of the May 2008 cohort.

An MSN-prepared nurse, Lynn’s unit manager, Courtney, agreed to serve as an adjunct clinical instructor as well as the liaison between the accelerated nursing option and the hospital.  Lynn’s first clinical went well, and he remained at the hospital to complete clinical s in obstetrics, pediatrics, diabetic education and wound care.  For his last clinical experience, Lynn chose to work in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Upon completion of the curriculum, Lynn planned to return to Fargo. Instead, in another exciting turn of events, he was offered and accepted a staff RN position in the ICU where he completed his clinical synthesis.


University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
College of Nursing
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Oshkosh, WI 54901 8660
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